It's not the first time a robot has been given fresh life with a new career, but it's always nice to see bots saved from the scrap heap, which is just what the Army's 95th Chemical Company has done with some PackBot-based bots that were once busy disposing of bombs in Iraq. Apparently, the bot was starting to show its shortcomings, so the Company decided to outfit it with some chemical-sniffing gear that lets it detect ammonia, chlorine, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and all other sorts of bad things. Now, after some extensive testing, it seems that the robot (dubbed CUGV, for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Unmanned Ground Vehicle) is nearly ready to see some action, with it set to begin field testing in both Iraq and Afghanistan this fall.

[Via Danger Room]

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Bomb disposal robots get new life sniffing out chemicals