Slusher didn't get a picture on his phone until the controller was within 20 feet away. The controller with cameras mounted on the robot sends a Wi-Fi signal to the cellphone to relay video images of the battle zone.
Using a real-time video and images from multiple unmanned systems, the smartphone improves situational awareness, decision making and increases the mission command effectiveness.
Slusher described the device as handy. If soldiers are on an assault and find enemies in a building, the squad can send the robot and its controller to a safe area to get the best information.
"With a camera on top, he can look in windows, inside doors and they can help expand night view," Slusher said. "It can change my decision making."
With improvised explosive devices used on the battlefields, a robot can examine a bomb and save the life of a soldier.
"You make the best decision with the information you have," Slusher said.
Collecting information from the air and on the ground make it easier for soldiers patrolling an area. "To clear a route is a good asset to have," McCoy said. "It's definitely been easier to operate."
On Tuesday, McCoy said he used an arm on the robot to see around corners and what appeared on the route ahead for the approaching squad. The laptop computer used by McCoy sends a signal to his squad leader's phone to view the same images on the cellphone.
The device is a good asset especially if you haven't been to a village. "That is what I would use it for mainly," McCoy said.
On the battlefield, soldiers must have discipline in using the handheld device. "It has a lot of discipline, when to take it out and when to look at it," he said.
If there is a sniper on the loose, Kelly said you might not want to be staring down at a cellphone in the middle of the night.
Kelly said the new technology is a concept with some promise. "I definitely can see it moving forward," he said.
(c)2014 the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.)
Visit the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.) at www.ledger-enquirer.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services