The TALON is a robot that has been developed to perform multiple roles in a number of different combat environments.
Sand, Snow and Water
The TALON robot is manufactured by Foster-Miller Inc. of Waltham, Massachusetts. The remotely operated robot has been designed to perform missions ranging from reconnaissance to combat and operate in a number of hostile environments. Foster-Miller claims that the TALON can function in sand, snow and up to 100 feet of water. It can also climb stairs and operate for seven consecutive days before its batteries need to be recharged.
Soldiers who operate the TALON can be as far as 1,000 meters from the robot. Colour images taken by the robot’s camera system are relayed back to soldiers who use them to make tactical decisions. The TALON can also transmit infrared and night vision images. The combat version of the TALON weighs 100 pounds, but a light weight version that is only 60 pounds is available for reconnaissance missions. Each robot costs a minimum of $60,000.00 to purchase.
Ground Zero Recovery Mission
With its durability and multi-function roles, the TALON has become a popular robot of the U.S. military. Since entering service in 2000, about 3,000 TALON robots have been deployed around the world – including in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The robots were even used to help with the recovery mission at ground zero in New York City after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001.
A variety of different weapons can be used with the TALON robot, including M16 rifles, M240 machine guns, and a 40 millimeter grenade launcher. TALONs outfitted with weapons are known as Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection Systems, or S.W.O.R.D.S for short. TALONs outfitted with a weapon can cost as much as $230,000.00 to purchase.