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BEAR Robot Designed To Rescue Wounded Soldiers

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the ursine-rescue dept.

Medicine 104

Zothecula writes "The US Army is currently testing a robot designed to locate, lift, and carry wounded soldiers out of harm's way without risking additional lives. With feedback from its on-board sensors and cameras, the Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot (BEAR) can be remotely controlled through the use of a special M-4 rifle grip controller or by hand gestures using an AnthroTronix iGlove motion glove. This equipment would allow a soldier to direct BEAR to a wounded soldier and transport them to safety where they can be assessed by a combat medic."

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don't ask, don't tell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34346816)

bear (noun) -- A large, hairy, homosexual man.

Re:don't ask, don't tell (2, Funny)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347580)

I resemble that remark.

--TrisexualPuppy

Shardik? (2, Insightful)

No Lucifer (1620685) | more than 2 years ago | (#34346822)

"See the BEAR of fearsome size, all the world's within his eyes..."

Re:Shardik? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34347204)

See the turtle of enormous girth...

and so the first thing the robot can say will be: (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#34346838)

"What is the number of your life insurance policy?"

Re:and so the first thing the robot can say will b (1)

thedarkchaos (1947234) | more than 2 years ago | (#34346868)

"What is the number of your life insurance policy?"

"Before I treat you, please confirm you are not openly gay."

Re:and so the first thing the robot can say will b (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347130)

"What is the number of your life insurance policy?"

"Before I treat you, please confirm you are not openly gay."

You are not supposed to ask that.

Re:and so the first thing the robot can say will b (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 2 years ago | (#34352288)

No, you're not supposed to ask if they're gay. Asking if they're openly gay would just be a way of confirming whether they're keeping up the "don't tell" side of the bargain :)

Re:and so the first thing the robot can say will b (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34357970)

"What is the number of your life insurance policy?"

"Before I treat you, please confirm you are not openly gay."

You are not supposed to ask that.

Those rules only apply to humans. A robot can ask perfectly well, since it's hardly going to be called to the witless stand, is it? Any more than a piece of cloth is going to be arrested for participating in waterboarding.

Combat situation (3, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#34346844)

In under-fire situations, I understand the need to reduce casualties. Can this thing move fast enough to really get the job done? I mean, its not like our guys are fighting in speed-ball arenas, with nice and neat little pathways to the downed. Much of the time the terrain is shelled, broken remnants of buildings, cars, misc. crap is scattered everywhere, and tracked-robot friendly areas seem sparse. What about mountain fighting? If I were the Taliban (there I said it, fuck you Medal of Honor), I would target these things, they would stick out like a sore thumb. Its not like 'not shooting medics' has ever really been respected lately (by both sides).

Re:Combat situation (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34346928)

Wouldn't it make sense to carry the soldier inside an armoured cavity? That way the soldier is protected as soon as the robot arrives. I wouldn't want to be in this robot's arms, being carried though live fire. "Sitting duck" comes to mind. It would also be nice if the lifting could be done in a way that would not exacerbate a spinal injury. Why not put an air skirt around the soldier, and lift him on a bed of air?

Re:Combat situation (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#34346972)

Only problem with that is if BEAR gets damaged. The soldier is then trapped.

Re:Combat situation (2, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347944)

If you do that then the soldiers might start asking why they're not outfitted with better armor in the first place.

Re:Combat situation (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 2 years ago | (#34350560)

If you do that then the soldiers might start asking why they're not outfitted with better armor in the first place.

Not likely. Most guys, if they can, try to avoid wearing the extra bits like DAPS because it's already too heavy and restrictive.

Re:Combat situation (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#34352746)

Sort of reminds me of the scene where the guy took out the back plate of his vest only to end up shot in the back.

I would understand maybe special ops like Delta Force, SEALS, SAS, etc. going in with light armor - after all, they typically move hard and fast and in small teams. If they get into a large direct firefight then they're doing their job wrong.

But honestly, a soldier going into combat without adequate armor is like a soldier going into combat with just a handgun. He'd get berated if he didn't have a good rifle but it slides if he doesn't have good armor?

