When Brian Hart's 20 year old son was killed in Iraq in 2003, the grief-stricken parent turned his anguish to engineering, founding Black-I Robotics to build unmanned ground vehicles for recon, explosives and hazard work, and most of the other stuff you see land-bots doing in dangerous situations. Of course, what makes Hart's story so powerful is also what gives it a certain irony -- after taking the government to task for leading the nation's under-equipped military into unnecessarily dangerous situations, he began taking on work as a defense contractor to develop a cheaper, more robust machine in the hopes of getting more soldiers out of harm's way. Last week Black-I secured another $800,000 contract from the gov's Technical Support Working Group, and has also been field-trialing their latest version of the Land Shark UGV for the past few months.

[Via Physorg]