The U.S. military is shooting robots to make better Marines

The robots can take thousands of bullets and keep on going

They're not the kind of thing you might expect to see on a battlefield, but a four-wheeled robot recently tested by the U.S. Marines could help make better soldiers.

The robots are a replacement for the paper targets typically used on military firing ranges and will trundle out from behind walls and buildings to provide a more realistic training environment.

They look a little goofy -- something like the upper half of a mannequin grafted onto a piece of construction machinery -- but they're more than that.

160218 m vz998 435 John Baker/DOD

Autonomous Robotic Human Type Targets make their way off of a firing range Feb. 18, 2016, at Camp Pendleton, California.

The robots use a GPS guidance system and laser-based obstacle avoidance system that can sense objects up to 25 meters away. The robots can be remotely controlled by an operator from a laptop and will even send back data on when and where they were hit by bullets.

Marines from the 1st Marine Division tested them out recently at Camp Pendleton in California and the initial response was good.

The Department of Defense released video of the exercise, showing Marines shooting at the targets. The targets indicated when they had been hit by the upper body portion falling at an angle.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the robots is their endurance. The manufacturer says each robot can be shot thousands of times while still maintaining its structure.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?