Bots with Guns in Iraq. Too Cool

Posted August 3rd, 2007 by AlphaPatriot and filed in Iraq, Military Stuff, War on Islamofascism, War, Terrorism,& the Military

Precursor to the Terminator series? Who’s to say? But what was once saving lives as a bomb disposal robot has been retooled to SWORDS_robot carry weapons for combat. Pictured is a SWORDS* bot, 3 of which have been deployed to Iraq. None have fired a shot to date, but expect that to change.

They are designed to be used in high-risk situations, like scouting narrow streets infested with snipers before a foot patrol is sent in. Major Saitta, a consultant for the program, nails it when he says:

Anytime you utilize technology to take a U.S. service member out of harm’s way, it is worth every penny.

Although these metal soldiers were ready to go in 2004, they had a tendency to spin out of control from time to time. As this isn’t exactly desirable during a firefight, they were kept at home while work continued. But now, according to Danger Room:

So the radio-controlled robots were retooled, for greater safety. In the past, weak signals would keep the robots from getting orders for as much as eight seconds — a significant lag during combat. Now, the SWORDS won’t act on a command, unless it’s received right away. A three-part arming process — with both physical and electronic safeties — is required before firing. Most importantly, the machines now come with kill switches, in case there’s any odd behavior. “So now we can kill the unit if it goes crazy,” Zecca says.

Danger Room also has a video from Future Weapons, while Gizmodo has additional pictures. Via Digg.

* special weapons observation remote reconnaissance direct action system

3 Responses to “Bots with Guns in Iraq. Too Cool”

  1. Technically speaking, these devices are ‘waldoes’, not robots, since they’re aren’t capable of functioning autonomously and require a human operator to remotely control them.

  2. Very impressive, although its camera and tracks look vulnerable. Agreed, though, these gadgets will be a boon if they can save the lives and limbs of some of our troops.
    On another matter, Mr. Carden, as of yesterday your July 28 post, Surprise! Electronic Voting can be Hacked, failed to appear on your main page and it doesn’t now.
    It would have only been the second post on the page Thursday and the third today. Since you have two posts showing today, it couldn’t be because you limit your front page to one post at a time.
    This leaves me to wonder if my comment citing facts and information contrary to your take on politics proved too uncomfortable for you to respond to in any other way but effectively deleting the post and my comment by hiding them.
    I’m not accusing you, just asking what’s going on with that post and my comment, and why?

  3. Zendo Deb says:

    Did these guys ever see the Terminator movies?