The British Royal Marines have tested a new device dubbed the "throwbot", a reconnaissance robot that will help commandos in dangerous battle spaces, local media reported. The device, which looks like a dumbbell tied to a rope, has a gyroscopically-stabilised video camera and two large wheels that help it to move on the ground.
Used in indoor and outdoor environments, it provides real time audio and video of the area where it is thrown, allowing soldiers to take a peek at enemy positions without putting themselves at risk and to make informed decisions when every second counts.
The "throwbot" is capable of surviving a fall from up to 30 feet (9 metres) and can be operated from a distance of up to 450 feet (137 metres).
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The device was used by the 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group during recent military exercises in Gibraltar. Royal Marines threw it over walls or into tunnels during mock battles.
Besides "throwbots", the commandos also tested Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS) drones, which conduct reconnaissance in places that "throwbots" cannot reach, such as tall buildings.
"The RPAS were put to good use, with the marines flying them at night and then scaling cliffs to assault the objective. Using the drones allowed us to work out the best method of entry to the target and the number of adversaries on the ground. The 'Throwbot' is another system that we can put into confined spaces. We can steer it remotely to understand the shape and size of confined spaces and identify any threats", said Major Tom Baybutt, the officer commanding the P-Squadron of the 43 Commando.
Over 80 Royal Marines from the 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group took part in the exercises. The use of new devices is part of a programme to modernise the Royal Marines.