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GRENADE BOT BLASTS AWAY

talon_grenade1.jpgThose of you who found the idea of gun-toting robots a little creepy should probably click away right now. Because the Army has just finished testing out a unmanned ground vehicle, or UGV, that obliterates its foes with electrically-fired grenades.The robot is the same modified Talon UGV that's now on its way to Iraq, to watch the back of Stryker armored vehicles on patrol. But instead of carrying a M249 machine gun, like the Iraq-bound robo-grunt, this Talon has been armed by Metal Storm Limited -- the Australian firm famous for its million-round-a-minute gun.The robot, which recently wrapped up trials at the Army's Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, only had 16 shots. But they were big ones: 40 mm grenades. And the rounds were loaded four to a barrel, giving the UGV 10 more shots than traditional systems supply. It was enough to waste a variety of mock opponents, "including simulated personnel, an infantry carrier and a bunker," according to Metal Storm. (You can watch video of the bot in action here.) Eventually, the firm thinks it can load the UGV up with as many as 48 grenades at a time.While Metal Storm seemed pretty psyched about how the Picatinny tests went, there was a bit of bad news for the company. The demonstrations "did not include firings from the Dragonfly DP4X unmanned aerial vehicle as previously planned because of operational restrictions on the range which prevented in-flight live fire trials being possible," Metal Storm sobbed. "Arrangements are currently being made for in-flight test-firings and demonstrations to be held in the next few months."I'm nervous already.

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