Like it or not, robots are swiftly making their way deeper and deeper into battlefield operations.Though the airborne drone seems to take precedent, both in combat operations as well as media coverage, there are a few robots bubbling beneath the public consciousness that hardly anyone talks about.
Here are a few of the coolest bots no one seems to notice.
The U.S. Marine Corps Gladiator Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle packs a punch, with missiles and machine gun mounts
The Gladiator is the coolest remote control car anyone can own.
From a Marine Corps article:
The Gladiator is loaded with all sorts of gadgets and weaponry, including day and night cameras, a chemical detection system, Light Vehicle Obscuration Smoke System, and is mounted with either M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, the M240G Medium Machine Gun, 9 mm Uzi or an Anti-Personnel/Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS).
If it looks badass, it probably is.
The 7-ton Armed Robotic Vehicle, or ARV, is capable of carrying a ton, that's 2000 lbs, of weaponry. Deployable from a variety of airborne troops carriers, to include the C-130 cargo plane and the CH-46 helicopter.
It incorporates a 'man-in-the-loop' semi autonomous firing system, which boasts the capability for common missiles, hellfire missiles, medium machine gun systems as well as the 30mm Mk 44 chain gun.
It's mobile enough to follow the ground infantry almost anywhere, and it can even carry them in tougher terrain.
This is not one remote control car you're going to find under the Christmas tree.
Designers put the MacGuyver Bot together with disaster relief in mind. It's arms and hands are incredibly dexterous, enabling the bot to literally 'make' tools on the spot, depending on what it needs to help humans out of tight positions.
The Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MAARS®) isn't as fast as the others, but it has no plans to run away
The MAARS robot defines why it's not the size of the dog in the fight.
Mounted with a camera, 40 mm grenade launchers, and a machine gun capable of flinging 7.62 calibre rounds downrange, this robot can quickly supplement ground units in the field.
Stubborn enemy hiding in a bunker? Outflank and suppress them with your MAARS, while other Marines move in for the kill. The robot can also carry nonlethal measures -- dummy grenades and laser dazzlers -- to subdue rioters and unruly civilians.
Operators can preprogram this bot to patrol along a certain route. The bot can mitigate stop lights, intersections, and barriers on it's own, and can even alert it's users of suspicious activity.
Outfitted with everything from nonlethal to lethal weaponry, the bot is maintained from a control room that can be miles away. Soldiers can step in at any time they want to resume control of the bot, or otherwise leave it to patrol it's route.
The Battlefield Extraction Assist Robot (BEAR) is fast, agile, and can carry up to 500 pounds.
Designed by Vecna with funding from the US Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research centre (TATRC), this would have been the perfect bot to aid in something like the Fukushima disaster, or in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.
The bear can walk up stairs, traverse over obstacles, and can lift objects (like incapacitated humans) up high over walls, balancing onto it's 'toes.'
The powerful Ripsaw can drop six claymore mines, carry up to 5,000 pounds, and tow multiple downed military vehicles.
It goes from zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds and can perform in multiple terrains, including arctic. The top of the vehicle can be outfitted with chain guns or even light cannon variations.
The design of the vehicle makes it virtually unstoppable: hard to flip, treaded, it rolls over trees and can uproot steel poles embedded in concrete.
That's right, a remote controlled tank.
BAE Systems 'Black Knight' is based off the Bradley tank, except it needs no occupants. It's armed with a coaxial machine gun and a 30mm gun. It's semi autonomous, which means the operator can plot a point and, in using its nine cameras, the Black Knight can find it's way across the battlefield.
The Gremlin is basically a 1400 pound remote sniper.
Built out of out of 440F steel and aircraft aluminium, the Gremlin can be controlled right from the rifle sights of military personnel. Modular weapons mounts allow for anything from a 50 calibre machine gun to a 50 calibre high powered sniper rifle.
You might have seen this one, it's been recent meme fodder for a popular song.
The CHARLI and the CHARLI II are designed primarily to help Navy Sailors fight fires. It can walk, keep it's upright, and pick itself up if it falls down. It also has incredibly delicate hands, capable of holding a light bulb.
The creator of CHARLI has been given a $3.5 million grant to do further research in firefighting robots.
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