August 3, 2002
Robotic War has begun
According to Associated Press, a robot has been used for the first time ever in a real combat situation, in Afghanistan. The small robot, named Hermes, was used this week to enter caves and look for mines, ensuring it was safe for soldiers to enter. The one-meter long remote-controlled robot can be equipped with up to 12 cameras, a GPS system, as well as a grenade launcher and a 12-gauge shotgun.
The same week, DARPA announced that it has granted $11 million to the phase 2 of the Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicle (UGCV) project. One of the two contractors, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), will receive half of this amount to finalize a prototype by the end of this year (picture on the left). "The hybrid-powered machine, which is called Spinner, will have extraordinary performance capabilities, including the ability to operate while it's inverted", explains CMU, adding that "the hull suspension and wheels have been designed to withstand heavy frontal impacts from striking a tree, rock or unseen ditch at speeds in excess of 20kph."

Picture: © CMU

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