Feeds

Qinetiq touts 'Transformer-like' mobility-scooter killbot

Robots in disguise... as slightly different robots

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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?

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release
Result? 'Way more carbon being released into the atmosphere as methane'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.