U.S. Army Tests Flying Robot Sniper

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It could be the best Xbox 360 game ever, and a real kick in the ARSS.

The U.S. Army is testing the Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System (ARSS) — a remote-controlled unmanned Vigilante robot helicopter equipped with a high-velocity sniper rifle.

Its RND Edge semi-automatic gun is mounted on a self-stabilizing turret with built-in zoom camera, and fires 7 to 10 precisely aimed .338-caliber rounds per second.

Back on the ground, a human directs it using a modified Xbox 360 controller, which plugs into a laptop so that the operator can see what the drone sees.

"Having the ability to accurately engage single point man sized targets with an airborne UAV will give the ground based soldier the ability to have a high-point survivable sniper at their disposal when needed," stated the Army solicitation notice when the project was announced in 2005.

The Space Dynamics Laboratory at Utah State University developed the Precision Weapons Platform guided turret and rifle system.

• Click here for a synopsis on the Wired magazine Web site.

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• Click here for a profile of the Precision Weapons Platform at the Utah State University Web site.

• Click here for FOXNews.com's Patents and Innovation Center.



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