The Sergeant did not have to clear his throat. He could just begin - at full volume - and instantly quiet the room of recruits. "The Remote Gun Platform. You worms would know it as a Tankbot. Is your best friend on the battlefield next to the guy sitting beside you. You will come to love this thing for its functionality, its ability to see the enemy, and for its ability to be blown up instead of you. "
Excerpted from the M-10 White Paper
The Atlas Co created RGP M-10 has been developed as a personal, remotely operated, all-terrain robotic perception and tool platform, designed for a variety of field uses. This M-10 is a man carried unit with a modular architecture allowing for a wide range of possible sensors, optical systems and active components such as manipulators, radio beacons, plasma cutters, etc.
The basic configuration is composed of a six wheel drive train (AWD) with a flexible backbone, which allows an excellent all-terrain handling capacity. The front module holds all the electronics and battery power supply (Li-polymer) while the other modules are dedicated to carrying auxiliary systems such as video-cameras, moveable turrets, GPS systems, extra batteries and internal combustion engines to boost autonomy.
The typical utilization scenarios for the M-10 can be exemplified by reconnaissance in conditions where the use of human personnel or bigger robots are too high risk or impact (bomb detection, places of difficult or narrow access, sites of potential radioactive, chemical or biological risk, scenarios of terrorists with hostages, pre-irruption reconnaissance and suspect monitoring). By tossing the toybot (a new marine past time) or using the remote to drive and position it, the M-10 can provide valuable intelligence. By linking into the soldier's battlenetwork, it can triangulate for remote targeting, provide increased perception and altered point of view, provide low level support fire, and receive direct neural command. The Hyperreality function of the M-10 is best exemplified by the use of remote manipulators.
Atlas Co received the contract to replace the older M-8 Tankbots on the "fields of conflict" after an intense bidding war. Many of the proposed units in the competition were smarter, larger, or more functional, but they were obscenely more expensive. Atlas Co had taken into account not only the perceived needs of Government and High Command, but of the "field handlers" that would be in conflict situations next to the tankbots (as the previous RGPs were known). They took a few steps back in size and functionality, but provided a more robust and useful robotic assistant. (The current battlefield assistants were described as Dinosaurs with huge amounts of electronics, while their units were smaller, smarter mammals.)The basic configuration needed to be adaptable into various sizes to fit specific needs (Soon to be the RPG M-10a, M-10b, and M-10c). There was also a cry and hue by the field staff for speed and obstacle handling capabilities in the same units.
The need of operating at moderately high speeds in open terrain, as well as in tight urban or underground conditions, seem initially to be conflicting with the first requests. The need to tackle rough terrain and climb stairs (with undercuts) seems to only add more complexity and difficulty to the project.
The Staff at Atlas Co was new to the Combat Robotics Industry. However, they had been building solid pieces of motor equipment for nearly a decade. Their fresh approach allowed them to overcome many of the perceived obstacles for the project.
Atlas Co found a hybrid solution which grants the required performance by merging tracks and wheels in a single platform, which is the Tankbot Mk III concept (which became the M-10). The Tankbot Mk III platform combines a four wheel drive system (with active suspension) to a traditional two track system mounted centrally. This configuration grants the advantages of high-speed maneuverability typical of wheeled platforms while keeping the possibility of raising the wheels and becoming a typical tracked platform.
The unit has been specifically developed for outdoor use and is IP67 (fully waterproof) while being small enough to be used on a mobile platform.
If a Tankbot unit needs to carry weaponry, and usually does, Atlas Co's perception and targeting equipment can put point on target. While the Joshua Accord prevents the autonomous firing of weapons by robots, it does allow for proper targeting and fire on human command.
The main advantage of the Mk III's design was the easily integrated manipulators. Combined with the stable platform/ ground locks, it can provide enough leverage to manipulate many human scaled tools, doors, and buttons. With the Hyperreality functionality provided by either The SoT (Soldier of Tomorrow/ Soldier of Technology) systems or MI (Mobile Infantry/ powered armor) Armor, the ability to use the manipulators is increased a 500% increase in efficiency.
Soldiers (and security ops) in field testing have taken to the "toy tankbot". It is easy to use, easy to keep with you, and can go places that previous version of field soldier controlled RGPs could not go. They have taken to calling them names and using their recon abilities for "in camp" hi-jinx (see video clips attached to file re the shower and marker on sleeping guy). The marines also took to racing their units around the camp (See video marked Race). This both served as fun and as training to utilize the units. This attachment to their units has increased the tankbots field survival by 180% over those with operators who did not become "attached" to their unit.
