Gallery: The Gear of War


iRobot SUGV

"A Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle rests on the stairs of the south parking lot catwalk to corridor three in the Pentagon, June 13. The SUGV is part of Future Combat Systems and was one of several pieces of FCS hardware on display at the Pentagon."


Talon robot pull

"While being dragged, 225th Engineer Brigade Soldier Sgt. Kasandra Deutsch of Pineville, La., demonstrates the power of the Talon robot, April 15, during a training exercise with the 9th Iraqi Army Engineer Regiment. The Talon robot system is used to help clear improvised explosive devices."


iRobot XM1216 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle

"The XM1216 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV) is a one of the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems.

"The lightweight, manportable Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) capable of conducting military operations in urban terrain, tunnels, sewers, and caves. The SUGV aids in the performance of manpower-intensive or high-risk functions (i.e. urban Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, chemical/Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TIC), Toxic Industrial Materials (TIM), reconnaissance, etc.).

"Working to minimize Soldiers' exposure directly to hazards, the SUGV's modular design allows multiple payloads to be integrated in a plug-and-play fashion. Weighing less than 30 pounds, it is capable of carrying up to six pounds of payload weight."



"The SPARK provides additional stand-off capability to vehicles and crews against pressure activated or VOIEDs, and is proving to be an extremely effective tool against insurgent-placed IEDs and explosive devices."



"The MARCbot IV extends its camera nearly four feet in the air to search for suspected improvised explosive devices at the training course in Fort Polk, La. Paratroopers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team will have the opportunity use this tool in their upcoming deployment in support of the war on terror."


iRobot PackBot

"U.S. Army Jon Bridges, a native of Spring Creek, NY., teaches U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Wilwerding, a native of Kansas City, Mo., how to operate a Pack Robot at Forward Operating Base Base Hawk, Iraq on Sep. 18, 2008. Bridges and Wilwerding are members of Commanche Troop, 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division."


Launching a Raven

"Spc. Jerry Reidy, mortarman, A Troop, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment launches the Raven during a raven certification training exercise, July 30. The Raven has become an essential tool to provide Paratroopers a proper reconnaissance in a combat environment prior to a mission."


Simulating rollover

"Senior Trainer Brandon D. Kerschner operates a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Egress Trainer during a simulated rollover training scenario for Soldiers of the 49th Movement Control Battalion at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, May 1. Camp Buehring is among the first locations to receive the new egress trainers."


Those aren't hangers

"A robotic vehicle undergoes mobility testing on a bump course at the Cold Regions Test Center at Fort Greely, Alaska."


K-9 Andy

"An U.S. Army military working dog, Andy, searches among rubble and trash outside a target building, during a joint operation with the Iraqi army and U.S. Soldiers of 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, in Rusafa, eastern Baghdad, Iraq, on Feb. 28. The Soldiers are searching for weapons caches and targeted insurgents."


Breach training

"Staff Sgt. Kevin Ashby from C Company, 2nd Battalion 152nd Infantry (Long Range Surveillance) Battle Field Surveillance Brigade, cuts through a fence with a quickie saw during Specialized Tactical Concepts training held at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center."


Unearthing a Tank

"Soldiers from the 503rd Maintenance Company, 398th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, assist Airmen on Sather Airfield with the recovery of a T-72 Soviet-designed battle tank. 503rd Maint. Co. is currently deployed in support of Multi-National Division - Baghdad."


Retina Scanner

"FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq ñ Sgt. Casey OíToole, an infantryman from Eden Prairie, Minn., assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division ñ Baghdad, uses Handheld Interagency Identification Detection Equipment to scan a Sons of Iraq member's retina during payday activities Dec. 16 in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad."



"Soldiers participating in the toxic industrial chemical protection and detection equipment training, use a HazMat ID to identify chemical agents, Nov. 18, at Fort Hood, Texas. The handheld device uses a computerized sensor and diamond plate technology to detect the presence of a wide variety of chemical substances, from common household items to deadly industrial toxins." (The device is actually a FirstDefender.)


UH-72A Lakota

"The new UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopter sits on the tarmac at the National Guard's Eastern Aviation Training Site at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. The facility will provide all aviator and aircrew training on the new aircraft."


Shadow UAV

"Spc. Mark Daves, an unmanned aerial vehicle maintainer with 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, pushes a Shadow UAV down the runway. 3-2 SBCT is participating in the American, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Armies Program interoperability test at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, near Hohenfels, Germany, Sept. 16."


Recovering bullets

"Two-ton "Super sacks" like this one contain lead bullets removed during a reclamation project at a former firing range at Camp Withycombe, Ore. Approximately 300,000 thousand pounds of bullets were removed from the soil in an effort to return the land to its original condition."

Join the Conversation


  1. What’s on that dog, it looks like a suicide bomber?

    The robot is pretty fascinating, it’s gotta have some strong servos in there to pull a person across gravel.

  2. Just a harness for stuff, and to let his handlers pick him up more easily if they need to. Looks like the harness has a chem-light and a small electronics package on it, maybe a tracking device or a sensor package of some sort. And, of course, the Stars and Stripes.

  3. Are you talking about 300,000 bullets or 300,000,000 bullets? 300,000 thousand is a really bad number.

  4. “Approximately 300,000 thousand pounds of bullets”? 300 million pounds?

    Also, I think this post would have been better with a picture of Johnny 5 mixed in there.

  5. What a waste. Brilliant technology, and all it’s good for is blowing stuff up and shooting people.

  6. #7: “All it’s good for”? I think not. There’re all sorts of non-military uses for these things, and military research will help them come into being. And in fact, most of the things featured here aren’t there to shoot things or blow them up, but to protect the people who’ll do the shooting or blowing up. It’s a small distinction but an important one.
    In short, you’re being overly pessimistic.

  7. @ Alex

    Not a waste at all. Even just the two applications you see, blowing things up and shooting people save lives.

    But obviously there are other applications. Did you not see the soldier being dragged to safety in the second image? Did you not notice the extensive sensor packages, allowing remote operators to safely gather life saving intelligence?

    Don’t let your lack of vision cloud the usefulness of military robotics, and never forget that good military tech always trickles down to you and I as consumer electronics.

  8. Ah, Camp Withycombe. I spent 20 years just outside the northern fence next to the firing range at a company making truck parts. Of course, we had our own pollution issues with spills of TCE and PCE, although I think much of it was from the camp, since its vehicle cleaning was upstream of us on the other side of the range.

    The clean up proceeds, regardless.

    The camp is targeted for conversion to an industrial park.

  9. Someone tell the robot makers in that cold weather bumps shot that the American flag in the military has the star field in the forward position, as if it’s being carried into battle on a pole. Even the dog handlers got it right on the German Shepard.

  10. These technologies are only means for propaganda to distract the public and the soldiers from the danger and ugliness of war.
    People are dying as I type..

  11. If you want to see an impressive robot, check out Big Dog, being developed by Boston Dynamics. It’s and incredible machine.

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