Robots play significant role in protecting Warfighter
January 7, 2011
- Army robots reduce exposure to danger for the Warfighter.
- Each robot has specific characteristics.
- The robots are controlled by the Xbox and Playstation controllers
SAN ANTONIO -- Robotic systems created by the U.S. Army reduce the exposure to danger for the American Warfighter.
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command is displaying robots and inviting the public to use them at Army Tech Zone within the Army Strong Zone at the Alamodome this weekend. The displays, along with an extensive outreach effort, are part of the many activities surrounding the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Army robots perform ordnance protection and shield Soldiers from potentially-lethal situations. Each robot has unique characteristics that serve a specific duty; duties that include looking under vehicles for explosives, lifting objects weighing 10 to 15 pounds, and some can even go up and down stairs.
"These machines are well-developed and have been tested in the field -- third and fourth generation robots specifically designed for the Warfighter," said Marcus Randolph, computer scientist for the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.
The robots are remotely operated and most have cameras that transmit video back to the Warfighter operating the robot. The remote controls used at the Army Tech Zone are the same as those used for the Xbox and Playstation video game consoles. Army engineers have also used the Wii game controller and iPod Touch.
"Using game controllers was pretty cool and made controlling the robot easier. I bet many Soldiers have played video games," said Matthew Rodriguez, 14, a resident of San Antonio. "It seems like a toy here, but it I'm sure it really helps out."
"It's better to send in a robot and lose that robot than to lose a human life. The new technologies they have developed are so important because you can't put a dollar value on a life," said Roger Rodriguez, 38, Matthew's father.
"It's the Soldiers behind the technology that make the Army. Just as the Soldiers drive the Army, the Army scientists support the Soldiers," said Randolph. "We are always looking for the best and the brightest to come aboard and do what they can do to support their country."
The Army Strong Zone is open until 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 9.