Students see military robots in action


Photo taken by ian Keel

Nick Arnold, Reporter

Robots, thought to be a thing of the future, exist today to help the U.S. Army and NASA. The groups brought the robots to the library for students to observe.

The Army has been using robots for years to help scope out areas, disable bombs and help out in all fields. NASA has joined the army by building their own robots and involving other people to do the same thing by hosting contests.

“It is National robotics week, so we are here introducing some of the classes to NASA’s Robotic Missions as well as introducing one of our robots here which is the MARC-Bot it stands for Multiple-Function Agile Remote Controlled robot. The Army also brought some of their robots as well. Our robot was originally built for the Army’s use to protect soldiers and detect bombs,” NASA’s Centennial Challenges Media Specialist Janet Sudnik said.

The Army uses the bombs to protect and serve while NASA wants to use the same technology for exploring new planets and the world further than that.

“The first explorers of any place where humans can’t go are going to be robots. We need robots just like the army has that have cameras and that people can drive here on earth and look around. We need robots that can pick up things and bring back samples from other planets and bring them back here,” Sudnik said.

NASA has a program that other people can get involved in called the Centennial Challenges. They hold challenges that award cash prizes if you win.

“There is a robotics challenge going on in June and it is for 1.5 million dollars. All different people are competing. We have high school teams, college teams, and some inventor that are involved. It is to build an autonomous robot that can drive without any control, pick up a sample and find its way back to a varied environment,” Sudnik said.

Science teacher Rachel Simons set up the demonstration for the classes.

“The technology options of it showed the simplicity of it. It was nice to see,” junior Andrew Olson said.