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Robotics United States

DARPA to Raise Robot LANdroid Army 127

Banekartr writes "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency plans to develop a fleet of robots that soldiers can deploy in urban combat settings as they move through houses and along streets. The program, dubbed LANdroid, envisions miniature autonomous drones that can form a network capable of relaying radio traffic in a setting often considered challenging for communications equipment. According to a notional image of a LANdroid included in a DARPA pamphlet, each robot will be about the size of a deck of cards, and must be rugged, lightweight and able to operate for seven to 14 days, the agency said. Demand for technologies to improve the military's ability to fight in urban settings has increased in recent years because many of the operations in Iraq take place in Baghdad and other Iraqi metropolitan settings. DARPA officials will provide additional information about the program during a July 6 industry day."
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DARPA to Raise Robot LANdroid Army

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  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @11:40AM (#19580841) Homepage
    OK, I just gotta ask: Why would you want a WiFi repeater to be mobile? Given its size, it can't be *that* mobile, especially in an environment with a little bomb debris. I can't imagine it would be able to keep up with the troops, and the recovery rate (if they're hoping for it to drive home) would be so miniscule as to be outweighed by the increased bulk and cost of the drive unit.

    Leave the drive unit and motor control out, double the battery life, halve the weight and price, drop twice as many. Then design a separate device to do whatever they hell those tracks are on there for (giving the brass stiffies, is my guess).

    JM2C, but this looks like a tits-on-a-mule cockup between war scientists and dipshit generals. "That looks good. Can you put wheels on it?" "Wheels, Sir?" "Yeah, wheels, so it can drive around, like that Grand Challenge thing you did. And the Predator. Autonomous warfighting robots, it's the future, son." "Umm, well, I guess it's possible." "Outstanding! Let me know when it's ready."

    Not that I don't dig the shit out of DARPA, and I definitely want an autonomoous WiFi tank of my own, but this seems a little stupid.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @01:13PM (#19582739)
    Oh yes, excellent idea. Let's retool our entire nation's military to make it more effective... to fight in Iraq. And that's it.

    Gone are the days when our military is focused on "national defense". Now our military will be good for one thing, and one thing only: subjugating our Iraqi colony, and perpetuating the genocide of people who have the audacity to live above our oil.

    Yep, these conservatives sure are smart.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court