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article imageRobotic Sniper Will Soon Be Used in Iraq

By kaleigh2u     Apr 1, 2007 in Technology
A new robotic head called the "RedOwl" will soon be putting it's power to use in Iraq by aiding soldiers in taking down snipers. The RedOwl is controlled by a laptop which can read a name tag from across a football field.
Glenn Thoren, Director at Insight Technology in Londonberry, New Hampshire is the developer of the RedOwl. Several RedOwls have just finished a ten week intensive field est at Fort Benningin Georgia. Thorne is hoping when the defence department approves its budget early this year, the robots will be in Iraq by Spring at a cost of $150,000 each.
Originally the robots ears were designed to improve hearing aids however when Thoran heard about a rise in sniper activity in Iraqi hotspots he combined the original listening system which processes sounds that come from 4 microphones, "with a suite of sensors, spotlights and a laser rangefinder".
When the RedOwl heres a gunshot, it swivels its head toward the source of the sound and a thermal imager picks out the sniper. It's attached to a "Packbot" which is a miniature robot tank and is steered by a modified Xbox controller. The RedOwl can figure out the location of a target up to 3000 feet away.
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