New Autonomous Vehicle Climbs Cars on the Attack (with Video)

 It’s a chilling milestone, even for a military robot: Lockheed Martin’s MULE (Multifunction Utility/Logistics and Equipment) has autonomously clambered over a 5-ft.-high obstacle. The Humvee-size vehicle uses six independently powered wheels and an articulated suspension to navigate rubble-strewn terrain or, as in a recent promo video (see below), to climb buglike over a car hood. Three types of MULEs are planned, all intended to dutifully follow dismounted infantry units. A heavily armed 2.5-ton version could be deployed by the Army by 2013.

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The assault MULE (mockup shown) can operate autonomously or be remotely controlled, and will most likely be armed with antitank missiles and a machine gun.