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The Military Robotics Technology

Marine Corps Wants a Throwable Robot 270

coondoggie writes "The US Marine Corps has a request — build and rapidly deploy more 10lb-or-under robots its personnel can throw into dangerous situations that can quickly gather information without endangering Marines. The throwable robot is part of a family of robots that would range from the 10lb version to one that would act as a central controlling device and weigh close to 300lbs. Marine commanders are demanding ever lighter robots so that troops don't have to offload critical equipment from their rucksacks to accommodate them."
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Marine Corps Wants a Throwable Robot

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  • U R Doing It Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IBitOBear ( 410965 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @09:17PM (#29127787) Homepage Journal

    The robots should be carrying the equipment and throwing each other.

    The marines should be making the decisions and dodging the other guys robots.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @09:32PM (#29127923)

    how far can you heave a 10lb weight into a situation that you can't see directly in front of you?

    Further than I would want to throw myself if we're talking about into a room with a lot of angry men with guns. Also, I'm not in the same shape a marine would be, I'd expect a marine would be able to throw a 10lb weight further. The article specifically mentions "can see around corners inside buildings, sewers, drainpipes, caves, courtyards" so corners, not distances, and it sounds kind of like they're looking into remote controlled after being thrown.

    Yet another rash judgement from someone didn't even RTFA, let alone knows the full story. But lets not let trivial details like facts we don't know stand in the way of our statement that fully half our military budget is completely dispensable.

    (For the record, I'm a liberal and also dislike the amount we spend on the military. It's not that I'm biased in favor of dumping all our money on the military, you're just making us look dumb.)

  • by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @10:16PM (#29128237)

    Actually sounds more like a hand grenade [].

  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @10:53PM (#29128493)

    "But that's against the law..."

    "Law", unless sufficiently backed by force, is merely an expression of wishful thinking.

  • because the world is a pleasant campfire singalong, and no ones means any one else any wrong

    as russia tries to claim the arctic, engages in neoimperialism in the caucasus, as china ramps up its military spending, as myanmar tries to get nukes, as north korea has them, as iran tries to get nukes, as venezuela ramps up military purchases of heavy armament, etc., etc.

    yeah, its a world of love and good will. no need for a serious military, you're a genius

  • by RiotingPacifist ( 1228016 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @11:52PM (#29128903)

    yeah beacuse the US army, don't kill enough innocent civilians and obviously don't need a way to find out if there are women/children in there (cowering or as hostages)!

  • by Vectronic ( 1221470 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @12:14AM (#29129065)

    Yeah that's the idea, but you could also have smaller guide wheels to help stabilize it (because weight/pendulum based still limits it's drive power, ie: too much throttle it'll just sit there rotating) so it looks like
    and if you used the "launcher" the guide wheels could be spring loaded, so they collapse into the main cylinder but pop-out after it leaves the barrel, which would also be useful for quick 180 degree views (throttle it, flips over but stops because of guide wheels) instead of making it turn 180 degrees, just have a sensor that tells the camera/software to flip the image vertically.

    Could probably make them as small as a tear-gas can, so pretty much every soldier could carry one, or one guy could carry 20 of them, it's not like they have to run for hours, or defuse a bomb.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 20, 2009 @01:17AM (#29129469)

    The robots should be carrying the equipment and throwing each other. The marines should be making the decisions and dodging the other guys robots.

    Nah, you are the one doing it wrong. The goal here isn't to save lives, as there are plenty of naive and poor kids in USA you can recruit on the cheap (compared to the cost or a "robot army" utopia). The reality is US troops often lack basics such as a decent protective gear, robots are very far from being on their mind. So when you see the kind of priorities that come out of their leadership, think contractors and think money, you'll be closer to the general idea.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @02:55AM (#29129923)

    How a liberal, who generally is in favor of bigger government, can rail against the waste that is endemic in a big government

    If you think liberals are in favor of "big government" for it's own sake, you've really confused partisan slander with reality.

    We're for expanding effective programs and cutting the waste. It's only confusing if you don't realize that not everyone thinks that all government spending is inherently wasteful.

    What say you put YOUR life on the line, and then tell others they are spending too much to protect you, hmmm?

    You're being a simpleton. Not all military spending goes to protecting our soldiers.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:00AM (#29129957) Homepage Journal

    How is percentage of GDP the relevant measure here? The US is richer than most other countries; we already knew that. No matter how much money we have, the question to ask is "how much should we spend on X to get what we need" (whether X is defense or something else) not "what percentage of our wealth should we spend on X?" If you make ten times as much money as someone else, it does not follow that you have to spend ten times as much money on your house, your car, and everything else.

  • by ToasterMonkey ( 467067 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @04:07AM (#29130241) Homepage

    How is percentage of GDP the relevant measure here?

    We have more to defend, and a larger stake in global politics/stability?

    Bigger stick == better?

    Just guessing.

    I don't see how spending FOO * Scary Nation Defense Budget BAR makes any sense. What if there are several Scary Nations and Bad Countries?
    I think military spending should be greater than the combination of all 'OTHER' country's military spending, but within your means. OTHER being anyone we don't trust right now. Are we spending within our means? ~5%, I guess so. Who is OTHER now? Do you trust them enough to cut back?

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @05:16AM (#29130597) Homepage Journal

    Why would one take a hostage, if they knew they would just die right along with the hostage?

    To get 72 virgins?

  • How such an ignorant and shitfilled post was modded insightful I will never know. The US goes out of it's way not to kill civilians, it's not our fault the ones we are fighting are worthless piece of shit that don't deserve to live and hide behind women and children thinking we won't fire back. Simple way to reduce civilian casualties: The civilians stop ALLOWING the terrorists/enemy to hide amongst them, and they will stop dying.
  • by moxley ( 895517 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:05PM (#29136895)

    Look, I don't so much of an issue with the rest of your post, but IMO the statement below shows a clear misunderstanding of the socioeconomics, politics and culture in the areas where these things are occuring - it sounds nice, but means nothing in the real world.

      " Simple way to reduce civilian casualties: The civilians stop ALLOWING the terrorists/enemy to hide amongst them, and they will stop dying."

    It doesn't make much practical sense either, you're saying that the unarmed, downtrodden families are supposed to stop the armed ruthless thugs? Is that it?

    That's like when someone who doesn't understand the drug issue talking about getting dealers off the streets:

    "Hey, if the people who lived in north Philadelphia didn't allow drug sales to occur there'd be no drug sales in our neighborhood."

    My point is that it's just not that simple.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.