The sad thing is the government would have to do a cost/benefit analysis of the "value" of a soldier's life (including insurance payments to widows/family) versus the cost of armor and its average expected lifetime. In fact, I imagine it's already been done and that's why they don't have decent armor. We have the greatest and most advanced military in the world and our soldiers should be equipped as such.

Re:Combat situation (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34357988)

If you do that then the soldiers might start asking

Stop right there, soldier. You're not supposed to ask ; you're supposed to DO!

Now get down and give me twenty!

No, no, push-ups! Are you angling for a discharge? Or a job in the TSA?

Re:Combat situation (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#34353480)

"Why not put an air skirt around the soldier, and lift him on a bed of air?"

Hills and ditches and lumps and bumps would defeat that in short order. There is good reason hovercraft are used only over water or flat ground.

Re:Combat situation (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#34346978)

I envisaged something which you would ride inside protected somewhat from hazards. I don't see the benefit in looking a bit like a human.

Re:Combat situation (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347082)

Even the nazis didn't shoot medics (on occasion). Oh and hey guy: medics don't "reduce casualties", they merely attempt to take care of the ones that do occur. This is merely an extension of getting robots to do dangerous, dirty, and replaceable jobs. [apologies to real military medics, you people are angels]

In addition, I'm additionally curious - how would you distinguish a Taliban medic? Do they wear Red Cross armbands? Errr....no. The Cross is a symbol of the hated infidel. (Awkward) Which country's armed forces to the Taliban's medics serve in? What rank do they hold? How many medics are allocated by their government per 100 soldiers? When did the government the Taliban represents sign the Geneva conventions? Here's a link to a story [samaa.tv] about a wounded Taliban commander. The Taliban kidnapped a civilian doctor from a hospital and demanded he treat their man at gunpoint. What does that say about your mythical Taliban medics and "both sides" violating some sort of made-up restrictions?

Seriously, man, if the immediate frame of reference you resort to is a video game, you really don't have any place discussing such a topic among adults. Lemme guess, there's some medic role in the game that lets you rez dead soldiers, or drop healing packets about the landscape? How does the terrain get "shelled" by the Taliban? Is it their artillery pieces behind the front lines? Oops, they don't do front lines. (Awkward...again) Since you don't got any way of knowing anything but by what you see in the media, lemme give you a quote from "Band of Brothers", Episode 3, 'Day of Days' an entertainment product with which surely you are familiar.

Malarkey: "I think one of those dead Krauts has a Luger!"
Guarnere: "So what?!"
Petty: "Jesus Christ! Malarkey!"
Liebgott: "Now you stop firing? Beautiful!"
Malarkey: "Shit..."
Petty: "Christ, they must think he's a medic or something!"

Winters: "That night I took time to thank God for seeing me through that day of days. And prayed I would make it through D-day plus 1. And if somehow I managed to get home again, I promised God and myself that I would find a quiet piece of land someplace and spend the rest of my life in peace."

Re:Combat situation (1, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347114)

how would you distinguish a Taliban medic? Do they wear Red Cross armbands?

Red crescent more likely.

Re:Combat situation (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347146)

Don't waste your breath. The remark you're quibbling about is embedded in an entire paragraph that argues against worrying about the international laws of civilized warfare. Just be grateful that the little thug mastered basic literacy and hope he enjoys his TSA handjob over the holidays.

Re:Combat situation (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347244)

Soooo many unspoken assumptions in that post. Let's review them one by one, shall we?

1) The Taliban worries about the international laws of civilized warfare. LOL. When did they become civilized, much less sign treaties?
2) Anyone who disagrees with me must be a thug.
3) Such a person must live in America and endure frequent air travel.
4) Such a person celebrates American Christan-based "holidays".

Aren't culturally-based assumptions fun? Sorry, I'll stop injecting inconvenient truths into internet discussions now.

Re:Combat situation (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348954)

"Christian-based holidays"? Which ones? Surely you can't be talking about Yule...

Re:Combat situation (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 2 years ago | (#34352320)

What, you didn't know that the annual burned offering of turkey was a Christian religious ceremony??

