Where do wounded robots go? A hospital for robots, of course.

The U.S. military used to dispose of unmanned ground vehicles damaged in combat, but in times of fiscal constraints they are be repaired rather than discarded, and Marines and soldiers often want the specific robot they've been working with returned to them rather than a replacement, reports the Wall Street Journal.

At the Marine Corps' Joint Robotics Repair Detachment in Afghanistan, situated at Bagram Airfield, a team of military and civilian technicians practice the healing arts on robots brought in by troops for repairs, the story said.

The detachment has surgery bays and diagnostic tools to give the military's robot companions another chance to become heroes in the field by putting themselves in harm's way and saving soldiers lives through removal of roadside bombs, reconnaissance of buildings and similar missions, the story said.

The military has about 3,500 robots in Afghanistan, from small devices that a soldier can pitch through a window to machines the size of construction equipment that can plow over minefields, the story said. 

Defense Systems Update

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