Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot (BEAR)

The Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot (BEAR) has hydraulic arms that can support injured soldiers weighing up to 400 lbs -- more than most troopers in full gear -- and a system of wheels, tracks and joints that enable it to maneuver in all sorts of positions. The unit is being developed by VECNA Technologies primarily for military search-and-rescue missions.

The robot's legs also have wheels and tracks built into them that the robot can switch to by kneeling. Its head is designed to look like that of a teddy bear, to provide reassurance to the wounded soldier it is transporting.

It can balance on its back wheels to climb up a steep hill or roll over rough terrain while staying low to the ground. BEAR currently requires a human to drive it via remote control, but a more autonomous version is in the works.

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