One mean, green mulching machine

A converted Cat for para-military operations.

Mark Rutherford
The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at markr@milapp.com. Disclosure.
Mark Rutherford
InRob Tech

In autumn when the trees are brown
The little leaves come tumbling down
They do not make the slightest sound
But lie so quietly on the ground.

Great, it's almost time to do something about that.

This year we turn to the Front Runner MTL 257B, a specially converted 3024 Caterpillar 2.2 liter, turbocharged diesel; perfect for scooping up leaves, spreading mulch or clearing IEDs from the back 40. This compact, multi-terrain, rubber-tracked Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) is well adapted to work on slopes and "soft underfoots" like your lawn (or the odd body).

The MTL was developed by Israeli-based, InRob Tech as sort of Kompressor version of its D9 model. The company specializes in advanced wireles control systems, which means there's no need for you to leave your lawn chair to get the chores done; the MTL can be remotely operated from up to 3 klicks out. It's available with a variety of attachments (PDF), including infrared, thermal and/or panoramic full-color video. Other options include tear gas dispenser, mine detector, machine-gun mount and GPS. Armor protection is optional (see "neighborhood").

Later in the year, the 57 hp, four banger and 2.5 ton push capacity can come in handy for clearing snow or removing pesky settlements.