This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Armies worldwide use various automated machines for military purposes, combat, cargo, intelligence gathering, and much more. The following are 10 of the world’s most innovative, helpful, and deadly robots, as gathered by Interesting Engineering:
- MQ-28 Ghost Bat (developed by Boeing)
This UAV is an 11.5-meter-long wingman drone that can fly for over 3704 kilometers. The Ghost Bat is equipped with a variety of sensors and supports reconnaissance, surveillance, and intelligence missions, utilizing AI for independent flight. It can also be used in conjunction with crewed aircraft. The Ghost Bat’s modular system allows the nose of the aircraft to be swapped out with those containing other equipment packages, so equipment modules can vary depending on the mission.
- RIPSAW M5 (developed by Howe & Howe Technologies, owned by Textron Systems)
An unmanned ground combat vehicle (UGV) designed for speed and maneuverability on the battlefield. It can be useful in various applications, from protecting convoys and conducting rescue missions to setting up a perimeter defense, surveillance, bomb disposal, patrolling the border, and crowd control. The UGV has great situational awareness with mounted cameras providing 360-degree coverage to the operator.
- THeMIS (developed by Milrem Robotics)
The THeMIS is a ground vehicle meant to reduce troop numbers on the battlefield. It can be reconfigured for transport, attack, ordnance disposal, and intelligence operations. The vehicle can reduce the load soldiers have to carry and support logistical activities at a base or for last-mile resupply. It can be used to carry mortars of up to 81mm or configured to help with quick evacuation of casualties to medical facilities.
- Robobee (developed by Harvard’s Microbotics Laboratory)
A tiny flying robot for both military and civilian purposes. Robobee is smaller than a quarter and can fly and swim. It is equipped with sensors and electronics that mimic the eyes and antennae of bees so it can dynamically interact with their environment. The tiny robot could be used for reconnaissance and search missions, crop pollination, disaster relief, and high-resolution monitoring of weather. Large groups of Robobees that work together with coordinated behavior are in the works.
- Ghost 4 (developed by Anduril Industries)
A quiet, smart, and modular UAS geared for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, but can also be used for delivering cargo, electronic warfare, or fighting intrusions. It is less than 3 meters long and has Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities. It is weatherproof can withstand high winds and other difficult flight conditions and be submerged one meter.
- StrykerX (developed by General Dynamics)
The StrykerX has a wide range of technologies to support soldiers in battle and allows unprecedented cooperation with the operators. It can shoot laser weapons, launch drone attacks, and carry out electronic warfare. It has a hybrid-electric engine for quieter operations, so the vehicle can conduct reconnaissance missions. It also has an unmanned 30mm cannon for long-range firing.
- Jaguar (developed by the IDF and IAI)
The Jaguar is a robotic vehicle that replaces soldiers on the battlefield and border patrol missions. The vehicle has high-resolution cameras, headlights, a communication PA system, and transmitters. The Jaguar has a machine gun that can shoot while stationary or on the move, and it can self-destruct if captured by the enemy.
- DOGO (developed by General Robotics)
The small “tactical combat robot” is a UGV watchdog for soldiers in the field meant to assist in anti-terrorism operations (like urban warfare or hostage rescue). The DOGO can be controlled by a touchscreen, is armed with a 9mm Glock pistol, and can utilize its heavy-duty treads to traverse any terrain. DOGO is very portable and can be carried one-handed by a soldier. The UGV has 8 cameras, a 360-degree view, and two-way audio, which can be employed in negotiations.
- MAARS (developed by Qinetiq)
MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System) is a UGV made for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition. MAARS can keep a safe distance from enemy fire while carrying out various security missions (including ambushes, hostage rescue, using forced entry, and more). It has motion detectors, day and night cameras for driving and situational awareness, a microphone, and a loudspeaker, and it can move at 11 kph. Its weapon arsenal includes a grenade launcher and machine gun as well as non-lethal laser dazzlers and audio deterrents.
- SAFFiR (developed by researchers at Virginia Tech)
Naval vessels are in particular danger from fires due to their onboard ordnance and isolation at sea, so SAFFiR (Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot) was created to put out fires on naval ships. The 2-meter-tall robot can handle fire hoses and nozzles has a wide range of motion so it can maneuver in tight and complex spaces, and can see through thick smoke thanks to its infrared stereo vision sensors, a gas sensor, LIDAR, UV cameras, and a rotating laser.