Re:Combat situation (2, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347160)

Spoken as a true ignorant. Lemme check the website [ifrc.org] . Nope! I don't see Taliban listed anywhere. I see the League of Arab States, but the Taliban aren't Arabs. It seems the Red Cross are training Taliban [telegraph.co.uk] . *awkward cough* *tumbleweed*

Re:Combat situation (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347194)

We seem to be in agreement. Red cresent and red cross are essentially the same thing. Red cross is training people in Taliban areas to give first aid. US military medics don't work for the red cross, even if they (like myself) had some training from that organization.

Re:Combat situation (2, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348168)

It seems the Red Cross are training Taliban [telegraph.co.uk] . *awkward cough* *tumbleweed*

That's right. The ICRC is an international humanitarian organization, which has a policy of neutrality. Their only goal is to save lives, without regard to political affiliation. They provide medical assistance to both the Afghan government and the Taliban. NATO accepts that.

The ICRC comes in pretty handy when the NATO governments have to deal with the Taliban, for example in prisoner exchanges, locating kidnap victims, or in their eventual peace negotiations.

Re:Combat situation (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349320)

Spoken as a true ignorant. Lemme check the website [ifrc.org] . Nope! I don't see Taliban listed anywhere. I see the League of Arab States, but the Taliban aren't Arabs. It seems the Red Cross are training Taliban [telegraph.co.uk] . *awkward cough* *tumbleweed*

Your first link is to the site of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, i.e. they are essentially interchangeable. GP was answering your point that it would be awkward for the Taliban to use the Red Cross, but it is no more ignorant to say they use the Red Crescent than the Red Cross.

As for your second statement, the job of the Red Cross is to help save lives, not decide that some are more worthy than others. An injured Taliban fighter has as much right to medical assistance as a US soldier.

Re:Combat situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34348178)

Yes, there is a Red Crescent, but the GP post is absolutely right, there is no medical corps in the Taliban.

Since it's likely that you are in Australia (based on your site referencing locations in Melbourne), why don't you just go to a local Army recruiter and ask someone who may actually have a clue?

Re:Combat situation (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348132)

Here's a link to a story [samaa.tv] about a wounded Taliban commander. The Taliban kidnapped a civilian doctor from a hospital and demanded he treat their man at gunpoint. What does that say about your mythical Taliban medics and "both sides" violating some sort of made-up restrictions?

They didn't have to kidnap doctors. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was serving in Afghanistan for 30 years. They provided care from their clinics to everyone in need, without regard to political affiliations. They were scrupulously neutral and refused to align themselves with either side. They contacted the village elders and other local contacts in the communities they worked in, and through those local contacts they arranged permission from the Taliban and other parties to the combat.

MSF did have one rule: no weapons on their premises. Everybody seems to have abided by that rule.

MSF and the other non-aligned aid workers did have a problem after the U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan. The U.S. forces brought their own military-affiliated aid workers, and used them as part of their propaganda campaign. They dropped leaflets telling the local people that if they turned in the Taliban, the U.S. forces would give them medical treatment and other assistance. Colin Powell referred to aid workers as "force extenders." That was the opposite of medical neutrality (and in the U.S. would be a violation of medical ethics).

As a result, the unaffiliated aid workers like MSF and Oxfam got confused with the U.S.-sponsored aid workers, and several of their workers got killed. They had to leave Afghanistan because it was too dangerous.

According to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal, MSF and Oxfam finally reached an understanding with the Taliban and have returned.

The U.S.-sponsored aid workers were going around wearing body armor and using contractors for protection. The Afghan government kicked out the contractors, so the aid workers refused to operate there any more.

The moral: If you go into a conflict to deliver medical care and other aid, with no ulterior motive, the people there will appreciate you and the forces on all sides will tolerate you.

If you politicize medical care and aid, and try to use it to bribe people away from the opposing forces, the opposing forces will correctly see you as the enemy and try to kill you.

(After all, in Nicaragua under the Sandinistas, the U.S. supported insurgents who killed medical workers in Sandinista clinics.)

Nonviolence works better than guns.

Re:Combat situation (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348276)

They didn't have to kidnap doctors.

Dude, you didn't even read the ****ing story. "A doctor was kidnapped from Hango for treating the TTP chief." What part of that do you not understand? How do you ever expect anyone to ever take you seriously with that intentionally blinkered attitude?

