WASHINGTON — The HDT Micro-Utility Vehicle Robot is a remote-controlled, multipurpose tool designed for dismounted troops to clear terrain in nearly any ground environment, and it can do more than that.

The robot, on display in the AUSA exhibit hall, can act as a standoff weapon, a communications hot spot and a pack mule.

Parked a few hundred meters away from troops, its sensors can detect enemy activity, and mounted with a 50-caliber weapon, it can fend off aggressors at a distance from the soldier operating it, said Francis LeGasse, vice president of business development - west for HDT Global.

It is designed for versatility: for units: An NCO on the ground can decide how he wants to use it, or a commander can count on it to carry 500 pounds of gear on the vehicle and another 500 pounds on its trailer. 

The robot has a backhoe/loader attachment and can configure based on the unit's needs. Shorter than an average man, the robot can be broken down into man-portable components and quickly reassembled.

The robot is undergoing testing at the Network Integration Evaluation NIE near Fort Bliss, Texas, to get feedback from soldiers on how it can fit their units' needs, said LeGasse, a former Army officer. Soon it will undergo jungle testing in Hawaii for further assessment for potential use by the Army. 

Email: kcurthoys@militarytimes.com

Twitter: @KACurthoys

Kathleen Curthoys is editor of Army Times. She has been an editor at Military Times for 20 years, covering issues that affect service members. She previously worked as an editor and staff writer at newspapers in Columbus, Georgia; Huntsville, Alabama; Bloomington, Indiana; Monterey, California and in Germany.

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