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ARMED DRONES ROLLING TO IRAQ

talon_fm.jpgHunting for guerillas, handling roadside bombs, crawling across the caves and crumbling towns of Afghanistan and Iraq -- all of that was just a start.Now, the U.S. Army's squad of robotic vehicles is being prepped for a new set of assignments. And this time, they'll be carrying guns.As soon as March or April, eighteen Talon robots armed with automatic weapons are scheduled to report for duty in Iraq, as part of the Army's Stryker Brigade.talon_asc.JPGAround the same time, the first prototypes of a new, unmanned ambulance should be ready for the Army to start testing. In a warren of hangar-sized hotel ballrooms in Orlando, Florida, military engineers this week at the Army Science Conference showed off their next generation of robots, as they got the machines ready for the warzone."Putting something like this into the field, we're about to start something that's never been done before," said Staff Sergeant Santiago Tordillos, waving to the black, two-and-a-half foot tall robot rolling around the carpeted floor on twin treads, an M249 machine gun cradled into its mechanical grip.My Wired News article has details.THERE'S MORE. Hmmm. This News.com story looks just a little familiar.AND MORE: Speaking of unmanned guns, reader SL points us to these pictures of the South Korean army using remote-controlled machine gun turrets in Iraq.

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