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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Did the IDF use "killer robots" in Gaza?

A Russian news agency is quoted in Palestine Today as saying that Israel deployed its "VIPeR" robot in Gaza.

The VIPeR is sweet. From Popular Mechanics, June 2007:

The VIPeR can climb stairs (right) and open fire on targets with a submachine gun. At left, the 9-in.-tall drone is fitted with a bomb-disarming water gun.

Very few drones are built to kill. Even the missile-firing Predator UAV was originally designed for aerial reconnaissance, with some units later modified for combat duty. But for the Israeli-manufactured VIPeR (Versatile, Intelligent, Portable Robot), delivering firepower isn’t an afterthought — it’s practically job one.

Designed to act as a partner to dismounted troops in urban environments, the 9-in.-tall, 25-pound VIPeR can accept various sensor packages, including infrared cameras and software that maps buildings as the drone moves through them, as well as an explosives sniffer and a device that shoots jets of water to disarm bombs. But it also can open fire with a mini-Uzi submachine gun or release grenades from a 4-ft.-long robotic arm.

At just 18 in. wide, and equipped with innovative treads that change shape to help boost it over obstacles, the tiny drone can navigate cramped hallways and climb stairs to seek out targets. It can’t open fire autonomously, like South Korea’s Intelligent Surveillance & Security Guard Robot, essentially an armed guard tower that can target potential intruders.

VIPeR is remotely controlled via a harness and helmet-mounted display, with a human operator ultimately deciding whether to pull the trigger. According to its manufacturer, Elbit Systems, VIPeR will be deployed by Israel Defense Forces infantry after field testing.
Here's a video:


The terror-supporting PalToday ludicrously implied that VIPeR is an illegal weapon, and it illustrated the story with this picture.

I have no idea if the IDF deployed VIPeR in Gaza, but it is a great idea for the terrorists to believe that Israel has an army of invincible killer robots.