US Marines Are Testing a Machine-gun-toting Robot

September 3rd, 2016 - by admin

Stacy Liberatore / The Daily Mail – 2016-09-03 00:59:37

Feeling Lucky? US Marines Test Machine-gun Wielding Robot
MAARS can also throw grenades and even drag wounded soldiers to safety
Stacy Liberatore / The Daily Mail

LONDON (August 4, 2016) — Remotely operated war machines are no longer props in science-fiction films. The US military has unveiled its latest unmanned ground vehicle designed to keep human fighters at a safe distance from enemy fire while successfully executing their security missions.

Called Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MAARS), this robot wields machine guns, pulls wounded soldiers to safety and sets explosives.

This powerful, modular and combat-ready robotic machine gun is a creation of QuinetiQ North America.

Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, this firm provides the defense, security, commercial and consumer markets with revolutionary products such as unmanned systems, met sensors and protective armor.

‘Using US SOCOM and US Army lessons learned from the preceding development, testing and combat fielding of the weaponized SWORDS system, MAARS was freshly created from the ground up to meet US SOCOM requirements,’ sais QuinetiQ North America.

‘MAARS’ purpose-built system possesses advanced computing power, self-protection features, mobility, modularity, communications, sensor payloads, safety features, power management, maintainability, and force application capabilities.’

MAARS is armed with an M24OB machine gun, four M2O3 grenade launchers and can carry up to 400 rounds of ammunition — it can operate up to 350 pounds.

It also has 360-degree visual capability, two-way communication, night and thermal visions and to top it off, the vehicle is also fitted with lasers.

This realistic ‘Terminator’ was specially built for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition missions, as it can be used in remote areas where humans are unable to travel due to safety concerns.

And although MAARS’ main agenda is to kill, this machine is also designed to aid wounded soldiers by pulling them back to base.

Autonomous weapons have been the talk of the town, as many experts voice concerns that these machines pose a threat to our safety and security — but luckily, MAARS is only semi-autonomous and probably won’t go rouge.

This robot machinegun needs a controller in order to move and fire its weapons.

Sensors and cameras transmit information to the human controller and allows them to see through the robot’s ‘eyes’.

And using a light weight wearable and control system, soldiers can activate MAARS’ day and night cameras, motion detectors, an acoustic microphone, a hostile fire detection system and a siren — allowing him or her to feel as if they were actually on site.

‘Advanced processing capabilities and an easy-to-use wearable control system make MAARS simple to operate and powerful,’ said QuinetiQ.

‘MAARS can even provide multiple options for the escalation of force when required by the Rules of Engagement (ROE), from nonlethal lasers dazzlers and audio deterrents, to less-than-lethal grenades, to lethal fires from the grenade launcher or the medium machine gun.’

The futuristic war machine is battery powered, which can last three to 12 hours depending on mission activities. But there is also a sleep mode that saves battery power allowing it to track down the enemy for about a week.

And although it can only top speeds of 7 mph, this vehicle was built to be tamper-proof.

QinetiQ developed the MAARS UGV through contracts with various agencies in the Department of Defense, including US SOCOM, and is currently testing the machines with US Marines.


RoBattle, is an semi-autonomous combat and support robot designed to assist ground soldiers in the field. The machine is equipt with a ‘robotic kit’ consisting of vehicle control, navigation, RT mapping and autonomy, sensors and mission payloads.

In addition to ambushing and attacking on command, the machine’s body can also raise up to four feet in the air to tackle obstacles in its path or crouch down 23 inches to hide from enemies.

Operators can add different payloads to the tank such as manipulator arms, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, sensors and radars, and remotely controlled weapons. And since the machine is a combat-ready platform, its creators designed it to endure damages, provided with protection and redundancy for sensitive areas.


Allowing [robots] to determine when to use force would undermine human dignity. Keeping a human in the loop on decisions to use force further ensures that accountability for unlawful acts is possible

In March, a top Pentagon official gave a tantalizing peek into several projects that not long ago were the stuff of science fiction, including missile-dodging satellites, self-flying F-16 fighters and robot naval fleets.

Though the Pentagon is not planning to build devices that can kill without human input, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work hinted that could change if enemies with fewer qualms create such machines.

We might be going up against a competitor that is more willing to delegate authority to machines than we are, and as that competition unfolds we will have to make decisions on how we best can compete,’ he said.

Work, who helps lead Pentagon efforts to ensure the US military keeps its technological edge, described several initiatives, including one dubbed ‘Loyal Wingman’ that would see the Air Force convert an F-16 warplane into a semi-autonomous and unmanned fighter that flies alongside a manned F-35 jet.

‘It is going to happen,’ Work said of this and other unmanned systems.

Pentagon researchers also are developing small bombs that use cameras and sensors to improve their targeting capabilities. Other projects include robot boats and a hyper-velocity gun — known as the electromagnetic rail-gun — that can blast a projectile out at an astonishing 4,500 miles (7,250 kilometers) per hour.

And although it can only top speeds of 7 mph, this vehicle was built to be tamper proof. QinetiQ developed the MAARS UGV through contracts with various agencies in the Department of Defense, including US SOCOM, and is currently testing the machines with US Marines.

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