Re:Combat situation (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349350)

They didn't have to kidnap doctors.

Dude, you didn't even read the ****ing story. "A doctor was kidnapped from Hango for treating the TTP chief." What part of that do you not understand? How do you ever expect anyone to ever take you seriously with that intentionally blinkered attitude?

GP was explaining that, if the US hadn't decided to politicise medical assistance, there wouldn't have been this story in the first place.

Re:Combat situation (2, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349630)

GP was explaining that, if the US hadn't decided to politicise medical assistance, there wouldn't have been this story in the first place.

That's right. The Taliban could have taken their commander to a Doctors Without Borders clinic, who would have treated him without regard to his politics, just as they treat everybody else.

Re:Combat situation (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349366)

Did you see the words "have to" in that post? Apparently not.

Re:Combat situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34350182)

Please shut up you ignorant moron.

Re:Combat situation (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 2 years ago | (#34352364)

Nonviolence works better than guns.

If your goal is to provide medical assistance, sure. If your goal is to remove a government, not so much.

Re:Combat situation (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#34353476)

The Coalition Forces haven't removed the Taliban in 9 years, and show no signs of doing so.

In Iraq, I still don't know what the original goal was, but we replaced a brutal, efficient dictator with even more brutal, inefficient mob rule, reduced one of the most developed economies in the middle east to a third world country, and turned an enemy of Al Qaeda into a recruiting ground for Al Qaeda. Heckuva job, Bushie.

There may be some limited circumstances when military violence is effective in achieving a legitimate government goal, but I can count on the fingers of one hand the times in which the U.S. was involved in such a situation in the last 100 years, and in some of those situations, the U.S. was on the wrong side.

Re:Combat situation (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34357952)

The Coalition Forces haven't removed the Taliban in 9 years, and show no signs of doing so.

That is, in a word, retarded. I didn't bother reading the rest.

Re:Combat situation (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348290)

When did the government the Taliban represents sign the Geneva conventions?

Signatories are obligated to apply these Conventions in conflict with non-signatory powers, as long as the opponents implicitly accept and apply them themselves. Now that may not be the case, but it is an important distinction, particularly since "the Taliban" are decentralized and don't have a legitimate authority that would be able to ratify and enforce such a treaty.

Re:Combat situation (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348380)

'Even the nazis didn't shoot medics (on occasion)'

Wounded soldiers are way more damaging to the enemy than dead ones.

Dead ones get buried, most of them (drafted) not being married it's just that, no additional payments besides notifying the parents.

Wounded soldiers need medical attention, food, shelter, payments, transport, helicopters, hospitals, prosthetics, doctors, nurses....

And all that sometimes for years or decades.

Re:Combat situation (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#34353556)

"how would you distinguish a Taliban medic? "

By his uniform and marking with appropriate recognized symbols such as the Red Crescent. Otherwise he's an unlawful combatant/criminal/partisan.

It used to be legal (quite reasonably) to shoot those without uniforms who were bearing arms on the field of battle on the spot. The movement, post-Nuremburg, to outlaw warfare by those who actually obey the laws of war (it's an opt-in thing) has since made things more difficult.

The "benefit" of outlawing victory is long, long wars.

Re:Combat situation (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356830)

I thought that was the benefit of going on wars of adventure with no clear goal. Oops, silly me, it's our respect for human life that holding us back from... imposing democracy on these people for their own good. What?

Re:Combat situation (2, Insightful)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347136)

If I were the Taliban, I would target these things, they would stick out like a sore thumb. Its not like 'not shooting medics' has ever really been respected lately (by both sides).

I'm sure it can be made more discrete (more in the vein of a typical soldier, albeit identifiable by its weird movement). The Taliban can shoot at it all they want: it's ideal to have them shooting at the robot rather than anyone else. (Honestly that is a silly priority for them to have given that the 'anyone else' is likely to be trying to kill them.) Doubtless you can put a lot of armor on it. Even if they're making a point of trying to kill the wounded individual (again, a bad priority on their part) the robot is still serving the invaluable function of eliminating the "do we risk injuring more guys to save our wounded guy" dilemma. That's a major tactical boon even if the robot's effectiveness is somewhere between poor and mediocre.

