Army-Technology.com posted their list of the top 5 military robots, and its definitely worth the read.
Here are the five military robots that they feature:
PackBot 510 by iRobot
Developed in 1997 and having prototypes in use in Afghanistan since 2002, this battlefield robot that includes a EOD Bomb Disposal Kit, a first repsonder kit and a HazMat Detection Kit. This was also the first robot to enter the Fukushima nuclear power plant after the earthquake and tsunami in 2002.
TALON by QinetiQ
A small, tracked military robot used for recon, combat and explosive disposal missions. Versions of the TALON are equipped with night vision and chemical detectors, or can be weaponized with a M16, M240 machine gun, M82 Barrett rifle or even a 40mm grenade launcher.
Wheelbarrow bomb disposal robot
One of the original bomb disposal robots, the Wheelbarrow was originally design by the British Army to deal with bomb threats in Northern Ireland. The Wheelbarrow robot can climb 45 degree stairs, can lift 330lbs and has a 20ft reach.
ReconRobotics Recon Scout XT
The Recon Scout XT by ReconRobotics is the smallest one on the list, weighing just over 19 ounces. Because of it’s small size, it can be thrown into a house or over a wall then controlled from up to 300 feet away while relaying a video feed back. It is also sturdy enough to be dropped from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and can operate in darkness with an infrared optical system.
The tEODor is a two-camera robot that can be quickly deployed and operated from a control station and used to safely render explosive devices. It is deployed in 41 countries.
The US Navy is currently testing a new railgun prototype from BAE Systems that will eventually be mounted on ships.
The EM Railgun launcher is a long-range weapon that fires projectiles using electricity instead of chemical propellants. Magnetic fields created by high electrical currents accelerate a sliding metal conductor, or armature, between two rails to launch projectiles at 4,500 mph to 5,600 mph.
With its increased velocity and extended range, the EM Railgun will give Sailors a multi-mission capability, allowing them to conduct precise naval surface fire support, or land strikes; cruise missile and ballistic missile defense; and surface warfare to deter enemy vessels. Navy planners are targeting a 50- to 100-nautical mile initial capability with expansion up to 220 nautical miles.
Researchers in China are working on a new armor based on the yellow fat-tail scorpion’s armor. The scorpion’s armor has a natural set of grooves that causes the air to flow over them in a way that minimizes it’s contact with sand. By scanning the scorpion’s armor to study and replicate this pattern, they were able to create surfaces that limit the erosion and damage caused by sand during windy conditions.
Hopefully this technology can make its way into our troop’s equipment.
Sandia Labs is working on a new bullet that uses a laser to guide itself from over a mile away.
Unlike rifled bullets that spin as they they fly, their bullet uses a set of fins and flies more like a dart. It then uses a laser tracking optical sensor in it’s nose, along with a small microprocessor to adjust the bullet’s fins up to 30 times a second as it flies towards a laser mark that remains on the the target.
Here is a picture of the path it took while they tracked it in flight:
They are currently in the prototype testing stage, but we look forward to the day when these will be in the hands of our Law Enforcement, Tactical teams and Military.