These machines--some of which are already in use in Iraq--help keep Army personnel out of harm's way.
Robots that do a soldier's work
iRobot's PackBot EOD is designed to dispose of explosive military gear, such as weapons and ammunition. Other tasks that the PackBot is meant to handle include hostage rescue, search and surveillance, and dealing with hazardous materials. The briefcase-like device at left is the PackBot's operator control unit.
A young NASCAR fan chats with a robotic soldier in the Army's interactive display at the Daytona 500. A hidden microphone on the robot allows a man positioned a short distance away to talk to the NASCAR fan through the robot.
The machine in the foreground is a multifunctional advance remote control (MARC) bot. Here, it's being used by a soldier of Company A, 91st Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, as part of a search patrol through the streets of Baghdad for improvised explosive devices. The $3,000 robot has all-terrain wheels and a retractable arm with a camera.
These robots from Foster-Miller are designed for disposal of explosive materials, reconnaissance, communications, sensing, security, defense and rescue. According to the company, the robots--which are called Talon--can navigate most terrains and can be configured with M240 or M249 machine guns.
With a weapons platform mounted to a Talon robot, this SWORDS system allows soldiers to fire small weapons by remote control from as far away as 1,000 meters. The system was demonstrated in December at the bienniel Army Science Conference, with hopes that it might soon join soldiers in Iraq.
A police robot hands a piece of communications equipment to the driver of a red van at the scene of a standoff between the van's driver and police, one block from the White House. The driver, who was involved in a domestic dispute, had reportedly threatened to blow up 15 gallons of gasoline that was in the van if he did not get his child back.