Robo-buggy patrols the wire

Israeli companies field yet another patrol robot--the cheetah-spotted Guardium unmanned ground system.

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

This golf cart-sized, cheetah-spotted buggy could be bad news for those guys who make a living driving up and down the fence lines of Podunk facilities around the country while drinking bad coffee.

The Guardium UGV (unmanned ground system) employs state-of-the-art technologies and any number of payloads to guard places like airports, energy plants and military bases-24/7, rain or shine and without the need for 7-11 pit stops.

A joint venture between G-NUIS Unmanned Ground Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems Ltd., the Guardium is an all terrain vehicle that takes care of itself.

It uses autonomous decision-making and persistent navigation to overcome poor GPS conditions, deal with obstacles and other variables as well as to plan and replan routes in real time.

Weather impervious panoramic artificial imaging, video compression, data fusion and wireless commo make this one intrusive little SOB.

While this UGV was designed for routine missions, such as programmed patrols along a perimeter and other security routines, it can also react to "unscheduled events." It can also be used for combat support.

In event of a perimeter breach, say along the Rio Grande, one version of this unit could be immediately dispatched "to isolate, contain and control intruders" until backup arrives, according to the company. Fence? We don't need no stinkin' fence.