China shows off trio of new robots, one armed with guns and grenades, to help fight "global terror"By Rob Thubron
A Chinese firm has revealed a trio of small 'attack robots,' including one model that carries rifles and grenade launchers, designed to help in the fight against "global terror," the country's state media reported.
The three robots were unveiled at the 2015 World Robot Conference in Beijing. Xinhua news agency said: '"The toy-sized robots can coordinate with each other on the battlefield."
The first model, known as the scout or reconnaissance robot, is responsible for seeking out poisonous gasses, deadly chemicals and explosives through the use of its camera and sensors. Once the scout detects a danger, it sends the information back to headquarters for further analysis.
If the recon robot discovers a simple bomb, the second model - a small explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robot - is sent in. The 26-pound EOD machine is tasked with moving and defusing the explosive device, providing the bomb isn't overly complex. The robot is made of aluminum and industrial plastic and is designed to be carried on a soldier's back.
For threats involving armed hostiles, the attacker robot can be called in. This model is armed with minor-caliber weapons, recoilless rifles, and grenade launchers. "With a sighting telescope, a trigger and a safe installed, the attacker [robot] can hit its target from a long distance," Xinhua said.
The three robots are priced at 1.5 million yuan (around $235,000) for the set. The local police force in Beijing has reportedly already bought three of the machines from maker HIT Robot Group, who are based in the northern city of Harbin.
"Apart from anti-terror operations, they can also be applied in fire fighting, public security, forestry and agriculture," the company's sales manager Chen Deqiang said, according to Xinhua.