The Times Online on IRobot's newest military robot:
The killer robot of the 21st century will be the illegitimate child of a vacuum cleaner and a John Deere tractor.
Various models of John Deere's “Gator” tractor have been used as robotics platforms before, and apparently the militarized, diesel-powered M-Gator model is widely used by U.S. armed forces. iRobot's R-Gator adds autonomy to the M-Gator, as well as over $200,000 to the cost of an individual vehicle.
The segment of the marketing video (I'm glad they have music that's as cheesy as in our marketing videos) with the R-gator following a walking soldier makes me wish I had one or two of my own that would follow me like obedient, loyal dogs. I'd walk into the office and they'd wait patiently outside on the sidewalk until my workday was over, and I would walk outside and call them to me, and we'd amble home together while Segway-riding Pasadena cops stopped and gawked.
Mr. Pike is concerned that military technology is moving faster than many people realise. “You really can imagine these robots replacing infantry on the battlefield,” he said, “but I don’t think we've really thought through how this will change war. If you were of the opinion that America was a rogue superpower based on the military policy of today — well, you ain't seen nothin' yet.”
Oh boy.Posted by jjwiseman at December 17, 2004 04:59 PM