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Air Force looking to develop foot-long subterranean defusers

Darren Murph

While it probably won't matter much once we're pitting one robot army against another, it appears that the US Air Force is looking into new "subterranean vehicles" that could be used to navigate to underground bombs, traps, or nuclear pods and defuse the situation from beneath. Although we figured the USAF would focus the majority of its attention somewhere above the Earth's surface, the newfangled moles would be deployed a safe distance from the target and "autonomously navigate itself to the target" while cleverly avoiding buried obstacles on its route. While larger digging machines can certainly accomplish the same task, the catch here is that the life-saving worm must not exceed "12 inches" in length and be able to run off of minimal battery power. Similar to other "teams" of robotic creatures feeding off one another to accomplish complex goals, the Air Force envisions swarms of these diggers penetrating and neutralizing potential hotbeds for underground explosives, all without sacrificing human lives. Now if we only had one of these bad boys to sneak up into Best Buy's PS3 holding closet last night, we'd have a winner.

[Via Defense Tech]

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