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Coming soon: Robots with Guns

Susan Mernit

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talonrobots Unmanned military systems (aka robots) have been used on the ground in Iraq to search buildings and dispose of explosives since the beginning of the war. Now Foster-Miller's TALON robots are being adapted for a new purpose—to serve as a weapons-firing robot army that can be on the move night and day. Able to carry four 66-mm rockets, or six 40-mm grenades, as well as a M240 or M249 machine gun, the new TALON robots are intended to protect vehicles and patrol rough terrain, firing via remote control. By April 2005, the first batch of armed Talons are scheduled for deployment in Iraq, as part of the Army's Stryker Brigade.  No doubt they will be amazingly popular with the troups, for whom going out on patrol and accompanying convoys has been a perilous exercise.

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