Monday, February 14, 2005

'Robo-Soldier' Ready to Report for Duty - U.S. & World - 'Robo-Soldier' Ready to Report for Duty

Imagine a soldier who can fire a machine gun with deadly accuracy at 300 yards, doesn't complain about heat or cold and can go forever without food or water.

The idea for the Robo-Soldier started in Afghanistan, where U.S. troops wanted help clearing the entrances of caves.

"The concept ... here at Picatinny is don't reinvent the wheel, don't keep engineering. Take what's already proven, apply it to this robot that's already proven. We need it now," said tester Santiago Tordillos.

Design teams at New Jersey's Picatinny Arsenal came up with the idea of mounting grenade and rocket launchers on the existing Talon robot, which evolved into a machine gun setup. The operator can be at the controls up to 1,000 yards away — pulling the trigger while staying well out of harm's way.

"We were sitting there firing single rounds and smacking bull's-eyes after zeroing the scopes. We were completely amazed," said Bob Quinn of Foster-Miller Inc.

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