The military of the future is quickly taking shape, and the change is certainly pointing in one direction: robotics. Now, the Marine Corps is testing the Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MAARS), a robot we could soon see alongside soldiers in the battlefield.
MAARS is a robot that has multiple sensor systems and cameras. Its main armament is an M240B machine gun with 400 rounds, but that could be swapped for a 40mm grenade launcher. It has a top speed of 11.3 kph (7 mph), perfect for walking alongside soldiers. Other than firing at the enemy, the MAARS can also drag wounded infantrymen to safety.
The MAARS sounds pretty impressive, but it does have limits. The robot must be reloaded by hand, and doesn't navigate well on rough terrain. Either way, we'd love to see it compete on BattleBots.
MAARS is one of many technologies the Corps is testing for its Warfighting Laboratory in an effort to field the "Marine Corps of 2025." Other technologies being considered include a fully-autonomous ground support vehicle, multiple smaller scale drones, and a precision airborne strike weapon that can be carried in a backpack.