By Deane Barker on June 23, 2004

Air Force Testing Robot Vehicles To Protect Bases, Forward Units: The future is now.

The vehicles can be programmed to patrol specific areas on their own and then alert an operator by radio if they come across something suspicious. The machines then can be remotely operated from laptop computers to identify, detain or attack intruders.

A human always is in the loop because the military doesn’t want to get into a “Robocop scenario” that gives machines complete discretion, Waltz said.

The vehicles have loudspeakers and microphones for challenging and questioning suspected intruders. A Phraselator enables the operator to select from a variety of languages.



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