A military robot that does it all

February 7, 2012 | Source: Technology Review
iRobot 710 Warrior

iRobot 710 Warrior (credit: iRobot)

With the official launch of the iRobot Warrior, a large wheeled robot with a hefty mechanical arm, military robots just got significantly larger and more adaptable.

The robot can climb stairs and cover rough terrain, and perform tasks ranging from the delicate (opening car doors) to the destructive (smashing car windows) with its two-meter-long mechanical arm, and could be weaponized — in one test it launched a rocket that trailed explosives behind it to clear mines or other obstacles.

Two prototypes of the robots were sent to explore damaged buildings at the site of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant after the nuclear accident last year.