Infantry: February 16, 2003


The new generation of remote controlled robots not only got a workout slithering through the wreckage of the World Trade Center in the Fall of 2001, but showed up in Afghanistan a year later. Several models of robots, ranging from over 80 pounds to less than twenty, were tried out. This sort of military robot research has been going on for over a decade and most of the current prototypes are quite useful. When the troops send one of these videocam equipped robots scurrying into a cave, rather than having to risk ambush or booby traps themselves, they are impressed. Tests back in the states have also tried out the remote controlled "recon bots" in urban warfare, where they can be sent down an alley, into a basement, or (with the lighter ones), thrown through a window, land in one piece and start looking around. It's quite likely that some of these robots will show up in Baghdad if there's a war and it comes down to street fighting.


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