U.S. Army Robotics

Talon Robot

Ben Hughes, Managing Editor

On September 7th, the U.S. Army visited Mehlville High School to demonstrate the robotics and other interactive displays that the U.S. military has at their disposal. The idea of these demonstrations is to showcase the technology that the Army has to offer, along with some new job opportunities that come with the advanced technology.

The Talon Robot; one of the most used pieces of robotic equipment, has proven to be very useful in the field. The Talon is worth $180,000, and is often used for route clearing, explosives removal, and detecting hazardous material in lieu of a soldier. The Talon is operated by a soldier operating the control box from a safe location. The operator will drive the Talon into IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) to clear a route for ground troops.

The Talon weighs in at around one hundred and twenty five pounds and is equipped with a twenty-five pound arm and four cameras that are effective in daylight and at night. It has a battery life of eight hours and can be used in all sorts of terrains.  The Talon can even climb its way up a set of stairs. The operators are easily trained and the control box is very user friendly.

This is not the only unmanned technology. The Maars Robot (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System) is very similar to the Talon, but is always armed instead of just having the option to be armed. This is more of a weapon than it is a route-clearing device. The Maars is equipped with a M240 Machine Gun as its primary weapon, along with a grenade launcher.

This advanced technology is changing the military in so unimaginable ways. War will never be the same. Regular military life will never be the same. Close combat is becoming less frequent in this day and age. And despite the high costs, the bottom line is that the technology is saving lives and improving the lives of American soldiers all around the world.