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U.S. Army May Buy 3,000 Scorpion Robots for $400 Million

The Scorpion robot can open car doors, remove screws, dash through rough terrain, climb stairs, navigate tight corridors, and even operate submerged in water. The U.S. Army may buy 3,000 of them. Yeah, you can insert a quip about Skynet and the Apocalypse here.

The Scorpion — which was revealed yesterday by its manufacturer Endeavor Robotics — is a multi-purpose robot that may soon join units in the field to assist soldiers on the battlefield in a variety of purposes, from exploration to Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

In fact, according to the manufacturer, the Scorpion is an open architecture so it can be adapted to any purpose imaginable.

The robot is one of the two finalists in the competition to win the CRS-I US Army program— the Common Robotic System-Individual — an initiative that wants to put a cybercritter in each fighting units, with a designated human robot operator carrying one of these beasts in a rucksack just like there’s soldier designated to carry and operate the radio.

According to Endeavor Robotics, the Scorpion can be deployed in seconds and its design allows it to travel through any terrain and even work submerged. It can also recover from falls, putting itself back in the right position.

The company claims that Scorpion is made of lightweight composites, and each unit can be repaired with parts manufacturered on the field with a 3D printer. 

It has multiple high definition cameras that feed its signals to a touchscreen universal controller. Endeavor says that the controller can plug into multiple robotic units as well as unmanned aircraft.

Scorpion is not the only robot that Endeavor is making for the U.S. Army. There’s its big brother, a robotic unmanned ground vehicle called Ripsaw. This vehicle is being developed by Endeavor and Howe & Howe Technologies to win the US Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle Program.

So, what was that you said about Skynet again?

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.

  • swarmmaster
    So you did no research on already deployed robots including multiple versions of the following: the Talon, Dragon Runner, and iRobot Packbot just to name the big 3. Over 6,000 of these units have already been deployed for years with combat engineers and EOD. Those units also include remote firesets and shotgunPAN disruptor options. Most of them run off of various open architectures including JAUS and MOCU among others.
    This is literally just the latest round of these types of robotic systems. The quip about Skynet is juvenile and outdated.