The Vecna BEAR robot (Battlefield Extraction and Retrieval Robot) is being developed as an adjunct to other rescue technologies for extracting combat casualties.
The BEAR bot has three main elements; hydraulic upper body, mobile platform and dynamic balancing behavior. The robot should be able to fully stand up by straightening the tracked units.
According to Gary Gilbert, Ph.D., Program Manager, U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC—part of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command):
"Robotic extraction of combat casualties from under fire or from hostile or contaminated environments is the 'holy grail' of the TATRC mobile robotics program. The BEAR prototype as envisioned in the VECNA proposal and current research contract is the most promising approach I have seen to safely extracting casualties from urban and wooded terrain or from other areas with numerous obstacles that would impede entrance by other vehicular or aerial robots. The versatility and flexibility of the BEAR that would enable it to do multiple combat support tasks—such as loading vehicles or carrying heavy equipment—make it more attractive than other robots that can only support a limited set of specialized tasks."
In the excellent Japanese manga film Roujin Z, introduced in 1996, the Ministry of Health orders Takazawa Kijuro, an elderly bed-ridden man seemingly without family, to test a new robot - the amazing Z-0001 automated monitoring and care robot. A self-contained atomic power reactor gives this unique part bed/part machine robot all the energy it needs. The man is literally wired into the bed. As it turns out, this is quite the military robot.
Dr. Gilbert may want to check his specifications for BEAR after seeing this film. Read more about Roujin-Z and Robot Elder Care.
A variety of remarkable new technologies have appeared in just the past year to provide for social care and rescue; some are in prototype and some are already in the field:
- ROBHAZ-DT3 Rescue Robot In Iraq
This variation on an awardwinning robot design will be used to support Korean troops in Iraq.
- Robot Nannies - The Fact, The Fiction
SF writers have been thinking about robot nannies (and other forms of automated child care) since at least WWII. This fall, Korea will have some in the home.
- TerminatorBot CRAWLER Gives Danger Two-Fingered Salute
A rescue robot modeled on the movie Terminator.
(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction.)