As for its versatility, it actually looks [gizmag.com] quite capable. You can see two sets of treads connected on an arm. I'd imagine it could even go up stairs.

Re:Combat situation (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34347346)

My big question is, "How does this improve on our current capabilities?"

Contrary to the parent's argument, robots are extremely effective at retrieving wounded soldiers (no we aren't fighting in shelled, battered urban terrain, this isn't Medal of Honor). We know this because we already have a robot that does this. The TALON robot's interrogator arm is strong enough to grip a soldier's gear and drag him out of danger. It wasn't designed or developed to do that, and its not one of its advertised capabilities, but if you ask anyone who has ever used a TALON they'll tell you that it does a solid job of retrieving casualties.

This just seems like an extremely overcomplicated version of the TALON, and worse, it seems to place the soldiers at greater risk. If you've got a wounded soldier out there and they're in the open, you don't want something to pick them up off the ground and carry them back, you want it to keep them as low to the ground as possible. Even in basic training we're taught not to use the fireman's carry if you're under direct fire, and instead stay low and drag the wounded behind you. The TALON already does just that. What's more, this special new rifle grip controller sounds cool and all, but when you're already asking the average infantryman to carry close to 100 lbs (~40 kg) on the approach march, every extra pound start to seem ridiculous.

Re:Combat situation (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349380)

Don't you want to have some way of determining that it's appropriate to drag a wounded soldier along the ground? Wouldn't this sometimes cause more harm than good?

Re:Combat situation (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 2 years ago | (#34350248)

This is combat, with people shooting all the time at you. With judgment on to move you or not being done by fellow soldiers, with *some* medical training if you are lucky enough to be near a medic.

This is not a clean hospital setting, with fully qualified doctors examining all your various wounds to determine what the exact consequences would be of dragging you.

For the vast majority of wounded soldiers, being dragged out is going to be much preferable to the likelihood of being shot. For a very few it wouldn't. But there isn't likely going to be anyone on hand who could competently assess that. Even if they could, they'd likely get shot themselves before retrieving the soldier. Bear-type machines are the way to go.

Re:Combat situation (1)

steeleyeball (1890884) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347402)

Hey make lots of cheap fake ones and get the Taliban to waste their ammo... They slow down when they reload.

Re:Combat situation (1)

joe_kull (238178) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347456)

As an American soldier, I'll come out and say that I'd rather the Taliban shot the robot than the real medic. View these like bomb-disposal robots: they're not intended to be better at the actual task (inspecting a bomb or dragging a casualty) than a human, they're intended to do these tasks in situations where you'd hesitate to risk a human. Or, given that most medics I've known will take the risk anyway, at least give the human another option.

Re:Combat situation (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348016)

A military doctor told me what the problem was in Iraq. They tended to get injuries two or three at a time. The marines would go across a mine field, hit a mine, and get a leg blown off. They would call "Medic," and the medic would run up to them -- and get a leg blown off. Then another medic would try to rescue them, and also get a leg blown off. It sounded pretty difficult to rescue a soldier from a mine field.

Maybe that's what they were thinking of with these robots.

There doesn't seem to be any practical way to protect a soldier's foot from a mine. You can't have protective soles or anything. The physics makes it impossible.

Re:Combat situation (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348402)

So the new method would be:

'The marines would go across a mine field, hit a mine, and get a leg blown off. They would call "Bear" and the bear would roll up to them -- and get a wheel blown off. Then another bear would try to rescue them, and also get a wheel blown off.'

Much better.

Re:Combat situation (2, Insightful)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349396)

At least the bear could carry a few easily replaceable spare wheels, not so easy with human feet.

Re:Combat situation (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349388)

I thought standard operating procedure was to follow directly in someone's path in a minefield if you're going to rescue them? Don't the pathfinders leave a trail or something?

Re:Combat situation (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 2 years ago | (#34352442)

Minefields aren't exactly common in Iraq. I'd say your military doctor was either talking out of his ass, or maybe he was talking about a different war and you misunderstood. The scenario you're describing is more common when dealing with sniper fire, or just a regular engagement.

