Also announced at AUSA, the U.S. Defense Department is fast-tracking deployment of a stair-climbing micro robot to deploy on special operations missions.
Designed by the Israeli Roboteam company, the Micro Tactical Ground Robot (or MTGR) can be carried by a single soldier. MTGR travels at 2 miles per hour and can climb 8-inch stairs, and this tough little fella can carry its own weight.
The micro robot was also built to clear obstacles and conduct complex maneuvers in extreme terrain with a line-of-sight operating range of 1,600 feet. To that end, it has five on-board cameras, an internal microphone and infrared laser pointers that can pinpoint a target 360 degrees around the robot.
Its encrypted radio allows streaming secure voice and video to tactical operators downrange.
Roboteam's Ruggedized Operator Control Unit, which comes in a 5-inch Android version and a two-handed, 7-inch Windows-based unit, controls the robot, its manipulator arm and onboard tech.
A robot this size equipped with this tech would be useful for situations involving tight spaces where a warfighter or canine would not fit or easily maneuver. For example, it could be used for underground threats like investigating tunnels in war zones.
MGTR is also built for to help dispose of explosive ordnance. At 20 pounds, the company says it is the world's lightest such platform.
The micro robot is in operational tests with the Pentagon's Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office who announced 100 of these robots will receive "priority fielding" to special operations forces.
The Pentagon expects Army Special Operations Command, Naval Special Warfare Command, Marine Corps combat engineer schoolhouse and the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team to use these micro robots. Thirty-five more of these robots will be deployed for domestic use by interagency tactical units.