Military robots are fully or semi automated devices used for military operations. The latest military robot development promises more and more use of robots during warfare. The military robots are generally referred to as unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The brains of present day military robot are not very sophisticated in terms of artificial intelligence.
The latest military robot can be dived into three categories:
- Small Bots
- Large Bots
- Flying Bots
1. SMALL BOTS:
They include small, and flat mounted robots. These are the most common robots currently in use by military. These robots are versatile, are generally loaded with sensors or weapons, and include audio or video surveillance. Some examples of Small Bots include:
THE TALON: This is a man portable robot that operates on small trends. It usually weighs less than 100 pounds in its base configuration. The basic version includes both audio and video listening devices and a mechanical arm. The newer version of TALON is also equipped with chemical gas, and temperature and radiation sensors. The future TALON is expected to be equipped with guns, grenade launchers and anti-tank rocket launchers.
MATILDA (Mesa Associates' Tactical Integrated Light-Force Deployment Assembly): MATILDA is similar to the other small robots but is a little high profile due to its triangular shape. It has been manufactured by Mesa Robotics. It weighs 61 pounds. The robot has a towing capacity of 475 pounds or 215 kg. It can be carried by one or two people and also fits in the trunk of a car.
THE PACKBOT: It also falls under the category of small robots. Packbot operates on threads. It is smaller and lighter than TALON. It weighs only 40 pounds and as per its manufacturers (iRobot) it can move more than 8 miles per hour. It can easily fit inside the US army?s Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment (MOLLE). This robot has been designed to withstand the rough treatment and its chassis also contains a GPS navigation system. The Packbot also contains a built in temperature sensor.
2. LARGE BOTS:
Large Bots includes the large military robot like trucks and are operated by remote control.
This robot is manufactured by Mesa Robotics and is about the size of a small bulldozer. It weighs 4500 pounds or 2040 kg. It runs on a diesel engine and can run at a maximum speed of 6.3 mph. Some of the task it can perform includes:
- Clearing and cutting obstacles down.
- Pulling disabled vehicles.
- Hauling cargo in a trailer.
- Clearing anti-personal mines. This robot can be rolled along with the mine sweeper to help clear anti-personal mines.
- Firefighting and decontamination.
The ARTS (All-Purpose Remote Transport System) was developed by US Air Force. It is used to clear mines. It also has a water cutting tool attached to it. It weighs 7500 pounds or 3400 kg.
3. FLYING BOTS:
Military also uses different flying robots mainly for investigation. Flying Bots are also called UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). They range form a small plane like FQM-151 Pointer to a full size plane like RQ-4A Global Hawk that operates through remote control.