An interesting update to a thread here not to long ago....
ROBOTS IN COMBAT
Remote-control warfare: How PlayStation 2 saves U.S. lives
By Eric Fleischauer
DAILY Staff Writer
Col. Edward M. Ward supervises a military program that spends millions on cutting-edge technology. When he hears that an explosion obliterated one of
his technological wonders, he just smiles.
Don't bother asking the Marine for apologies.
DAILY Photo by Dan Henry
Col. Edward M. Ward from Redstone shows a military robot named Throwbot during the Rotary luncheon Monday.
"I can get more robots," Ward said at a Decatur Rotary Club meeting Monday. "I'd rather a $120,000 robot get blown up than someone's son or
As Rotary members used remote control devices to put two such robots through their paces, Ward, based at Redstone Arsenal, explained that the military
began taking its robotics programs seriously after it deployed troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The impetus, he said, was the improvised explosive devices that claimed the lives of so many U.S. soldiers.
"We needed unmanned vehicles, and we needed them fast," Ward said.
He explained how the devices save American lives.
U.S. soldiers arrive at an apparently vacant house in a war zone. Without a robot, soldiers might draw their guns, break down the door and, covering
each other, search the premises.
"But the bad guys are pretty adept at hiding in closets with guns," Ward said.
Maybe the house has no enemies inside, but it does contain an explosive device designed to detonate when the soldiers get close.
The end result of both scenarios was often dead Americans.
Replay the scene, this time with robots developed through a joint Army-Marine program.
Rather than entering the house, a soldier can toss a Throwbot inside.
Ward demonstrated by tossing a one-pound, dumbbell-shaped device, with a flexible antenna, onto the floor of the Holiday Inn. Safely outside and up to
100 feet away, soldiers can control the $2,000 robot's movements, wheeling it through the house while watching the video images from its search on a
laptop-size device. An ambush averted.
Same house, but an explosive ordnance disposal team suspects an explosive device is inside. This time they send in a robot with tank-like treads and a
claw on a 7-foot extendable arm.
As it enters the house, the $120,000 robot carries C-4 explosives in its claw. Upon locating the bomb, the bomb-disposal team members remotely drop
the C-4 next to it. They then try to disarm the bomb, also remotely. If the disarmament is unsuccessful, they detonate the C-4, which explodes the
enemy's bomb as well.
Worst case scenario
The worst case scenario is a dead robot. The soldiers, up to 150 yards away, are safe. The devices are so successful that soldiers use them for about
45 missions a day in Baghdad alone.
Ward is the logistics chie
'Click link for full story'
[edit on 29-9-2005 by ferretman]