Versatile robot rascals weigh in for battle

August 20, 2011 by Nancy Owano, Phys.org weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Defense technology company QinetiQ North America (QNA) has launched a ten-pound tyke of a robot that can operate in hostile military environments, doing reconnaissance before fighters come in. The robot, called the DR10, is designed as a lightweight offshoot of the company’s Dragon Runner military robots. The new DR Lite edition is intended specifically for supporting small military units and first responders.

Miitary robotics is a reality, and expectations are that robots used in military environments will increase. Bob Quinn, a QinetiQ executive, sees the real growth in ground robotics in infantry and dismounted operations using different sensors.

The DR10 is light enough and small enough to be carried in a standard-issue pack. It is 15 inches long, 13.5 inches wide and 5.8 inches tall. Users can throw it into buildings or on rough terrain and let it scurry along the rocky dust and mounds for discovery work. Its sensors allow it to operate day or night.

A wearable controller manages it at distances of up to 2,130 feet. Adapting to different environments, the DR10 can move along tracks or on wheels. QinetiQ Technology Solutions Group President JD Crouch has said “it's better to send the in first," which is a difficult thought to challenge with any hope of success.

Today’s hostile military rounds feature ingenious explosive devices that require expert sensors and surveillance. As such, the robots can provide life-preserving support.

The DR 10 has a two-hour battery life, but an external battery pack can add over six hours and an in-service recharge.

The first-responder function of agile robots was showcased earlier this year when QinetiQ responded to Japan’s twin crisis of tsunami and nuclear plant explosions.

The company, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, sent their robotic kits that can quickly convert Bobcat loaders into unmanned vehicles. Attachments like shovels, buckets, cutters and other tools were breaking down walls and doors yet operated safely at a distance up to a mile away. The kits contributed to the Bobcat’s work with cameras, night vision, thermal imagers, and radiation sensors. Rubble, buried objects and debris were able to be removed safely.

Explore further: iRobot Introduces PackBot Explorer Robot

More information: Press release

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24 comments

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Nanobanano
3 / 5 (7) Aug 20, 2011
Surely you can make room for a semi-automatic 9mm weapon on board.

No need to put our troops in harm's way whilest hunting suicidal muslims.
Norezar
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2011
Surely you can make room for a semi-automatic 9mm weapon on board.

No need to put our troops in harm's way whilest hunting suicidal muslims.


Grenades on a little hydraulic "catapult" arm.
:3
Nanobanano
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 20, 2011
Grenades on a little hydraulic "catapult" arm.
:3


Yeah, and deploy some flesh eating nano-bots programmed to destroy anything living within the blast radius.

That would not only be more effective, but would also be more humane by finishing off the evil muslim quickly and efficiently, instead of them bleeding to death slowly from ordinary shrapnel.
jscroft
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2011
No need to put our troops in harm's way whilest hunting suicidal muslims.


If they're REALLY suicidal, wouldn't the most efficient tactic be to stand off and blame them from a safe distance?
droid001
not rated yet Aug 20, 2011
They can bring the beer directly into the trenches.
Star_Gazer
3 / 5 (2) Aug 20, 2011
They can bring the beer directly into the trenches.

Not on 2 hour battery..
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2011
No need to put our troops in harm's way whilest hunting suicidal muslims.

Yep. Now the 'heathen muslims' can just hack the bot and send it right back without having to endanger themselves...at least if the commuications feed is so...erm...well protected as in the case of the Predator drones.

