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  (Source: Gizmodo)
U.S. Army places three gun-toting robots in Iraq

When it comes to robots on the battlefield, the U.S. military has a virtual skunkworks of contraptions roaming the ground and air.

In December, DailyTech reported on the iRobot PackBot which can detect enemy AK-47 gunfire via its Robot Enhanced Detection Outpost with Lasers (REDOWL) system. Just a few months ago, iRobot showed off its SUGV Early (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle) which weighs in at 30 pounds -- this is compared to 44 pounds for the iRobot PackBot.

The U.S. Army is stepping up things in the battlefield robot arena dramatically with its new Special Weapons Observation Remote reconnaissance Direct action System (SWORDS). Three SWORDS robots were deployed in Iraq and their capabilities put human soldiers out of harm’s way.

Each robot can carry up to three M249 machines guns which are controlled by a soldier through a remote terminal. This means that every shot fired will have to be approved by a human -- the robot will not start firing without prior authorization.

As of today, no shots have been fired by the robots on the battlefield.

"Anytime you utilize technology to take a U.S. service member out of harm’s way, it is worth every penny," said John Saitta of Smart Business Advisory and Consulting. "These armed robots can be used as a force multiplier to augment an already significant force in the battle space."

The Army is pleased with the three SWORDS robots that it now has, but has requested an additional 80 for combat use. Unfortunately for the Army, additional funding has not been approved for the purchase.

"As [soldiers] use them and like them, I’ve heard positive feedback, they want 20 more immediately. It’s a shame we can’t get them to them," said SWORDS program manager Michael Zecca.

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RE: Funny
By VERTIGGO on 8/3/2007 4:46:44 PM , Rating: 2
Soldiers don't just "pick up a spare AK". At least in every Marine unit we use our own weapons, and carry our own NATO rounds. Of course an interpreter may grab one if the shit hits the fan. We don't arm them for day to day operations.

RE: Funny
By SlyNine on 8/3/2007 6:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
In reference to the video game .. So take the rods out of your.. Bums. it was a joke and as for the AK proving more reliable. perhaps, but definitely less effective

RE: Funny
By SavagePotato on 8/3/2007 9:07:25 PM , Rating: 1
Holy shit people. Laugh much? smile ever?

Make a joke about a video game and killer robots and you get railroaded by tightwads about military protocol or how much said game sucks in their opinion.

The guy moaning about how unrealistic flashpoint was and how much it bored him, take a break from bitching for a while or something.

You could post that the second coming of christ just started and someone on the internet would find a reason to go on a bitch rant about it.

RE: Funny
By SlyNine on 8/4/2007 2:02:39 AM , Rating: 2
They should include these in Americas army's video game.

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