While the Army is already taking good care of our wounded robots patrolling through Iraq, a recent deployment of three special weapons observation remote reconnaissance direct action systems (SWORDS) has placed rifle-equipped bots in the line of fire. The trio, which all handle M249s, are "are remotely controlled by a soldier through a terminal," and while their exact whereabouts and missions remain classified, the armed machines were reportedly designed to handle "high risk" combat scenarios if necessary. Currently, there's no record of a SWORD actually firing its weapon, but considering that each of these devices can potentially remove a human from harm, don't be surprised to see full blown platoons being unleashed when finances allow.

[Via Wired]