May the best hacker win.
Skepticus
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 20, 2011
Why not go the whole hog, decoding DNA and indentify certain sequences that are specific to the population you are trying to eliminate, and saturated custom made virus on the whole land to wipe them out? Frankly, the war conventions are deeply flawed with sugar coated terminolgies and hypocritical rehtorics. Look, you bomb them to bits is no more humane than to kill them quickly, and the whole target population are damaged, "collateral" my crap. If they are conquered, X would have died, and Y infratructure and whatelse would have to be rebuild no matter the method for the same X and Y. When someon died, they died, there is nothing "humane" about it, so cut the crap!, no matter how minimal nor extensive the "lessions" has to be. War is the final resort in conflict of interest, so let it be total, horrific and with serious finality so nobody will ever contemplate it lightly just to buy votes, defending their stupid ideologies or to get resources.
Skepticus
1 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2011
Tracked robots are limited by design. No form of high-mobility animals ever evolved in the last 3 billion years of life on this planet uses it. Tracked propulsion emulating worms and snakes are limited in their application, just as the originals's are. If it is too costly and complex to emulate legged walking running mobility, a spherical robot with telescoping legs all around will do the job, rolling with sequential extensions of group of legs,jumping with groups of legs explosively extended, landing with controlled shock-absorbing retraction of such groups, swimming with sequenced movements of same, possibly even burrowing by multi-dimensional movements for the legs designs. If the legs are centrally powered by hydraulics or pneumatics, with adaptive logic,a dozen or so legs got shot out or failed will not affect, say 100 or so legs still all around. The only way to disable the robot will be to blast the whole thing.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (8) Aug 20, 2011
Why not go the whole hog, decoding DNA and indentify certain sequences that are specific to the population you are trying to eliminate, and saturated custom made virus on the whole land to wipe them out?
This is inevitable but clearly beyond the scope of tactical squad ops.
X would have died, and Y infratructure and whatelse would have to be rebuild no matter the method for the same X and Y.
Sometimes you want the obsolete infrastructure destroyed so that it can more quickly be brought up to standard, as with Shermans march to the sea or the firebombing of Japanese cities. This can be considered 'urban renewal'.
War is the final resort in conflict of interest, so let it be total, horrific and with serious finality so nobody will ever contemplate it lightly
Wars for the last 2000 yrs or so have been Constructive endeavors. Haven't you noticed? They have invariably made civilization Stronger and more pervasive. Like the phoenix it rises from the ashes.

This is Victory.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (8) Aug 20, 2011
@antialias

Is this what you're talking about?

"...the apparent ability of Iraqi insurgents to intercept video surveillance taken by the US military's $4 million predator drones has attracted intense interest. But the vulnerability of the transmissions has long been understood, and the intercepts weren't really "hacks."...

"...what enabled insurgent access to the videos was a security flaw that the US has known about since the moment the Predator's went into service over the Balkans 15 years ago."

-But then...

"Operating system vendors have built entire "protected path" setups to guard audio and video all the way through the device chain. TVs and monitors now routinely use HDCP copy protection to secure their links over HDMI cable,'' he writes. "But US drones, which spy on militants and rain down death from a distance, have none. The mind boggles."

-That was in 2009. Maybe it's fixed? What's Anonymous or the Chinese waiting for?
Objectivist
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2011
This guy looks a lot like Wall-E.
KBK
1 / 5 (2) Aug 20, 2011
No war, for any reason, is just or correct.

End of story.

Until you learn that it is elites and those who control from behind the scenes...who are driving the agenda, you'll keep spouting useless stuff about war's origins (and ways to win them) that is completely disconnected to the reality of it's causes.
Sanescience
5 / 5 (3) Aug 20, 2011
No war, for any reason, is just or correct.

End of story.

Until you learn that it is elites and those who control from behind the scenes...who are driving the agenda, you'll keep spouting useless stuff about war's origins (and ways to win them) that is completely disconnected to the reality of it's causes.


Wow, that is incredibly crass. Nobody should defend themselves? Whole cultures should just go willingly into extinction. Civilization should be burned to the ground and the barbarians and psychopaths will reign over a world of abject misery and exploitation.

Great plan KBK.
Sean_W
2 / 5 (4) Aug 21, 2011
No war, for any reason, is just or correct.

End of story.


Wow, that is incredibly crass. Nobody should defend themselves? Whole cultures should just go willingly into extinction. Civilization should be burned to the ground and the barbarians and psychopaths will reign over a world of abject misery and exploitation.

