What do you get when you combine a helicopter and a sniper rifle? The U.S. Army's latest killer robot, and a terrible way to start this news post.
The weapons platform, dubbed Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System, combines an unmanned Vigilante helicopter with a self-stabilizing, rapid-fire, .338 caliber sniper rifle.
But what do you do with a flying death machine? Wired explains:
The system is intended for the urban battlefield - an eye in the sky that can stare down concrete canyons, and blink out targets with extreme precision. Attempting to return fire against the ARSS is liable to be a near-suicidal act: ARSS is described as being able to fire seven to 10 aimed shots per minute, and it's unlikely to miss.
Though the Army isn't quite ready to delegate command entirely to Skynet, the ARSS system does much of the work for its pilot. Though the human operator does control the vehicle and target selection using a "videogame-like controller," the ARSS' onboard computer adjusts for range, weather conditions and the parabolic flight of its ordinance, offering a killing platform that "should ensure first-round kills at several hundred yards."
Additionally, the military is touting the benefits the system will have for civilians in battlefield areas. Where dropping bombs tends to destroy people's homes, if not kill them outright, the ARSS is able to simply maneuver through a complex urban jungle, locate a target and make a single kill without collateral damage.
At least until its processor logically realizes humanity is the cause of all war, and swarms of these things start hunting us down like cattle.
When that day comes, just remember: If we hadn't wiped out the transgenic supersoldiers, they just might have been able to protect us against this new threat.
Science: Killing us all since 2072.