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RoboBusiness 2007, an international robotics conference, played host to a motley crew of exhibitors displaying a wide range of products, from military robots to toys for children to "toys" for academic researchers.
The Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot, or BEAR, from Vecna Robotics, a division of Vecna Technologies has a dynamic balancing system that allows it to crouch and move across a battlefield at up to 20mph to pick up wounded soldiers and bring them back to medics.
The robot can climb stairs and lift a person weighing up to 300 pounds (136kg), including any equipment they might be wearing. While not yet in the field, the BEAR prototype is in simulation testing with the US Army. With Kevlar and other materials added to protect strategic parts of BEAR, the robot should cost "the price of a nice car," according to the company, and be in production in about two and a half years.
Text by Candace Lombardi, staff writer, CNET News.com
Credit: Candace Lombardi/CNET News.com