Great plan KBK.

Well hey, the Romans let their civilization get burned down and ruled by barbarians and it didn't do them any harm. Well, maybe some harm.

And if France and Britain had not gotten all confrontational with Germany over Poland then maybe much of central and eastern Eurasia would have been brought to peace under fascism today. But NOOOOOOO!
Noumenon
4 / 5 (71) Aug 21, 2011
Got to love the idealistic anti-war lefties,... soo naive.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Aug 21, 2011
No war, for any reason, is just or correct.

End of story.

Until you learn that it is elites and those who control from behind the scenes...who are driving the agenda
War is INEVITABLE due to the human reproductive rate and the removal of natural checks and balances. This has gotten worse with each new advance in food production and distribution, medicine, etc. Religions early on learned how to exacerbate this equation aggressively.

Until you learn that it is BIOLOGY...that is driving the agenda, you'll keep spouting useless stuff about war's origins.

The Elites who learned how to control war and put it to good Use, have saved civilization as a result. Whereas unfettered humanity would have consumed everything and destroyed the world otherwise.

END of Story. Beginning of Salvation.

You want PROOF of the destructive potential of population growth? Factor into your mindset the ONE BILLION abortions within the last 100 years, all within regions now stable and productive.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (8) Aug 21, 2011
The most important website for your revised Weltanschuung:
http://www.johnst....html#SU

-This should destroy your myth of stability in the absence of very Active Measures to maintain it.

Worldwiide efforts to control overpopulation through family planning programs could not have taken place in the midst of the religionist cultures throughout eurasia existing prior to the world wars.

The most significant Result of those wars was the destruction of these cultures, which enabled the institution of these Programs and the reduction of world populations by as much as 30%.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (71) Aug 21, 2011
The phase:
"Got to love the idealistic anti-war lefties" - Noumenon
generates over two million returns from a search engine.

It is naive to believe parrots have a worst mimicry than humans.


Nice English. I don't own a parrot, and if I did, I doubt it would be able to use the computer, but your premise is a faulty presumption; That's statement is obvious to anyone alert to current events.

The phase: "Trees are green",.. generates millions returns from a search engine. Ummm, maybe it's true.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Aug 21, 2011
Elites have a sense of self preservation.
Indeed They do little poet. They are a Tribe. Their main objective is to provide a future in which their decendents can survive and thrive. And they are not about to let unfettered humanity ruin Their Plans.

You can keep entertaining the idea that war is a masculine thing. But it is women who have always compelled men to fight, to protect their families and to discern the quality of potential mates. Blame the women if you must blame someone.

But the fight WILL happen at any rate, to feed children and to provide futures for them. Is it any wonder that one Tribe would have learned how to do it best, by causing all the others to fight for them? This IS Leadership.

Human history is all about tribal warfare. We evolved in the context of it. It gave us our big brains. One Tribe learned how to use them to best advantage. They rule us now.

Hey poet - this is you isnt it?
http://www.youtub...amp;NR=1
Noumenon
4 / 5 (71) Aug 21, 2011
Good doers and evil doers methods are indistinguishable.


Ahh yes, another parroted liberal moral equivalency caused by inability to see things clearly and logically.

A well known liberal once said, 'we revel in complexity [as opposed to conservatives]';... No, you would rather wade in the mush-headed swamp of emotional fantasy idealism, .. than to see things logically as they are.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (71) Aug 21, 2011

@KBK

Chamberlain is a case study in liberal anti-war naiveté; He thought he could sit down (for a price) and reason with Hitler.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (70) Aug 22, 2011
They're called adjectives and they have meaning. Chamberlain and Churchhill where both of the conservative party but couldn't be different in outlook concerning war; one was for liberal anti-war appeasement. Labels are useful.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (72) Aug 22, 2011
Upholding mystical self-servicing invoked labeled differences is a disservice to everyone except for those who will encourage you with every breath they take: The Elite.


"The Elite",... ummm sounds like a label to me,.. and a undefined one at that.

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