US Army speeds fielding of armed robots to Iraq

Mr Happy

Joshua Kucera JDW Staff Reporter
Washington, DC

The US Army is working to quickly field an armed robot to Iraq, even before mid-2005, to patrol dangerous areas.

The Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection System (SWORDS) is based on the Foster-Miller Talon robot, which is already used in Iraq and Afghanistan for explosive ordnance removal.

The SWORDS version incorporates either an M249 5.56 mm light machine gun, an M240 7.62 mm medium machine gun or an M107 .50 cal Barrett sniper rifle. It uses the Telepresent Rapid Aiming Platform (TRAP), manufactured by Precision Remotes, to remotely interface with the guns.

The army is interested in fielding 18 units initially, said Anthony Sebasto, an engineer who helped develop SWORDS at Picatinny Arsenal. Picatinny officials told JDW that a final decision has not been made as to when the systems might be fielded, but there have been reports in the press that it could be March or April.

Although the US Department of Defense has experimented with armed robots for some years, this is believed to be the first time it has moved to field one. "This is just the beginning of what will be a growing initiative," Sebasto said.
I have visions of Ed209


Mr Happy

I think this is it. Doesn't look very RPG proof:

and here's the sales poster if you want one

I think it looks quite cute...

Mr Happy

I guess it would do fine as a sentry unit, with its back to the wall as it were but I'm not convinced it'd deliver the patrolling down the street hearts and minds victory that Britfor has acheived.
looks all very action man, but whats to stop you walking up behind it and switching it off?

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