Robot Built for War

New techonology showcased at Camp Pendleton

By Catherine Garcia
|  Thursday, Feb 5, 2009  |  Updated 4:56 AM EDT
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Robot Built for War

Mark Leimbach

MAARS can also turn lethal, launching 40mm grenades or firing off a powerful machine gun.

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A small robot that looks like Wall-E but throws grenades is in the spotlight at Camp Pendleton, in San Diego

QinetiQ North America's Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System is in the safety testing phase, with hopes the gun-toting robot will make it into combat soon.

The robot being showcased at the Marine West Expo this week is designed to create an invisible shield around front line troops.

"One of the most dangerous parts about military engagement is the first contact.  You don't know where the enemy is but you know they're somewhere.  This can take over the responsibility," said Jake Warren of QinetiQ North America.

It has a lot of non-lethal ways to take on the enemy: projecting the operator's voice through a loud speaker, sending out a laser pulse that dazzles the enemy, or shooting out bean bags, smoke or pepper spray.

But MAARS can also turn lethal, launching 40mm grenades or firing off a powerful machine gun.

MAARS comes from the company behind the only armed robots already in Iraq known as SWORDS, but has improved safety features and built in precautions.

 

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