Qinetiq touts 'Transformer-like' mobility-scooter killbot
Robots in disguise... as slightly different robots
UK deathboffinry spinoff firm Qinetiq says it plans to deploy Transformers combatbots in the Wars On Stuff.
In a release today, the company invites the world to admire MAARS™ (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System). MAARS is made by Qinetiq's recent American acquisition, Foster-Miller, who are perhaps most famous for their TALON line of military/police/first-responder robots.
MAARS™. Always try to be the guy with the control console.
TALONs are small tracked ground-crawling droids which can be fitted with a variety of different field-handy deelies: articulated gripper claws, specialised bomb-disposal weapons, Taser electric cattleprod guns, etc. TALON SWAT can be configured with "a choice of weapons for a lethal or less-than-lethal response", while the SWORDS* TALON can have an M16 assault rifle, M240 or M249 machinegun, Barrett .50 sniper rifle - good for shooting people hiding behind truck engine blocks - or really get serious with a multi-shot grenade or rocket-launcher.
Given this fearsome arsenal of robotic weaponry, one does wonder what on earth the new MAARS™ droid might bring to the party. Qinetiq says that it "uses the more powerful M240B Medium Machine Gun" - puzzling, as the existing bot could already do that - "and has significant improvements... compared to its SWORDS predecessor... The new Digital Control Unit significantly improves... safety margins..."
Still, it's "Transformer-like". Perhaps it can disguise itself as, oh, a Segway or an electric wheelchair scooter or something - only revealing its true slaughter-machine nature at the last moment. That would make sense, kind of - the thing's chassis is broadly the same as that of a modern mobility scooter.
Well, no. Actually, according to Qinetiq:
"MAARS will also come with a new manipulator arm [just like the old TALON]... The arm can quickly replace the turret mounted M240B weapon, literally ‘transforming’ it from a remote weapons platform for force protection to a [bomb-disposal] tool."
So in essence it's a bomb-disposal robot with a gun on it, which is able to transform (with some help) into a bomb-disposal robot. That's not exactly going to have the Decepticons in a tizzy, now is it?
... now that would be interesting
I can find the door myself, thanks...
gah, the "safety plice" c*cked it up already
it's fscking WAR fer chrissakes! people get hurt, sometimes badly-sometiems even the pretty boy star gets unlucky and buys the farm. Mechanical turret locks, so enemies who get the data from traitors posting on the net know where they are safer to attack from. Can't fire at it's own control console? All you gotta do is fox it so it thinks the enemy is the control console. Then since the thing is now useless, the enemy sympathizers and political drones can claim they "told us so" even they were the ones that castrated the thing in the first place.
It's like going up to your favorite football center, taping blinders on his head, swinging an aluminum baseball bat to his unprotected groin, and then pointing and saying "See! I told you he wasn't worth hiring!" and getting your own ineffective second cousin hired to take his place.
'...unable to fire directly at its own control console.'
That won't help even a little bit if it's armed with a grenade launcher. Near misses are all that's needed... Not even all that neer, really.