Military Robotics

"Mule" the War Robot

Posted 5 May 2004 at 20:03 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

WFAA.com says that a Grand Prairie TX company Lockheed-Martin is creating a new military robot called the "Mule". This war robot will go where humans dare not go. The Mule come in various configurations from cargo, air assault, counter mine, to rapid fire battle weapon. The Mule can go into hostile urban areas and brave streams of bullets that humans could not endure. Mules could be dropped in by helicopter or by cargo plane. Its advanced suspension and nimble wheels allow it to climb over obstacles or go up stairs. It can even kneel to shield troops. It can see and shoot! Be afraid! This robot could change the way troops battle on the battlefield forever.


Potential problems with teleoperated weapons, posted 6 May 2004 at 17:51 UTC by motters » (Master)

I can think of a number of problems with these sorts of teleoperated military vehicles. The obvious one is that if it's radio controlled the radio signals could be jammed, either by broadcasting random signals on the relevant frequencies or by recording radio activity on the robo-band then just replaying it in an endless loop, causing the robot to endlessly repeat some harmless action. Even if the radio signals were encrypted the simple radio record and playback method would fool or confuse the droid.

The other potentially much bigger problem is what happens if one of these machines falls into the hands of terrorists and they drive it through a major city? Even in the unlikely event that terrorists could never acquire such a weapon couldn't someone just homebrew a similar radio controlled buggy and strap a gun to it?

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