Sand Flea

Via Ace.

We’re going to see a lot more of these low cost (relatively) “throwbots.” Getting a peek inside a room or around the corner is of incredible value to grunts, and while it may cost a small bit of the element of surprise, it’s a dang site better then getting shot in the head trying to get a glimpse. And cheaper too. Medical care ain’t cheap.


Oh, and how long before someone gins up a way to attach a Claymore to one?

16 thoughts on “Sand Flea”

  1. Hmmm, a bounding Claymore. Probably have to sort out that back flip thing the sand flea does when it jumps, but still… 🙂

  2. I don’t think it would cost much in the element of surprise, and would greatly increase the tension. If one of those comes bouncing through the window you know a US grunt will be coming. You just Don’t. Know. When.

  3. Heh, nice! I don’t think of this as a entry/clearing recon tool, although it might be useful that way. The last major chunk of my career I worked with EOD as a commo bubba, and the robots were what kept the them alive on a response call, but terrain was the most common reason that the tech had to put on a suit and sweat it out. A jumping robot like this would really expand the envelope of remote interrogation techniques, although I’m not sure how the flea would deliver the BIP charge (safely), unless they are considered disposable.

    Of course, when I watched the video to the end, I see that the good idea fairies at JIEDDO have a hand in this. Natch.

    By the way, what is it in the water in Boston metro area? It seems like the overwhelming majority of robotics firms, or at least those doing DoD robotics, are all located there.

    1. Perspectives…we all carry them, no?

      Good point on MIT: Stanford breeds Silicon Valley, and MIT gives birth to Foster-Miller (now Qinetic), BD, iRobot, etc. Need a better name for that cluster though…

  4. That is amazing! A warhead would throw off the weight, I would think, but I am sure that is solveable, Small ones, with a balance weight on teh bottom, so it lands mine up, perhaps.

  5. My perspective is a couple years old now, but robots are cool and all, but turn into a maintenance nightmare when they get out to the field. Just one more piece of stuff that is pretty cool until it breaks down and no one knows how to fix it, or who to send it off to for repair, so it migrates to the conex with all of the other cool (but broken/complicated) toys. Or it is rapidly replaced by a newer model and no spares are available for it. To their credit, the army did have a team in Baghdad that worked to fix / train / etc robots for all units in theater, but it was not a quick turnaround process, and you had to drive to them for support.

    1. Sure. That’s the drawback of these “rapid funding initiative” type things. But sooner or later, the market will shake itself out, and someone will get enough feedback to build a useful, reliable model.

    2. That’s why the simple “tossable camera” concept sounds so good. Don’t give it excessive capability, just the basics so that they are basically disposable.

  6. Hmmm…wonder if you could strap a Claymore to the back of that little RC hotrood?

    “Achmed, the infidels have sent an unclean machine towards us!”
    “Abdul, don’t worry, it’s just one of their sinful toys they are in love with”
    “Achmed, it’s cute! It’s sitting on it’s hind legs like a dog!”
    “Abdul, you son of a camel, it’s a machine, it’s not cute!”
    “Achmed, is that a Clay…BANG” 🙂

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