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Slideshow: Military Robots Extend Humans' Reach
1/7/2013

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The Python HTR climbs stairs and navigates difficult terrain to assist humans in hazmat, tactical, and reconnaissance operations. Simulator Systems' operator control  unit software includes a user interface that depends on touch gestures for controlling the robot's movement, adjusting cameras, modifying settings, or changing views. The software also incorporates a secure, digital communication protocol for transmitting video. The HTR is based on the company's Robotics Relay System for Communication in Urban Environments software. This incorporates mesh networking, like that used for smart power grids, to control multiple robots or relay surveillance cameras, and to use them as a network of mobile signal transmission points. The robot's hardware is built in a modular fashion, so operators can swap out all components in the field without tools: accessories, cameras, OEM monitors, and even the Master Control Unit containing the robot's critical electronic systems.   (Source: Simulator Systems)
The Python HTR climbs stairs and navigates difficult terrain to assist humans in hazmat, tactical, and reconnaissance operations. Simulator Systems' operator control unit software includes a user interface that depends on touch gestures for controlling the robot's movement, adjusting cameras, modifying settings, or changing views. The software also incorporates a secure, digital communication protocol for transmitting video. The HTR is based on the company's Robotics Relay System for Communication in Urban Environments software. This incorporates mesh networking, like that used for smart power grids, to control multiple robots or relay surveillance cameras, and to use them as a network of mobile signal transmission points. The robot's hardware is built in a modular fashion, so operators can swap out all components in the field without tools: accessories, cameras, OEM monitors, and even the Master Control Unit containing the robot's critical electronic systems.
(Source: Simulator Systems)

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Elizabeth M
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Interesting technology
Elizabeth M   1/7/2013 6:47:06 AM
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It's quite interesting to see the latest and greatest in robots from the military, which as usual is on the bleeding edge in terms of sophistication and functionality. I'm not sure if these types of robots will ever replace human activity but they certainly make some tasks safer for military personnel and enhance their capability.

NadineJ
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Platinum
Adorable
NadineJ   1/7/2013 11:37:08 AM
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I know that's not the first word that should come to mind for military equipment but the Nighthawk Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) is just adorable!

I can picture the TerraMax (UGV) used for medical transport.

Very cool.  Thanks for the slide show!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Adorable
Ann R. Thryft   1/7/2013 11:47:49 AM
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Nadine and Elizabeth, glad you liked the slideshow. Like Nadine, I think the Nighthawk is kinda cute, too. Looking like an actual (if antique) plane, it's got a bit more personality than the quadrocopters that seem to dominate flying robots right now.

tekochip
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Re: Adorable
tekochip   1/8/2013 11:37:25 AM
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Even in the consumer world the model aircraft electronics seem to double in performance every year. Brushless motors are now common, lithium battries weigh less than the motor and digital radios are about the size of a matchbook. The military deserves some credit for dreaming up the idea of using hobbyist technology.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Adorable
Cabe Atwell   1/9/2013 3:22:32 PM
The day I stand face to face with a military robot used to control me, is the day I leave whatever country I am in. The impersonal lifeless feel I get from this brings to mind a dystopian future, like THX or Cloud Atlas. The sad part is, many people come into contact with these types of devices all the time. Imagine living countless decades, then to be killed by a robot.

The fodder for science fiction for countless centuries to come.

C

MYRONB
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Gold
Re: Interesting technology
MYRONB   1/12/2013 4:53:15 AM
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It's kind of neat--it looks like a chocolate airplane  candy bar; a perfect holiday gift for your favorite flyer

Oops, sorry, I promised to watch my sugar intake, too!

Best regards, Myron Boyajian

Jack Rupert, PE
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Platinum
Re: Interesting technology
Jack Rupert, PE   1/12/2013 3:00:42 PM
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The thing that always amazes me is that these are the products we know about.  How much more advanced are the "black" projects that have not seen the light of day...or at least public media?

bobjengr
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ROBOTICS
bobjengr   1/12/2013 3:26:12 PM
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Elizabeth, It amazes me as to how quickly robotic systems advance and the great uses they are designed carry out.   I would have to say that each is tremendously unique and their mission is well defined before development work begins.  Thank you for giving us this great update. 

William K.
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Military Robots Extend REach
William K.   1/12/2013 5:25:38 PM
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Some of these robots may be suyitable for "running point" in a hostile area patrol, and they appear to offer a lot of advantages. For starters they could be set to relay what they observe back to those behind them, so that even if they are destroyed or disabled, what they saw is available for others to see. That much alone is quite valuable. In addition they are smaller targets and more robust as far as taking damage. They may not yet have adequate judgement to be safe to use for asaulting, but they certainly would be a huge benefit for observing and defusing ordinance of all kinds. But until we have a control system that is completely immune to hacking it would not be very smart to deploy something that could be turned against us. That fact should be obvious to all, and it is why actual robotic warriors are still a ways off.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Interesting technology
Ann R. Thryft   1/14/2013 11:50:14 AM
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Jack, I think your comment is right on. I often think the same thing when researching these: what the heck are they doing that they aren't telling us about, if these are the publicly announced models? OTOH, some of the uses for the publicly announced models aren't really discussed in detail, but you can often read between the lines.

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