Saving Lives One 'Bot At A Time

Few military devices are more impressive than service robots. This article will explain how robots help the military save lives.

EOD Robots

Explosive Ordinance Disposal military teams use robots when around improvised explosive devices and mines. Robots can investigate suspicious packages and areas where explosives may be hidden. These robots are armed with remote cameras and deconstruction devices to examine and possibly deactivate explosives. They are also used to deliver unexploded ordinance.

Robots For Rescue

Robots are also used in search-and-rescue missions. The Uribe robot is used to get into tight places where humans cannot fit. Some of the 9/11 rescue missions used Uribe-type robots to get into ruins from the World Trade Center, providing remote cameras and sensors to detect human activity. Military firefighters use robots with infrared sensors to enter burning buildings to locate human victims.

Aerial Robots

Probably the most advanced use of robots is by the Air Force and other military service air components. The Air Force employs several unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct reconnaissance and attack operations. The Predator is flown via remote control by airmen on the ground. It flies up to 25,000 feet and takes real-time photos of troop movements on the ground. The Predator has been flown in countless missions, from the Bosnian conflict in 1998 to the Iraq Conflict. The Global Hawk, designed to do an even larger recon mission, cruises at 400-plus mph and can fly up to 65,000 feet. It can penetrate through sandstorms and cloud covers to get a wide-angle surveillance profile with little or no detection.