Little about U.S. combat robots

Little about U.S. combat robots

One of the most promising directions of development of military technology are remotely operated vehicles. This technique can fly, walk on water and under water, also ride on the ground, performing different tasks, from exploration to strike. It so happened that more attention is rewarded with flying remotely operated vehicles — drones. But a similar approach can be used to virtually any military equipment, including ground. With all this land remote-controlled systems are not only there, and extensively used in a real combat situation. Consider the more famous and notable models such bots South American production.


Development of the first South American combat bot successful project was launched in 1993. Pentagon began aaplet TUGV (Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle — Tactical Unmanned land unit), whose purpose was to equip special forces multipurpose light remotely controlled robot. TUGV unit was to become the carrier of various equipment or weapons, capable to accompany infantry units and assist them in combat missions. The project includes several companies, including Lockheed Martin and Carnegie Mellon Institute. They all presented their versions of the machine, which in the coming alternately became the basis for this project. One reason for such «throwing» the customer had doubts in particular as a new machine. It should be noted, the most difficult issue was resolved in the very beginning. It consists in the introduction of the concept and, as a consequence, the design of the bot. If he is seen as a light multipurpose support tool, it can be done in the usual, a cheap and at the same time vulnerable. This candidate was bot with anti-bullet armor, more massive engine and price accordingly. Ultimately, the Pentagon chose the second approach to the creation of combat bot.

 Little about U.S. combat robots
First version of the bot project TUGV, received a proper name Gladiator, was made on the basis of track. It was a small device with a remote control system, a camera and a low-power internal combustion engine. As weapons he could carry gun caliber rifle. In general, the mid-90s the first version of «Gladiator» was good but there was a lot of claims. Because of this, firms participating applets made the second option. Gladiator-2 was quite the latest six-wheeled chassis with a diesel engine. In addition, the second version of «Gladiator» equipped functional installation SWARM, created for mounting machine guns up to 12.7 mm. Also new boat carrying guns day and night surveillance and smoke grenade launchers. All this is housed on a stabilized platform. Need to install a severe small arms has led to an increase in the size of the entire machine. Combat weight of the second «Gladiator» could take up to one ton, and the geometric dimensions of the machine without any additional equipment equated 1,8 x1, 35h1, 2 meters. Third version of the bot Gladiator had another huge size and weight. Now absolutely laden boat weighed as much as three tons. Exciting innovation in the design was the electronic box. This has not led to a significant increase in the maximum speed, but assist to reduce the noise emitted by the machine by using the BATTERY.

Little about U.S. combat robots

Last Gladiator version of the machine was developed by the Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, who eventually received an order for continued work on the third iteration of the project. After a series of events of the mid two thousandth’s all programm «Gladiator» has appeared in diverse position associated with reduced funding. With suitable developments Pentagon expected to buy more than 2-hundred of these bots that will be used the Marine Corps.


Developed in the midst of two-thousand years. DARPA agency commissioned the Institute of Carnegie Mellon did mechanized universal platform on wheels. It was assumed that this unit in the future can be used for different tasks in the real world or, at least, take the base for new developments. Armored bot Crusher came quite huge (length greater than 5 meters and a height of about one and a half) and rather languid — equipped with the most weight is approximately equal to 6 tons. With all this dead weight platform is less than half: the fact that, in view of the pilot project temper South American designers have made the armor a separate element of the complex. As a result, «Crusher» can carry up to 3,600 pounds of armor and cargo. In fact, a remote-controlled car body on frame is made of titanium scheme (frame), aluminum (most parts plating) and steel (bumpers, etc.).

Little about U.S. combat robots

Crusher machine mobility provided by the unique chassis with six wheels, each of which has an independent suspension. In addition to providing damping suspension can change the machine clearance from zero to 75 cm is understood that by configuring clearance «Crusher» or machine based on it will be able to «crawl» under obstacles or pass over them. Of course, provided that the obstacle has a respective resolution. In the hub of each wheel traction electric motor located about 250 horsepower. So Makar, the total output of all motors equal 1680 hp Electricity electronic engines by using akkumy and generator power up to 58 m. Last actuated 72-horsepower diesel engine. Variant with electric transmission was chosen to provide less noise movement: as required operator turns off the clattering diesel and uses battery power. Depending on the load, the criterion terrain and other reasons trip distance on one charge akkumy may be in the range from 3 to sixteen miles at speeds up to 42 km / h Subject to certain criteria Crusher can produce a continuous march, alternately charging the battery and using them to produce fuel supplies.

