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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.
“The only difference is that his weapon is not at his shoulder, it’s up to half a mile a way,” said Bob Quinn, general manager of Talon robots for Foster-Miller Inc., the Waltham, Mass., company that makes the SWORDS. As one Marine fresh out of boot camp told Quinn upon seeing the robot: “This is my invisibility cloak.”
Originally posted by skippytjc
I dont know what offends me more: The repetative post on this subject or the obnoxious size of the image!!
I should note i do like the detail though
[edit on 24-1-2005 by skippytjc]