USMC robo warriors
Several months of combat testing of a new U.S. Marine Corps robot, the nine pound Dragon Runner, have apparently been successful. Built to survive rough handling (like getting tossed out a third story window, or the back of a truck moving at 72 kilometers an hour), the 15 inch long, foot wide and five inch high vehicle runs on four tires. It does this right side up, or upside down. The remotely controlled robot carries day and night cameras, as well as microphones and motion detectors. Normally, it creeps along at walking, or creeping, speed. But it can sprint at up to 32 kilometers an hour (about eight meters a second), which is useful when trying to evade enemy fire. Dragon Runner is not bullet proof. But the robot can be ordered to just sit in one place and observe. It’s motion sensors can pick up people moving from up to ten meters away. Dragon Runner can be ordered to alert the operator if anything is detected. The robot is operated via a hand held controller that operates like a hand held game console (Game Boy, Etc.) The controller has a vibration mode for getting alerts from a Dragon Runner on sentry duty. This is because this sort of thing will probably happen at night, when being quiet can be a matter of life and death.
Dragon Runner is being used in Fallujah, where it is very useful going into areas that might be covered by enemy snipers, or booby traps. So far, two of the droids were damaged in combat, but have been repaired and returned to duty.