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Old 12-12-2005, 02:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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U.S. Army to deploy robots that shoot

Next year, the U.S. Army will give robots machine guns, although humans will firmly be in control of them.

The Army next March will begin to deploy Talon robots from Waltham, Mass.-based Foster-Miller. The robots will be mounted with M240 or M249 machine guns, said a Foster-Miller spokesman. The units also can be mounted with a rocket launcher. Defense agencies have been testing an armed version of the Talon since 2003.

Putting guns on robotic vehicles is a natural evolution of the technology, which is being adopted to decrease risks to personnel in the field, the company said. Several robots, including the Talon and the PackBot from iRobot, have been used to conduct surveillance missions such as taking pictures inside the caves of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, during the conflict. Other robots have been mounted with "distruptors," guns that disable bombs and mines.

A robot coming next year from John Deere and iRobot will ferry supplies to and from the front, navigating its travels with little human input.

A robotic vehicle with a machine gun will essentially enable soldiers to stay in a safe area while attacking an enemy.

Unlike most robots, the machine gun-mounted Talon won't be autonomous. People will guide it via radio commands or fiber networks and then have full control over the gun.

"Driving, observing and shooting are always done with a man in the loop," the Foster-Miller spokesman said. "The labs like autonomy, but the users themselves always like to have control."

The Talon weighs about 80 pounds, travels at 5.2 miles per hour and can go about 20 miles on a battery charge. In "wake up" mode, in which the unit conducts surveillance but remains mostly dormant, a battery charge can last about a week. The Talon was used in Bosnia to dispose of grenades and during the cleanup of the World Trade Center.

The company has received more than $65 million in orders from various defense agencies.
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Old 12-12-2005, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bigmuff
The Army next March will begin to deploy Talon robots from Waltham, Mass.-based Foster-Miller. The robots will be mounted with M240 or M249 machine guns, said a Foster-Miller spokesman.
Does that mean we're at Stage 2 of HUAR?
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Old 12-14-2005, 05:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Has anyone seen the new issue of Popular Sciences? The front cover says Tomorrows Robot Army. I think that they have found out about our little army of HUAR and have speed up production. It even has a picture of a tank that is fully automated. I am freaking out here and need to know what the next step is. I am in the process of saving up my money to buy some stickers to get the word out but I dont think that is enough and want to know what else I can do. Please help Keith you are our savor.
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Old 01-29-2006, 04:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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