As far as most people are concerned, the current wave of robotic automation that’s sweeping the globe is frightening enough. But the automation of warfare is probably by far the scariest technological development of the modern era. Never ones to be outdone by anyone else, the United States Marine Corps has decided to join this robot revolution, by developing their very own warbot.
The 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines are currently testing the aptly named MAARS robot, which stands for Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System. For now the tracked vehicle is being fielded in Camp Pendleton, but in the future, MAARS could be accompanying infantry squads into battle.
The vehicle can either be equipped with an M240B machine gun while carrying 400 rounds of ammunition, or alternatively a 40mm grenade launcher can be mounted on it. MAARS is remote controlled and can travel up to 7mph for 8 to 12 hours. It’s also capable of dragging wounded soldiers away from danger. However, it still needs to be reloaded by humans and can’t travel on all of the same terrain that a living soldier can.
But some of these issues may be worked out in the future. The Marine Corps is also looking into ground-based support vehicles that are fully autonomous. The Marines testing this robot may not know it yet, but they could very well be working out the technical kinks for their future replacement.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.