A real problem (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349228)

would be that this thing might just be another piece of equipment that has to be lugged around the battlefield by foot soldiers, further weighing them down, making them slowoer, easier targets for a light, fast moving enemy. Will we have to put people into harms way just to fly or airdrop one of these things near to where they might be needed.

Sometimes I get the feeling that we are slowly loosing this war, because of the need to make so many different contractors so much money in the process. I think a requirement for these kinds of things on the battlefield is that the guy with the bright idea needs to be on the frontlines as these things are tested.

Re:A real problem (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 2 years ago | (#34352458)

would be that this thing might just be another piece of equipment that has to be lugged around the battlefield by foot soldiers, further weighing them down, making them slowoer, easier targets for a light, fast moving enemy

The wonderful thing about modern combat is that no matter how fast the other guy might be, it's pretty unlikely that he's faster than a radio signal, an artillery shell, or a hellfire missile.

Re:Combat situation - target practice (1)

dogzdik (1700552) | more than 3 years ago | (#34358130)

Bringing home the (minced meat) remains.

So why not... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#34346876)

... just get the BEARs to do the fighting in the first place?

Then if we ever get into an equal fight, our bears can fight their bears, we'll televise the whole damn thing and make millions in concessions and merch!

Re:So why not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34346912)

Tis indeed a plan ..the flaw with which is "The Inevitable Bear Uprising".

Human nature being as it is tho, doubt we will be truly happy until we perfect a machine that will usurp our race.

Re:So why not... (2, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347152)

No doubt both sides would outsource BEAR remote control to the same big company on the outskirts of Mumbai...

Scary. (4, Funny)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 2 years ago | (#34346892)

I'm on the battlefield, wounded, afraid and possibly delerious, and up rolls the bastard offspring of Wall-E and pedobear? [gizmag.com]

Not Wall-E... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34346994)

It looks more like Johnny 5 [imdb.com] to me.

Airports... (2, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347058)

My first thought at seeing the picture was that this was some new TSA insult.

Re:Scary. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34347166)

Think instead what an "enemy" soldier would think...

Say you're holed up in the Afghan mountains, clutching your 30-year-old Kalashnikov, hoping you have enough goat-meat to last the week.

You manage to wound one of the infidels, and then you see him being rescued by some unbelievable contraption that cost more more than all other objects you've ever seen in your life.

What's Afghani for "WTF?"

Re:Scary. It gets worse.... (1)

Motard (1553251) | more than 2 years ago | (#34350852)

Imagine staring into his kindly, beary face as he pumps you full of morphine.

The Power Glove (1)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 2 years ago | (#34346902)

It's so bad....

Re:The Power Glove (1)

CyberDragon777 (1573387) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348518)

Yeah, they should use a Kinect instead!

Dangerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34346904)

This thing looks ideal to give the enemy better target exposure, i.e. to finish the soldier off, when that was difficult while it was lying on the ground.

Re:Dangerous (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349428)

Why would you bother finishing an injured soldier off? It's more of a burden on the enemy to have lots of injured non-combatants.

This is the purely cynical reason, irrespective of "warriors' honour" type arguments.

Re:Dangerous (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34355412)

So he will be included in the number of American deaths in a war, thus discouraging further recruitment -- perfectly reasonable tactic when you are trying to get an aggressor off your soil. No one in US, certainly not public, seems to be aware of the number of wounded.

sad (-1, Offtopic)

q554023666 (1947640) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347092)

Replica Handbags [only4handbags.com] has stirred up a legal controversy in the art world for selling Replica Handbag [only4handbags.com] and other items in contravention of California law at a recent exhibit. ——

So much positivity with this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34347200)

It sounds goofy as hell and it looks even worse, but it's not human...

It can be shot, blown-up or even run out of battery power; whatever the negative situation you can think of for the robot. But plain and simple, if it does get destroyed, there's not a family crying about it back home.

If it can save lives, or even have a minuscule chance at saving lives, then it's worth it. Put yourself in the soldiers situation where he's lost an arm and leg in an IED attack and tell me you wouldn't welcome one of these (obvious example of robotic takeover) coming to get you.

Re:So much positivity with this... (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347520)

But plain and simple, if it does get destroyed, there's not a family crying about it back home.

