USMC Gladiators to Pack a SWARM

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Gladiator: OGRE Mk 0.01?(click to view full) The Thales UK SWARM Remote Weapon System has been selected for the United States Marine Corps Gladiator robot program, following a rigorous competition conducted by General Dynamics Armament & Technical Products (GDATP). As DID wrote in Battlefield Robots: To Iraq, And Beyond: “Carnegie Mellon’s 1-ton Gladiator recon robot testbed has longer range, can carry weapons, and is eventually intended to operate autonomously [see related post]. Robots of this kind are important components of the $120+ billion Future Combat Systems program, which has come in for sustained criticism of late.” The Gladiator runs on diesel fuel, but can also operate silently in hybrid-electric mode. It’s carried in a Hummer, Shadow, or similar vehicle, and driven remotely by a soldier using a Sony PlayStation-like joystick (deliberate choice, they wanted something familiar). The soldier will also wear a special helmet fitted with an eyepiece that serves as a camera, allowing him to see what the robot sees. A team headed by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, including BAE Land Systems (York, PA) and General Dynamics ATP won the $26.4M contract in February 2005, beating out Lockheed-Martin’s bid to design, develop and deliver 6 prototype Gladiator […]

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