DOD to test throwable robots in Afghanistan

The Defense Department's anti-improvised explosive device office is planning to ship 400 small, throwable robots to Afghanistan later this year for operational tests to counter the continued rise in IED attacks against U.S. and coalition troops in the country, reports Paul McLeary at Aviation Week's Ares blog.

The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, which will monitor and oversee the tests, will send the first batch of throwable robots in response to an urgent request in 2011 from commanders in Afghanistan seeking smaller, lighter robots mounted with cameras that soldiers could carry on dismounted patrols and toss into roadside culverts or hurl over mud walls that surround many rural homes, the blog said.

Of the six robots that will be battlefield tested, four would be selected for further testing and development, the blog said.

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