Machine Design

Unmanned combat vehicle

With the success of unmanned aircraft in the military, some defense planners are developing unmanned ground-combat vehicles.

Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University and Boeing Unmanned Systems, for example, are working on the Spinner, a six-wheeled vehicle that could carry a gun, supplies, or surveillance equipment. The 16,000-lb vehicle got its name from its ability to survive upsets and rollovers by adjusting its suspension, reorienting its payload, and continuing the mission. When complete, it will be able to travel 450 km on a two-week mission without refueling.

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