US military adapting robots

Suppose you’re a soldier serving in Iraq. You have Internet access. You frequently have IEDs to disarm, and the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) teams are all busy. Hmm…, if we just had our own robots

…IEDs (roadside bombs, or Improvised Explosive Devices), a constant problem, have forced American infantry to adapt in some interesting ways….While some suspected IEDs can be checked out, and taken care of, with a burst of machine-gun fire, if the thing doesn’t go off, you need EOD to come do the deed. To get around this delay, the infantry have been improvising. This started out with troops buying toy remote control vehicles, attacking a wireless vidcam to it, and checking out the suspected IEDs themselves. Some troops went further and got toy remote control dump trucks, that could carry an explosive charge (a chunk of C4 plastic explosive) with a wireless detonator. The truck was driven up to the IED, the explosive dumped, and after the truck was safely away, the IED was destroyed.

The brass have responded with

…a cheap robot for the convoys and troop patrols to use. The $8,000 MARCBOT (Multi Function Agile Remote-Controlled Robot) received rave reviews from the troops. This one has a movable arm, is sturdier and more mobile than the toys the troops had been using. Hundreds were ordered.

Not mentioned is how superior the MARCBOT is to the $100 toy robot dumptrucks.