Incredible robots: The military's marvelous machines
Our military's robot reinforcements come in all shapes and sizes: robots that scout the enemy, defuse bombs, and lead the frontline. From killer drones to cockroach spies, the future of our military might lies in the metal hands of the machines.
The CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform carries a fire hose to connect it to a wall spigot to aid fire rescue teams.
This robot named Ian, assists first responders in action. An Atlas robot with IHMC Robotics, it is pictured here successfully cuts a hole in a wall which is a common action that human first responders perform.
S-One robot's arms are raised in victory after successfully completing the Climb Industrial Ladder task at the DRC Trials. The two-legged robot won that task and three others, and scored the most points of any team at DARPA's robotic challenge this year. Find out more here.
iRobot is pioneering the latest in military technology. With four different special ops bots serving in the US military, iRobot has deployed over 5,000 robotic fleets to the US military, state and local law enforcement, and industries worldwide. Click here for more.
Professor Mike Stilman at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Golem Krang robot, part of a project meant to teach robots to use objects in the environments to accomplish high-level tasks. The team hopes this MacGyver-like bot will perform creatively in intense, high-risk situations such as natural disasters or combat.
Georgia Institute of Technology
The Cheetah is a four-footed robot that gallops faster than Usain Bolt.
The military has recruited the Boston Dynamics crawling robot RHex, a six-legged, 30-pound crawling robot inspired by the cockroach. The army is currently testing it in Afghanistan.
Insect robots are all the rage. Also being tested in Afghanistan is the Sand Flea, a spunky 11 pound robot that can jump 30 feet in the air.
DARPA's new Legged Squad Support System (LS3) is military speak for a robotic pack mule. These particular robot prototypes that can run, haul gear for soldiers, follow the leader and so on. 'It combines the capabilities of a pack mule with the intelligence of a trained animal,' says Army Lt. Col. Joe Hitt.
AeroVironment's robot hummingbird demonstrates precision hovering and independent. The two-wing, flapping aircraft carries its own energy source, and uses only the flapping wings for propulsion and control.
The Army is using autonomous transport systems in the Middle East like Oshkosh's self-driving TerraMax.
The Navy's experimental X-47B combat system won't be remotely piloted, but almost completely autonomous. Human involvement won't be of the stick-and-rudder variety, but handled with simple mouse clicks.
An explosive ordnance disposal remote-controlled robot is used to approach, inspect and handle possible improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Johnston
The U.S. Marines just signed a $1.7 million contract with ReconRobotics, creator of the tiny 1.2 lb Recon Scout.
Much of the technology used to power CHARLI-2 (pictured), the United States first full-size, autonomous humanoid will be integrated into ASH. CHARLI can play soccer, dance Gangnam style and possibly save human lives.
Robotics & Mechanics Laboratory
A model of an insect size U.S. Air Force drone is held by a member of the Micro Air Vehicles team of the Air Force Research Laboratory, which is developing small drones at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
Lucas, a mobile, dextrous, and social (MDS) robot, is one of many robots working in the Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR), recently opened by Naval Research Laboratory. According to LASR, Lucas is a "computerized cognitive" robot, which means he's designed to act and react the way a person might. Lucas has a female friend named Octavia.
Brandon Taravella, assistant professor of naval architecture and marine engineering, handles a prototype robotic eel that might be able to wriggle through dangerous waters with almost no wake, letting it move on little power and with little chance of radar detection as it looks for underwater mines. The Office of Naval Research is supporting baby steps toward making those visions of the future a reality.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
Researchers at Virginia Tech are developing ASH, or the Autonomous Shipboard Humanoid, a firefighting robot sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.
Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory/Virginia Tech