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Robots Could Fetch Injured Soldiers From Battlefield

Meet Bear, the Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot.
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Jun 08, 2007
U.S. researchers are developing a remote-controlled robot designed to rescue injured or abducted soldiers without putting their comrades at risk. The prototype of the nearly 6-foot-tall Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot, called Bear, can lift nearly 300 pounds with one arm, and its developer, Vecna Technologies of College Park, Md., is focusing on improving its two-legged lower body.

Tracks on its thighs and shins allow the robot to climb over rough terrain or up and down stairs while crouching or kneeling. Wheels at its hips, knees and feet allow it to switch to two wheels to travel over smooth surfaces while adopting a variety of positions.

The robot's humanoid body and teddy bear-style head give it a friendly appearance.

"A really important thing when you're dealing with casualties is trying to maintain that human touch," said Gary Gilbert of the U.S. Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, which provided the initial $1 million development funding. Congress has since added $1.1 million.

The robot can also load trucks and carry equipment.

Bear is expected to be ready for field testing within five years.

Source: United Press International

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Robot Joins Nursing School Faculty
Dayton, OH (SPX) Jun 08, 2007
A robot is being employed at the Nursing Institute of West Central Ohio to allow faculty members in remote locations to interact with students in class. Developed by InTouch Health of Santa Barbara, Calif., the Remote Presence Robotic System - called RP-7 - makes the institute at Wright State University the first nurse education center in the nation to use the robot for educational purposes.

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