Instead, there's a CEO, a Senator, and two Congresscritters rejoicing, because they get to sell another one.

But plain and simple, if it does get destroyed, there's not a family crying about it back home.

I'd rather a phalanx of these things go first. I'll drive one from back here.

Marine Lt: "C'mon men, lets take this hill!"
Army Lt: "Ok...you guys go take that hill!"
USAF SrA: "Ok, Lt, you go...we'll be here when you get back."

Re:So much positivity with this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34347996)

Any lives saved on side A in a war will likely result in loss of life for side B.

Re:So much positivity with this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34352644)

Thank you Captain Obvious!

It's Official (2, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347320)

The US military is officially just a giant rube goldberg contraption designed to transfer tax monies to defense contractors.

I think this might even beat out the guys who manage to sell their anti-gravity tesla coils to the pentagon.

Re:It's Official (1)

unkiereamus (1061340) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348996)

I am a civilian medic, I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever likely be, a military medic.

Perhaps the hardest thing I've ever done in my career, and the hardest thing I was told I might have to do in my training, was stand off at a safe distance while a man screamed for help at the center of a hazmat incident. I didn't go in to help him, because if I did, I would likely become another patient myself. This is, I imagine a roughly analogous situation to a combat casualty.

I still have the occasional nightmare about his screams, but I know I did the right thing.

If I'd had a robot to send in to drag him out so I could treat him, I would have paid for it with my own salary for the rest of my life if that's what it took.

Don't tell me this thing is not useful, or a waste of money, not until you wake up in the middle of the night sweating because you couldn't save him.

Re:It's Official (1)

unkiereamus (1061340) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349012)

I am a civilian medic, I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever likely be, a military medic.

Perhaps the hardest thing I've ever done in my career, and the hardest thing I was told I might have to do in my training, was stand off at a safe distance while a man screamed for help at the center of a hazmat incident. I didn't go in to help him, because if I did, I would likely become another patient myself. This is I imagine, a roughly analogous situation to a combat casualty.

I still have the occasional nightmare about his screams, but I know I did the right thing.

If I'd had a robot to send in to drag him out so I could treat him, I would have paid for it with my own salary for the rest of my life if that's what it took.

Don't tell me this thing is not useful, or a waste of money, not until you wake up in the middle of the night sweating because you couldn't save him.

(If this is a double post, forgive me, some funkiness happened the first time I tried to post.)

Parody? Satire? Ironyyyyyyy (3, Insightful)

ZirconCode (1477363) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347338)

This is the funniest thing I've read today. So you want to send human soldiers into harms way but you then want to develop technology which can do a humans work to retrieve them without causing any further harm to your soldiers? Really?! War....

Re:Parody? Satire? Ironyyyyyyy (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347914)

The development of "technology which can do a humans work ... without causing any further harm to your soldiers" has been pretty much the entire point of military technology since we first chipped spearheads out of flint. Most of that technology, of course, has been designed to do the work of causing death rather than preventing it, but the fundamental idea is the same: make it as easy as possible to accomplish the mission and come home alive.

Is there a model for civilians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34347476)

Once the republicans roll back health care maybe they will support doctor robots for the rest of us. They tend to support anything military related.

Search for "Cavalry" returns nothing. (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#34347702)

Seriously, what the Hell?

Didn't we outsource to India??!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34347930)

What!!?? I thought we outsourced our military to India a loooong time ago. IF they can't pull their comrades out; maybe we need to outsource to the Chinese. So many of them they might not need to extract the wounded.

Where is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34348248)

If you have robots that can operate reasonably under enemy fire, why would you have sent humans in in the first place?

Of course, the real question is how any human problem can be solved by killing humans, and we have not figured this out for ten thousands of years.

Re:Where is the point? (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349064)

Low hanging fruit.

Rescue involves being directed to a point where you know an injuryed man is, identifing the only object there which reasembles an injured human, grabbing/lifting and moving back to a predefined point. All the while being watched over by a human who can overide wrong decisions because it would a relatively slow operation

Using a robot as infantry means making realtime decisions in path planning, finding cover, identifying objects which are probably under cover and at distance and even when you spot a human you have to identify it as friendly/neutral/foe before you can engage and being able to counter against an intelligent target which doesn't want to be attacked.