Rim aboard «Crusher» there is a complex apparatus, enables you to collect all the necessary information for management. First, this camera in sight which misses almost the entire front hemisphere. Also a complete standard machine comes several laser rangefinders, accelerometers, gyroscopes, etc. All telemetry data transmitted by radio to the control panel. Crusher machine operator works with controls that are almost always absolutely similar units suitable vehicles. The video signal and speed information, orientation, etc. displayed on the monitor 6. Actually operated via steering wheel, pedals and handle some semblance box. The software «Crusher» foreseen several algorithms of battery life. In case of loss of control signal or by the operator of the machine in automatic mode can travel at a given point, without the help of others to overcome obstacles. As a final point can be selected, for example, the base where Crusher back in case of problems with the connection.

Little about U.S. combat robots

In the process of terminating the design stage bot «Crusher» was the armory tower mnogokalibernym machinegun and complex intelligence. In the 2nd case, the standard location for planting additional armament was installed small rotary tower with a telescopic pole, equipment Video surveillance and laser measurement equipment and targeting. By completely understandable reasons, Crusher was built in the amount of several copies and was used only as a platform for developing new technologies. This step was correct, because already in the early stages was found checking unlimited number of problems, first, with the software and collaboration of different systems. Yet, by the end of the two thousandth’s Crusher project was brought to mind and became the basis for other developments.


Autonomous Platform Demonstrator — Autonomous Platform Demonstrator. Practically a continuation of the upcoming Crusher. Issuing technical requirements for APD, Agency DARPA required to increment the highest speed, to make a better patency and to allow operation in the army. First two problems were solved by the method of substitution of motors and chassis improvements. As a result, the highest speed increased to 80 km / h It was also decided a few technical problems disposition associated with increased operational features of the «Platform demonstrator.» The fact that this multi-purpose boat was created within applets FCS (Future Combat System — Combat system of the future) and was due to become a member vsepolnotsennym equipping some units. Among other, DARPA identified the need for the ability to transport 2-complexes APD on one C-130 aircraft. So Makar, the dry weight of the machine itself and the remote control should not exceed 8.5-9 tons.

Little about U.S. combat robots

Structurally, APD is a significantly modified «Crusher». About the same can be said about the control system. External differences newest equipment are practically invisible, but suffered severe completions program part, received little enormous capacity for autonomous action. According to some sources, in the future electric ‘brains »APD may even gain the ability to assess the threat situation following the movement in a more peaceful place. It should be noted, is not yet entirely clear how, exactly, will be carried out such an assessment. Regarding motivated equipment, the «Autonomous Platform Demonstrator» can carry a weapon or tower intelligence apparatus. In addition, there is some internal volume for carrying cargo.

After the cancellation of FCS applets remotely controlled machine APD was in limbo. On the one hand, it is not so obviously fit into a promising view of the U.S. armed forces, but on the other hand, had already invested a lot of money and effort. As a result, the project changed APD own status and remained experimental development. Development of the «Platform» continues to this day. Its creators say that if the military again showed enthusiasm, the APD will be able to go to the troops by 2020. Yet the Pentagon has not yet showed goals to change the status of the ambitious project.


Need to make an important slip of the tongue: South American military bought not only languid remotely operated vehicles. For a number of problems their size is not only useless, but even virtuous, if not unsafe. For this reason, quite long begun to create several projects light bots military use. As an example, make out aaplet SUGV (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle — Small unmanned land unit).

In the process of implementation of the global project management FCS U.S. forces wanted to get a small remotely controlled machine designed, first, for intelligence purposes. The main requirement was to SUGV light weight — you need to enable the transport of your forces soldier. Order to develop such a complex company received iRobot, and the project was given the name of the Army XM1216. Construction of small reconnaissance robot rises to the range of multi-purpose bots PackBot. XM1216 has tracked propulsion associated with an electronic motor. Exciting design Coil: a 2-main track on the boat an extra pair. It is installed at one end of the main track and is designed to overcome various obstacles, why is rotatable within the boundaries of the small sector. Additional tracks can be used as a lever for pushing when lifting or for a smooth descent with some obstacles.

All target hardware XM1216 bot consists of a camera mounted on a small crank lift. As required bot can carry up to 2.5-3 kg of cargo. The camera signal is transmitted by radio control to the operating range. Equipment for the control of a robot consists of a main unit with a small LCD screen and actually console assembly resembling game controllers, gamepads. The total weight of all the equipment complex XM1216 SUGV not exceed 15-16 kg, which enables the transport and control, and the bot just by only 1 person. For added convenience, all systems are stacked in a special container backpack.

In February 2012, he graduated from the Pentagon tests bot XM1216 and signed a contract for delivery. Clearly the number of ordered complexes are not disclosed, but there is reason to believe that the bill goes to the 10s, and even to weave units. Amount of the agreement is also not called.


Worth seeing, above bots — is only the tip of the iceberg. The fact that the total amount being developed at the present time is equal to several tens of types and a detailed examination of each individual would take a very long time. By 2025-30 years the Pentagon plans to adopt more than 100 new models bots for various purposes and with different features. Preparations for such a large-scale equip troops has already begun, which led to the emergence of many types.


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