Feeds

Israelis produce miniature Terminator

Pint sized robo-assassin talks the talk, can't walk the walk

The next step in data security

Israeli killer-robot maker Elbit Systems today unveiled the "Viper," a small ground-crawling combat machine "roughly the size of a small television".

The tiny war-bot is said to capable of engaging enemies with bursts of laser-sighted automatic fire, or even grenades.

In what can only be a remarkable, chilling coincidence the dwarvish cyber-assassin reportedly packs an Uzi nine-millimetre – one of the favourite weapons of the original, supposedly fictional Terminator.

But the diminutive droid may not be ready to step into the CyberDyne 101's leather pants quite yet. It is actually intended mainly for bomb-disposal type missions, using a disruptor rather than a submachine gun. The idea is that it might be sent in ahead of Israeli foot-soldiers to recce dangerous or booby-trapped areas or buildings. It would mostly operate undisguised under remote control rather than undercover, cloaked in a sheath of living flesh. (Presumably that of a medium-sized dog in this case, rather than that of a vast Austrian.)

And indeed a measly 9mm Uzi is scarcely going to impress the other killer droids. In former times the UK's "Wheelbarrow" bomb-disposal bot would often pack a Browning 12-bore semi-automatic, somewhat outgunning the new kid on the block. And anything along these lines pales into insignificance alongside today's Flying-HK lookalike, the General Atomics MQ-9 "Reaper" with its 14 Hellfire missiles.

One also notes that the Viper isn't yet really independent of human support. It has to be carried into battle on a soldier's back. Whether the bearer should be seen as the directing intelligence or merely the machine's fleshy slave is for history to judge. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.