Foster-Miller TALON

An unmanned military robot for all-purpose uses.

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The TALON

The TALON is a military light, unmanned and one of the fastest robots in production. It has many purposes and uses, some of these include reconnaissance, bomb defusing, mine detection and rescue.

Used in:

The robot is currently in use by the U.S Military and has entered service since 2001, it's current unit cost is around $60,000 in its standard form (Not specialized for specific uses).
It's work envelope includes a 360 degrees spinning wrist, a gripper, which can go downwards by 180 degrees and 270 degrees upward.

Robotic End Effector

The TALON is a multi-role robot, as stated above, the tasks it can do is:
-Mine detecting

-Reconnaissance

-Communication

-Weapon carrying and uses (SWORDS version)

-Security

-Explosives disarming

-Many more...

(Below) SWORDS variant of the TALON, this version can carry weapons and ammunition

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How does it perform its task?

Controlled by joystick!

The operator controls the robot from a control panel with a thumbstick also known as an operator control unit (OCU), like a game panel type. The control panel controls it by a two-way radio link or fibre optic link.

It can also be controlled by a laptop control unit, basically a laptop dedicated for controlling drones/robots/unmanned vehicles.


(Below) A soldier operating the OCU system of a TALON

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Sensors

The TALON can have up to 7 cameras to give a large view for soldiers to identify suspicious objects or detonate dangerous objects from a safe distance, the robot has a gripper, elbow and rear camera, which is the first 3 out of 7. The TALON can be mounted with an antenna and can have a USB and Ethernet port.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages:

The TALON brings an advantage by detecting explosives and IEDs, it also helps soldier detect suspicious objects and increase survivability on combat grounds and can carry out various roles.


Disadvantages:

The robot is not capable of defending itself and could easily be destroyed if someone found it, the battery is also not well protected enough to withstand small arms fire (as seen on sketch of SWORDS system), it is also limited by range of operation.

Impact

The TALON has enabled soldiers to have a higher survival rate on the battlefield, as now it can detect mines or bombs from a distance, which gives a soldier an edge over the enemy tricks and makes the hidden bombs useless, as now they can be detonated from a far distance, instead of exploding when someone/something steps on it.

(Below) TALON detecting a mine
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Creating careeers

The TALON lets engineers have a new chance of operating a robot in combat, instead of just laying mines or fixing vehicles out of action, which lets engineers with a skill for robots or technology have a chance to get a military career.
The TALON can also create maintenance careers for the mechanics who love fixing and modifying robots for the army, it gives them a chance to improve robots and maybe share their ideas with other engineers and help improve the TALON.

How it can be altered

The TALON system can and should be modified to fit a more specific role like combat, the SWORDS system does fill some of the requirements, but not all, the TALON should get combat modifications such as more armor and a stronger engine and a way to withstand recoil from a larger caliber weapon.
The TALON system should also have a security variant for major company uses and for hostage situations, so people's life won't be risked charging into a building held by criminals, it also would make it easier, as the robot have a smaller shape, rendering it less detectable by the hostage-takers.

Bibliography

Army technology

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