It's not as if we haven't seen weapon-wielding robots before, but Robotex is aiming to create a new breed of mechanical soldier that's quick to build and cost effective.
The Silicon Valley startup has garnered quite a bit of funding from angel investors, and apparently, it has already created a two-foot tall, motorized robot that can travel ten miles per hour, spin around "on a dime," be controlled remotely and most importantly, "blow a ten-inch hole through a steel door with deadly accuracy from 400 meters." Reportedly, such a critter can be crafted for under $50,000, which is said to be "six times" cheaper than similar alternatives already being tested in Iraq. Of course, there's no telling how soon (or not) these things will actually be called into duty, but we can bet there's already a list forming to be the one behind the remote when it is.
25-year-old Adam Gettings, a self-taught engineer, has recently created Robotex AH - a two-foot tall, 10-mph-traveling machine that can blow a 10-inch hole through a steel door from a quarter mile away. It's also remote-controlled over an encrypted frequency that jams nearby radios and cell phones.
It took Gettings just six months to create Robotex, with assistance from shotgun maker Jerry Baber and ex-Disney imagineer Terry Izumi.
Izumi created this video of Robotex for Fortune Magazine. The robot can do some impressive tricks, including climbing stairs with its four wheels, rolling through a foot of water, and smoothly gliding over rocky terrain - while simultaneously firing its machine guns at specific targets, at 300 rounds per minute.
At a cost as low as $30,000 per robot, and with funding not from the government but from angel investors, the project is truly independent. Izumi, Gettings and Baber's unique skills and mentality for quick results lead to Robotex and a new company of the same name.
Now the inventors are facing perhaps a bigger challenge: trying to sell the robot to the government. Baber plans to get several robots on display in military company Blackwater's lobby, and hope they cause a stir and the public stands up for the technology.
"If moms and dads around the country find out this system is available while their sons are off sopping up bullets in Iraq, they're going to tear the White House down," he says. "This will take the soldiers out of harm's way."
Source: Gizmodo and InventorSpot