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  1. #1
    vinsanity is offline

    Houston, TX
    2,260 - liked 77 times

    Army prepares 'robo-soldier' for Iraq
    By Michael P. Regan, Ap Business Writer
    ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. The rain is turning to snow on a blustery January morning, and all the men gathered in a parking lot here surely would prefer to be inside. But the weather couldn't matter less to the robotic sharpshooter they are here to watch as it splashes through puddles, the barrel of its machine gun pointing the way like Pinocchio's nose. The Army is preparing to send 18 of these remote-controlled robotic warriors to fight in Iraq beginning in March or April.

    SWORDS, a combat robot designed by Foster-Miller, is expected to see action in Iraq this spring. The mechanism fires only after a human operator r identifies a target on video.

    Made by a small Massachusetts company, the SWORDS, short for Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection Systems, will be the first armed robotic vehicles to see combat, years ahead of the larger Future Combat System vehicles currently under development by big defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics Corp.

    It's easy to humanize the SWORDS (a tendency robotics researchers say is only human) as it moves out of the flashy lobby of an office building and into the cold with nary a shiver.

    Military officials like to compare the roughly three-foot-high robots favorably to human soldiers: They don't need to be trained, fed or clothed. They can be boxed up and warehoused between wars. They never complain. And there are no letters to write home if they meet their demise in battle.

    But officials are quick to point out that these are not the autonomous killer robots of science fiction. A SWORDS robot shoots only when its human operator presses a button after identifying a target on video shot by the robot's cameras.

    Its developers say its tracks, like those on a tank, can overcome rock piles and barbed wire, though it needs a ride to travel faster than 4 mph.

    Running on lithium ion batteries, it can operate for 1 to 4 hours at a time, depending on the mission. Operators work the robot using a 30-pound control unit which has two joysticks, a handful of buttons and a video screen. Quinn says that may eventually be replaced by a "Gameboy" type of controller hooked up to virtual reality goggles.

    The $200,000, armed version will carry standard-issue Squad Automatic Weapons, either the M249, which fires 5.56-millimeter rounds at a rate of 750 per minute, or the M240, which can fire about 700 to 1,000 7.62-millimeter rounds per minute. The SWORDS can fire about 300 rounds using the M240 and about 350 rounds using the M249 before needing to reload.

    All its optics equipment the four cameras, night vision and zoom lenses were already in the Army's inventory.

    ^just some of the main points, full article can be found here:

    I was talkin about this a little in the Bush/Kerry thread. Now they're here, but like it says not the killer robots

    See More: Robo soldiers

  2. #2
    Mannydas is offline
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    Mannydas's Avatar

    London baby!
    1,343 - liked 9 times

    that looks like the robot from short circuit any1 remember that film?
    that be humiliating if that ugly robot killed though
    Death by a ugly robot

    Never Fear Manny is Here
    <---=Captain Charisma=--->


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