from the that-is-just-mind-blowingly-creepy dept.
Jim Hall writes "The US military is developing a robot with a teddy bear head to help carry injured soldiers out of combat. The "friendly appearance" of the robot is designed to put the wounded at ease. The 6ft tall Bear can cross bumpy ground without toppling thanks to a combination of gyroscopes and computer controlled motors to maintain balance. It is expected to be ready for testing within five years. 'It is also narrow enough to squeeze through doorways, but can lift 135kg (500 lbs.) with its hydraulic arms in a single smooth movement, to avoid causing pain to wounded soldiers. While the existing prototype slides its arms under its burden like a forklift, future versions will be fitted with manoeuvrable hands to gently scoop up casualties. The Bear is controlled remotely and has cameras and microphones through which an operator sees and hears. It can even tackle stairs while carrying a human-sized dummy.'"