Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Australian Robotics Company Wins $50 Million for Creepy Robots to Train Soldiers

Marathon Robotics' Rover in Action
Marathon Robotics, an Australian company, won a $50 million contract in July to build moving, robotic live-fire targets for use by the Marines. The robots are intended to be used in training exercises to give the Marines realistic, moving targets to shoot at with real bullets.

Think of them as the Crash-Test Dummies for basic training. The video of the Rover system are downright creepy, like something out of a Robot Zombie movie. They have no arms or legs, and rely on a Segway two-wheeled platform. They can take a bullet hit, have sophisticated algorithms that make them unpredictable, can operate in all weather conditions, etc. I can imagine this system having a host of other uses, like scaring the heck out of the natives in a remote village, sort of like that scene in the Princess Bride where they scare the castle guard with a fake burning giant.

Here is the video:

Marathon's web site and press release is at this link.

SingularityHub posted something about this system back in April, before the $50 million contract was announced.

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