HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog
Slideshow: Military Robots Go Where Soldiers Can't
4/20/2012

Image 1 of 14      Next >

The Machine Lab's MMP-30 Mechanical Mobile Platform is used for explosive ordnance disposal in Iraq. It weighs 50 pounds (including control unit), measures about 23 inches long when collapsed, and can be carried in a backpack. Its pan/tilt color infrared camera has 180-degree pan and 150-degree tilt. The robot also sports a color, wide-angle gripper camera and a color, wide-angle rear-facing camera. The four-axis arm has a 20-inch reach and can lift five pounds at full extension. (Source: The Machine Lab)
The Machine Lab's MMP-30 Mechanical Mobile Platform is used for explosive ordnance disposal in Iraq. It weighs 50 pounds (including control unit), measures about 23 inches long when collapsed, and can be carried in a backpack. Its pan/tilt color infrared camera has 180-degree pan and 150-degree tilt. The robot also sports a color, wide-angle gripper camera and a color, wide-angle rear-facing camera. The four-axis arm has a 20-inch reach and can lift five pounds at full extension.
(Source: The Machine Lab)

Image 1 of 14      Next >

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 4/7  >  >>
robatnorcross
User Rank
Gold
Re: Military robots.
robatnorcross   4/24/2012 3:55:19 PM
NO RATINGS
From some of the pictures I've seen they look kind of like Chinese toys only bigger that you get in a Happy Meal. I wonder how long it will be before Toys R Us are selling things that look like that and then how long an engineer (like the ones that read this mag) "Upgrade" one of the toys.

j-allen
User Rank
Gold
Re: WEAPONS?
j-allen   4/24/2012 1:48:03 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree that even the most benign invention can be perverted, but some are much more amenable than others.  In my first job out of college, we worked on instruments for an experimental airplane called the TFX.  I expressed some ethical concerns that this was a military project.  The boss reassured me, "This is a purely defensive interceptor..  Can you object to stopping an enemy bomber that wants blow up your mother?"  The TFX, of course, became the F-111 which the Air Force then used to slaughter the people of Viet Nam.  Since then I have refused to work on any military projects no matter how lucrative the pay or benign their disguises. 

I do not deny the right or even the obligation of a country to defend itself but US armaments have gone far beyond any plausible defensive function, and we are also selling and giving them to some highly dubious customers. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: WEAPONS?
Ann R. Thryft   4/24/2012 12:56:49 PM
NO RATINGS

I think this discussion is bringing up a good point: that no matter what original purpose a technology is developed for, it can be applied to some other use. Many of the same basic robot functions and design platforms used in medical and rescue robots are also used in military robots. robatnorcross is right--the original Predator drone started out as a surveillance tool and ended up dropping missiles. And so is Island_Al--many other military organizations are developing weaponized robots.


Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Military robots--serious questions
Ann R. Thryft   4/24/2012 12:55:51 PM
NO RATINGS

j-allen, most of these are radio-controlled. So far, none of them are armed autonomous robots, as far as I can determine, but there's definitely R&D underway to develop such.


Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robots
Rob Spiegel   4/24/2012 12:50:58 PM
NO RATINGS

Yes, that makes sense, Jmiller. The difference here is the likely expense of these robots may never be affordable to civilian or small government (municipal) entities. So, as Ann suggested, these may have to be subsidized by the federal government if they are used for civilian search and rescue.


Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cool robots
Rob Spiegel   4/24/2012 11:28:18 AM
NO RATINGS
Sounds like this has been a behind-the-scenes industry for some time. That explains why the robots look so complex and highly developed. It will be interesting to see how soon these robots get deployed for civilian use. 

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Robots for Hospitals and Industries
Beth Stackpole   4/24/2012 6:36:40 AM
NO RATINGS
@MyDesign: I know robots can be deployed for many great purposes, including these military applications. Being able to send a robot into harm's way instead of a soldier (or a rescue worker, for that matter) is invaluable and I applaud all the innovation and technical progress being made in order to do so.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Robots for Hospitals and Industries
Mydesign   4/24/2012 6:27:21 AM
Beth, Robots can be used to serve many purposes. Most of the robots are used in military warfare, space applications and atomic reactors, where human interactions are not possible. But that doesn't mean that robots are using only for such purposes, it can be used in industries and hospitals. Now a day's hospitals are also making use of robots service in ICUs and Operation (Surgery) theatre for assisting doctors.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cool robots
jmiller   4/23/2012 8:36:21 PM
NO RATINGS
I think often war or the desire to be viewed as the biggest and baddest without having to actually use the weapons has lead to several improvements to technology that eventually find their way into the private sector.  And then some entreprenuer takes it to the next level and commercializes it.

I think this is a great way, although, not really given much credit, where the government develops a technology for the benefit of self defense and it results in advancements in technology.  That in turn make our lives better.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Robots a live saver
jmiller   4/23/2012 8:31:45 PM
NO RATINGS
I loved that show.  I think I saw the U.S version of it though.  I like to see all of the robot competitions and clubs and such that are encouraging our engineers of the future.  I encourage anyone reading this to consider getting involved and volunteer your time to help youngsters to get excited about robotics.

<<  <  Page 4/7  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
The damage to Sony from the cyber attack seems to have been heightened by failure to follow two basic security rules.
Reshoring is picking up steam, but it's not outpacing the overall continuing growth in outsourcing.
Here's a variety of views into the complex production processes at Santa's factory. Happy Holidays!
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
Thanks to 3D printing, some custom-made prosthetic limbs, and a Lego set, one lucky dog and a tortoise has learned new tricks.
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service