Much is being celebrated about Israel's new Iron Dome missile defense system with approximately 90% success rate for shooting down incoming missiles threatening populated areas and critical infrastructure.
However, Foreign Policy Magazine (20 November 2012) is touting another amazing advance by Israel, this time in robotic weapons systems.
It is called The Guardian Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), and it is made by G-NIUS.
It's a fully armored vehicle with 660 pounds of electronic sensors and weapons.
The Guardian can autonomously "run patrol of predetermined routes" or it can be controlled via remote or mobile command center.
- It can run at 50 miles per hour, has powerful off-road capability, and an robust obstacle detection and avoidance system.
- Guardian can carry 1.2 tons of ammunition and supplies.
- The robotic vehicle is outfitted with all-weather video and thermal cameras, microphones, loudspeakers, and electronic countermeasures.
- It alerts to suspicious activity, identifies sources of fire, and by human operator can open fire with "auto-taret acquisition".
This versatile weaponized robot can be used for force protection or to guard strategic assets, it can be used for perimeter, border or convey security, and for combat or logistical support missions.
It is easy to see how UGVs like this, especially in concert with UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) can take on the enemy and help keep the troops out of harm's way.
For the future of UGVs and UAVs, think of a swarm, with masses of robots managing the battlefield both with and without human operators, and the vision of Star Wars on the ground and in space is just generations of robots away.