Cyber-soldiers may save lives

In a way, H.R. “Bart” Everett is looking for a few good robots. Since the Iraq war began in March 2003, the Pentagon has counted 2,376 fatalities among U.S. troops, with nearly one-third, or 767 deaths, caused by booby traps known as IEDs, or improvised explosive devices. Now, recent advances in robotics offer a way to use machines to assume some of the deadliest jobs on the battlefield. “Basically, the robot is our answer to the suicide bomber,” said Everett, technical director for robotics at the Navy’s robotics lab in San Diego. Everett also views the robot as the answer to disarming Iraqi booby traps, providing base security, monitoring weapons depots and other tasks.

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