The U.S. military’s small, but growing, arsenal of armed robots has a new addition. Bot-maker Foster-Miller has shipped the first of its new killer machines to the Defense Department’s Combatting Terrorism Technology Support Office.
The 350-pound MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System) machine can carry a 40mm grenade launcher or a M240B medium machine gun. Or, if the robot’s operators want their killer ‘bot to be a little less-lethal, the thing can be equipped with a laser dazzler, a loudspeaker, or pepper spray.
After years of safety testing and modifications, three of MAARS kill-bot predecessors were sent to Iraq in 2007. But after nearly nine months in the field, safety concerns (among other reasons) have kept those machines from firing a shot in combat.