operator uses — offers advanced
command and control capabilities and
greater situational awareness around
the robot. The system gathers a large
array of situational feedback from the
SWORDS laid the groundwork for
sensing battle hazards with heat, gas,
chemical, and radiation sensors. These
report to the soldier wirelessly so they
know when and where it’s safe to
tread or what precautions to take.
MAARS also uses Blue Force
Tracking, a satellite and GPS tracking
technology that informs soldiers on
the locations of friendly forces, enemy
forces, and neutral areas.
The MAARS robot comes with
all-terrain tracks in the military style of
the old tanks. With these, it can scale
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stairs. It can also use wheels to travel
more quietly on other terrain, to be
Field personnel can equip the
robot with a robotic arm, numerous
weapons other than those described,
and a broad range of sensors. The
robotic manipulator arm can lift about
100 lbs. By replacing the gun turret
with the arm, soldiers can readily turn
the robotic war fighter into a device for
identifying and neutralizing explosives.
MAARS can also sense its
environment via its seven multi-mode
cameras. The operators can view
action the robot views in streaming
video. The robot uses day and night
thermal vision. The robot also gauges
its location and distances using a laser
range finder. The soldier-operators
know where they are pointing the
robot’s weapons in relation to the
robot’s surroundings, other people,
and themselves because of these
cameras. At about 350 lbs., the
complete MAARS system is the largest
member of the TALON robots, larger
than the SWORDS.
Foster-Miller has already shipped
its first MAARS robot to the US
military under a contract from the
Explosive Ordnance Disposal/Low-Intensity Conflict (EOD/LIC) program,
which is part of the Combating
Terrorism Technical Support Office
(CTTSO). This is the same program
that acquired the SWORDS robots. SV
Demo video MAARS robot
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Fox interview about Talon
(including MAARS) robots
Foster-Miller, SWORD vendor
Foster-Miller robotics technologies
12 SERVO 08.2008