Friday, March 09, 2007

Israeli Scientists Invent Combat Robot

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli defense firm on Thursday unveiled a portable robot billed as being capable of entering most combat zones alone and engaging enemies with an onboard armory that includes a machine-pistol and grenades.

The VIPeR, roughly the size of a small television, was invented as part of Israel's efforts to develop weaponry that could reduce the risks to its forces from hand-to-hand fighting against Palestinian or Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas.

The manufacturer, Elbit Systems Ltd., said that the VIPeR's small size and dual treads enable it to move "undeterred by stairs, rubble, dark alleys, caves or narrow tunnels".

As well as bomb-sniffing and bomb disposal equipment, the VIPeR can carry an Uzi machine-pistol or plant a grenade. The weapons would be aimed using an onboard video camera.

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