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Defense Dept. funds Carnegie Mellon battle robot

By 2010, department wants a third of all battle vehicles unmanned. It's giving the school and United Defense Industries $26.4 million.

Gladiator is teleoperated
and semiautonomous.

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded $26.4 million to Carnegie Mellon University and United Defense Industries to more fully develop their robotic military vehicle prototype, code-named Gladiator. The Defense Department wants a third of all battle vehicles to be unmanned by 2010.

The robot is primarily designed for reconnaissance missions, and thus is similar to a robot being developed by John Deere and iRobot. Other robots, such as the Talon which will be soon deployed in Iraq, is used in a more offensive capacity. It comes with a machine gun. The Talon drives itself, but a human (in a remote location) operates the gun.