Military receives new MAARS robot

June 5, 2008 at 10:06 PM
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MCLEAN, Va., June 5 (UPI) -- QinetiQ North American subsidiary Foster-Miller has delivered the first of its new combat-ready robots to the U.S. military.

Under a contract from the U.S. military's Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, Foster-Miller has delivered the first of its trademarked MAARS ground robots. Officials say the modular robot technology is designed with non-lethal and lethal capabilities to assist military operations in combat environments.

Controlled remotely by a military operator, MAARS is an effort to provide soldiers with situational awareness in conflict zones to enhance survivability and counter threats. The robot's non-lethal capabilities include broadcasting the operator's voice through mounted loudspeakers along with lethal force protections that include a M240B medium machine gun.

"(The) government has been working with us over the last 18 months to develop and provide an innovative and evolutionary approach to combat situations that address the battlefield of the future," William Ribich, QinetiQ North America technology solutions group president, said in a statement.

"The MAARS robot is now ready to provide the needed core platform to develop tactics, techniques and procedures for using armed, yet human-controlled, robotic ground systems."

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