The 2 roles are complete different. One being not so different from what warehouse robots can already do prehaps with the addition of off-road navigation compared to a concrete floor of a warehouse. The other something which has never even been demostrated.

Re:Where is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34352906)

Of course, the real question is how any human problem can be solved by killing humans, and we have not figured this out for ten thousands of years.

Maybe morons like you haven't figured it out, but the rest of us get it just fine: if you want to take my stuff and I kill you, I get to keep my stuff. Problem solved.

I'm deeply concerned (3, Insightful)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348272)

It seems as though one day armies (at least the US') will be composed of robots killing humans. I'm not going to trot out the usual OMG SKYNET!! sentiment, though. What concerns me is that there'll be at least one nation that will be out there making war without suffering much in the way of human loss: where will be the incentive to stop?

Take a lesson from one of your own:

It is well that war is so terrible - otherwise we would grow too fond of it. - Lee, December 1862

When I think that after ten millennia of so-called civilisation we as a species still resort to murder to solve our differences I despair, I truly do.

Re:I'm deeply concerned (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 2 years ago | (#34350158)

When I think that after ten millennia of so-called civilisation we as a species still resort to murder to solve our differences I despair, I truly do.

and how do you propose we deal with an enemy, who has a loaded gun pointed at us? Giftbasket? Hug-it-out? Give in to demands?

I too would like to live in John Lennon's imaginary world, but its not really feasible.

Re:I'm deeply concerned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34351086)

Who has a loaded gun pointed at you, and why don't you just walk away?

Re:I'm deeply concerned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34352038)

"and how do you propose we deal with an enemy, who has a loaded gun pointed at us? "

We can start by leaving the country which has not attacked "us", which "we" invaded based
on a flimsy pretext. You know, like Iraq and Afghanistan.

As for you, "combatso", you really are a simple-minded fuck.

Re:I'm deeply concerned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34350956)

where will be the incentive to stop?

Gundams.

Re:I'm deeply concerned (1)

spambucket235 (1258304) | more than 3 years ago | (#34356056)

Certainly every soldier on the battlefield knows or should know that he's going to get shot at and that he can be shot & killed at any time and, thus, I agree that a robot to carry soldiers out of harm's way is a non-sequitur.

However, I think there is a good reason to develop the technology... Who says that the BEAR robot can only be used to rescue soldiers? I think we can all imagine some scenarios where using a robot to carry civilians out of harm's way would be very useful.

Even though I'm puzzled as the rest of you to see the military developing such technology, I'm hopeful that this technology could be spun-off for civilian use. Maybe it will... maybe it won't but here's to keeping my fingers crossed.

At least somebody in the Army is attempting to have a sense of humor by making the thing look like a Teddy Bear! ;)

Johnny 5 goes to war (1)

t0qer (230538) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348280)

Anyone else thinks this bears some good resemblance to the Short Circuit robot?

Re:Johnny 5 goes to war (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 2 years ago | (#34350172)

Anyone else thinks this bears some good resemblance to the Short Circuit robot?

Yeah, with pedo-bears head...

Typo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34348494)

Typo alert! It's the BEER robot...

Civil version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34348586)

Properly Enhanced for Domestic Operations BEAR.

Armed BEARs? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 2 years ago | (#34348740)

Why not make the logical step and fit weapons to the BEAR so you don't have to send the soldier into harms way in the first place? This thing has cameras and you could fit a camera to the weapon for sighting purposes... This thing is effectively a wireless waldo and not a real robot, so you still have a human in the loop on the trigger...

BEAR (1)

heidaro (1392977) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349112)

I for one welcome our BEAR overlords. It should also be noted that worker bears work to produce more bears.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34349372)

They should make a smaller version to save kids too. ...Call it "Pedo BEAR"

Why don't we cut out the (middle) man... (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#34349446)

How about we just send these robots into battle and let the men remote control them?

Then we save lives, well, at least, lives of those who have robots to control.

Then next we can give the robots AI, and maybe a global network or something to control/run them.

Ya, like call it like horizonnet? hmm, groundnet? naw, spacenet?

I'm sure we can think of a good name.

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