The military is investing in robots from hefty unmanned vehicles to tiny Throwbots to perform a wide variety of previously impossible missions. To a designer, creating these robots is not only an amazing engineering challenge, but also a way to help save lives in the battlefield.
Wartime robots date back to World War II and the Cold War (check out these mid-20th century robots: German Goliaths and Soviet teletanks). Today, the military invests millions of dollars into testing and deploying automated systems so that robotic warfare can deliver new capabilities to those fighters at the tip of the spear.
Additionally, almost 500 police and security agencies, such as the FBI, CIA, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the U.S. Marshals, and the Army are using smaller robots for recon missions.
This compact robot –about 8 inches by 4.5 inches high – can be tossed into any kind of environment – like through a window, up a flight of stairs, or into a puddle of water – and thrive. It beams back video to its remote handler, and can take clear pictures in blackout conditions. Recon is even developing an anti-pirate magnetic variant, where it can be launched at the hull of a hijacked ship, stick to the side with magnetic feet, and roll up the hull and onto the deck.
The advantage is that each warrior can carry this small 1.2 lb robot in their backpack and deploy on their own. In five seconds, the robot stakes out a small urban area ahead of the fighter for safety and surveillance.
In this episode of the Product Design Show, Vince and Allison look at ReconRobotics engineers and how they used Creo to overcome design challenges in creating their one-man-operated, small and hearty robot, the Recon Scout XT.
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[Ed. This post was published in another PTC blog. It has been updated slightly.]
About the Author
Monica Simon holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Marketing by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She is continuously seeking for opportunities to enhance her Marketing skills, being Content Marketing one of the areas she is now focused on. She joined PTC in 1994 and have taken many different roles since then. At present, she is part of the Corporate Events Team, and her responsibilities include the development and execution of the Marketing and Communication Plan. She loves spending time with her family, practice sports and enjoy good reading. You can follow her at @mosieche or connect with her in LinkedIn.