Full Item DescriptionSize
- Width: 240 mm
- Length: 260 mm
- Height: 175 mm
- Traction: Two independent tracks, three wheels each, independent axle, and can run without its tracks.
- Speed: max 8 km/h
- Throwability: Tossable up to 10m distance
- Impact resistance: Capable of sustaining 4m fall on concrete
- Weight: approx 2.5 Kg depending on subsystems
- Batteries: 4 Class 2-IV Power Cells
- Battery life: Approximately 80 hours stationary, 40 hours in movement
- Grenade-Type On/Off switch (impact resistant)
- Audio systems: microsphere 360 degree listening unit.
- Class IV minispeaker
- Video systems: 2 High definition poly spectrum cameras with automatic orientation functions
- 2,4 GHz VIDEO TRANSMITTER
- Channel: eight rotating channel in the 2.4 GHz frequency band
- RF output power: EC R&TTE compliant
- Transmission range: 300 m (line of sight)
- Antenna: Omni-directional antenna
- Inertial and GPS module
- High Power LED white light system capable of blinding an unprepared opponent.
- Assistance Level processing. Will run independent (within parameters) or via remote.
- On-board full mission recording capability
- One Base manipulator limb with tripronged gripper (hand)
- Three hardpoints (with controls and power access) for utility equipment, enhanced sensory gear, or weapon systems.
-Existing hardpoint gear includes
- M43 Grenade Launcher
- Cyclic Cartridge for M43
- Pulse Generator
- Cutting Torcher
- Linknet Jack for mechanical access to line networks.
- Bioc sensory systems for bio weapon detection
- Additional manipulators (only two are recommended without requiring two or more pilots)
- Grapple projector
- Remote sensory projects (shoots the "bugs" dart up to 40m)
- Communication Scramblers
- Signal Tracking system
- Smoke Generators
- Gas Ejector
- Pullman Taser Lines
- Other weapon systems are in development
- Auxiliary combustion engine power system to extend range and speed by 200%
Note: if you scale back the network and virtual reality/ hyperrealty aspect, you could utilize this piece of equipment on a battlefield of today (well next week). (Real world units will be reaching a battlefield near you in the next two years). It also could be used for espionage in a Mission Impossible sort of way.
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? Responses (9)-9
It is a good, solid item, the kind of thing that would eventually blossom on the battlefield. There are limited deployments of less versatile, but similar concepts already in the real world.
The development sounds like a fairytale. Too smooth.
If I deployed these in a game, I would probably have to give them a weakness analogous to the P-51 Mustang, which in the words of one airman(If I recall correctly), 'If it could cook, I would marry it, but it'll bleed to death if stuck with a hatpin.' But that is just me, and it is an excellent piece of work.
Jane's couldn't have done it better.
Most Real World technical descriptions aren't going to cover developmental problems, either. Dangerous bugs & shady backroom deals are almost a given in weapon development.
I like this thing. It's cute. It's tiny. I want one painted to look like a Sanrio character. I know my S.O. will let me have one if it's marketed as a Hello Tankbot.
I am laughing on outloud in the real life thinking about a Hello Kitty Tankbot.
These things can also be used in a near future police setting. After they see a time in the field, the ex-military types.. coming back to security police jobs.. will want them for police proceedures.
I originally wrote this as a Janes write up, or a technical white paper.
Nobody got it.
Everyone hated it. So I reworked it to be more in line with a normal submission without losing all of the Technical Spec feel. I also added some elements because people did not quite get a) the size, b) its use (which seemed evident to me.. but oh well), and c) and other fun applications (again, seemed evident to me). It still works, but is not nearly as "cool" as a Janes flavored submission.
I like this! Personally, I like Janes style subs, as I've also done a robot mini-tank - MUL-FS550 Fire Support Robot, though it is a much larger fire support robot with indirect fire missles.
I love the technical write-ups. It's like porn for a techno-geek.
I read this sub three times before realizing that the RGP M-10 is the size of an RC car. My eyes just kind of kept glossing over as I skimmed across the technical specs.
By tossing the toybot (a new marine past time)
Everyone seems to miss this line in the 3rd Paragraph.
Would it help if the stats were upfront like I had it originally?
Personally I wouldn't call it a Tankbot. Tanks are big, I'd call it a Remote unit or something like that.
Tankbot is the designation because of tank treds it uses to get around. Civilian robots (firefighting) that use tank treads are called tank bots.