More on the Talon Robot

A Talon robot engineer/grunt
Another article on the Talon (aka SWORDS) robot

ACE is watching this, so I’ll just point you in his direction. Good stuff, including pictures.

(I particularly like the photo in the first one, as you can see that one of the four views on the remote-control unit shows the view of a rear-facing camera–see that plant pot and the side of the remote-control unit? My son noticed that.)

As a side note, a character calling himself wildBlogR that regularly contradicts everything ACE says comments:

Touch and feel, ACE. You need touch and feel for this war…A true professional gets close to his subject.

To which I replied

I think you are totally right about getting close. But the Talon robot isn’t a primary means of fighting. It’s an auxiliary system to augment live soldiers and guards.

It could be used as a lookout or OP in a tough neighborhood. It could be used to “shoot around corners” when sending men around the corner is too risky. It can lead the way into a building to find enemies or to draw their fire.

It’s not a replacement for blood-and-guts warriors. But, like the howitzer and the GPS-guided bomb, it’s a way to accomplish missions in a less-risky way when the circumstances warrant and allow. If “getting close” was the key, the Marines would have gone into Fallujah with nothing but their K-Bars.

Getting close is sometimes required, and sometimes good even if not required. But many times it’s just plain bad. The Talon, 155mm artillery, and orbiting laser platforms are all potential ways to avoid getting close when getting close seems like a bad idea.

And, no, I don’t expect the Talon to be fool-proof. I’m sure we’ll see some insurgents gaily parading a “captured” Talon around for Al Jazeera just like they do when they get hold of one of our UAVs. But I expect that some friendly lives will be saved that would have been lost otherwise if not for the Talon, and that some enemy lives will be lost that would have been saved otherwise if not for the Talon.

And do the Marines still use the K-Bar?


  1. Heck yeah we do!!! Most Marines just buy their own however…. there are now about 10 different versions of the good ol reliable K-Bar.