Feeds

Qinetiq touts 'Transformer-like' mobility-scooter killbot

Robots in disguise... as slightly different robots

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.