Smart guns, robots and drones, oh my! Here are a few of the military's high-tech gizmos and gadgets.
In the action-thriller "The Bourne Legacy," Pentagon black ops assassin Aaron Cross takes down an airborne CIA drone with a rifle from more than a mile away. With TrackingPoint's tech, anyone can perform such a trick. The marriage of technology and weaponry is creating a growing but expensive class of "smart" guns that promises to boost security, improve accuracy -- and make guns even deadlier. For more, click here.
Reliant, a robot that operates underwater to protect Navy vessels and American waters from enemy mines, is also a record breaker. Reliant is an AUV -- that’s an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, meaning it can undertake missions fully on its own without a human directing it. Created by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s Acoustics Division and Bluefin Robotics, Reliant recently set a record by successfully completing a 315-mile mission. Find out more here.
Is an army of Terminator II style “liquid” androids -- ones that can self-assemble, self-repair and transform -- finally possible? The small cubes called M-Blocks were created by an MIT team led by Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL] research scientist John Romanishin. M-Blocks look like cubes slightly bigger than those that make up a Rubik's Cube. They have no visible parts -- yet they still manage to launch themselves forward. Click here for more.
New stealth technology makes airplanes invisible not only to radar, it renders them hidden to the human eye as well – just like an invisibility cloak in a Hollywood sci-fi thriller. Find out more here.
Robot makers at Boston Dynamics have unveiled their latest military-funded creation: a four-legged machine called WildCat that bounds and gallops across the ground in an uncannily animal-like way. A new video shows off the robot's ability to run to at 16 mph (25 km/h) on flat surfaces. Continue reading here.
The U.S. Navy has taken a step closer to deploying a next-generation robotic military helicopter that takes off, lands and flies itself on missions. The MQ-8C Fire Scout helicopter just took its first flight -- that would be flying by itself, without a pilot in the cockpit. The fully autonomous, four-blade, single-engine helicopter has a maximum speed of approximately 140 knots. Click here for more.
Faster than the speed of sound -- and powered by both a jet AND a rocket -- the Bloodhound combines the latest automotive and aircraft technology. The Bloodhound’s engines produce more than six times the total power of a Formula 1 starting grid -- that’s more than 135,000 horsepower. Read more about the Bloodhound here.
The Transformer TX drives like a military ground vehicle and rapidly transforms to fly like a helicopter and can transform back again. Find out more here.
A new “kamikaze” drone that blows itself up -- and takes its target with it -- was revealed at AUSA. Made by Textron System, the Battlehawk is similar to Aerovironment’s widely publicized Switchblade. Both are drones that can be carried in a backpack and hand-launched. And they both represent a movement towards making drones more accessible at a squad level. Click here for the full report.