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South Korea plans armed border robots

By Alun Williams

Posted on 23 Sep 2005 at 17:03

South Korea is considering the use of robots to help patrol the sensitive border lands with communist North Korea.

In a futuristic twist, armed robots could be working a bot beat along the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that separates the countries, reports Reuters. It says South Korea will spend up to 33.4 billion won ($32 million) over the next five years on research and development, citing a statement from the country's Communications Ministry.

Apparently, the robots will be mounted on wheels for road missions or have as many as eight legs to cover rough terrain. It is even speculated that they will be able to carry out combat missions via remote control.

Of course Asia, and Japan in particular, has a long history in robotic research. The country that brought us Aibo has also put a lot of development into the humanoid robot Qrio (after Quest for Curiosity) - Sony sends robot to nursery .

A less well known area of robotic development has also taken place under the seas. The Met Office, as part of the Argo Programme, has over 1,500 robot submarines patrolling the world's oceans. Known as Argo Floats, they are used to monitor the salinity and temperature of oceans - Robot submarines continue their advance across the world's oceans.

Not quite so futuristic after all.

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