Future Combat Systems: 'Please, just don't call it cute'


Not WALL-E. Before soldiers go into a building they send SUGV, the small unmanned ground vehicle. (Photo: Sally Adee)

Don't miss Sally Adee's coverage of the latest demonstration extravaganza organized by the Future Combat Systems, the US Army's giant techno modernization program -- a US $200 billion makeover that's generated all sorts of scurrying and flying contraptions (and also some controversy). Adee has posted a preview video here -- more to come. And here's an excerpt from one of her dispatches:

"Please, just don't call it cute," pleads one of the Fort Bliss soldiers, watching my face get all mushy as I gaze into the thermal cameras and laser range finders of the little surveillance robot. Earlier, I watched it rear up like a dog and peek over the ledge of a window to assure the combat team behind it that no surprises waited inside the building.

The morning's live combat exercise was available to anyone with the intestinal fortitude to get up at 0400 and make the jaw-rattling drive out to the Texas desert. There, soldiers tested the latest and greatest in military acronym technology--SUGV, UUGS and TUGS, UAS and B-kits--the major cornerstones of Future Combat Systems.

UPDATE: Here's the preview video.



IEEE Spectrum’s award-winning robotics blog, featuring news, articles, and videos on robots, humanoids, drones, automation, artificial intelligence, and more.
Contact us:  e.guizzo@ieee.org

Erico Guizzo
New York City
Senior Writer
Evan Ackerman
Washington, D.C.

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