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South Korea's autonomous robot gun turrets: deadly from kilometers away

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December 7, 2010

DoDAMM's Super aEgis 2: South Korea's autonomous robot gun turret

DoDAMM's Super aEgis 2: South Korea's autonomous robot gun turret

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If there's one place you don't want to be caught wandering around right now, it's the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea. Especially since South Korean military hardware manufacturer DoDAMM used the recent Korea Robot World 2010 expo to display its new Super aEgis 2, an automated gun turret that can detect and lock onto human targets from kilometers away, day or night and in any weather conditions, and deliver some heavy firepower.

The border between North and South Korea is a pretty amazing strip of land. Around 2.5 miles (4 km) wide, it stretches the entire width of the Korean peninsula and it's recognized as the most heavily fortified border in the world. Over the last 60 years, as North and South Korea have faced off in an aggressive and frequently violated ceasefire, this Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) has been one of the deadliest places on Earth for humans. Step into the zone and there's hundreds of thousands of soldiers on either side ready to put a bullet in you just for being there.

As a fascinating aside, this has also made it one of the world's best-kept nature preserves - the complete absence of human interference leaving a more or less pristine habitat for all kinds of wildlife, endangered and otherwise.

The DMZ's history is full of incredible stories; the gigantic tunnels dug by North Korean incursion forces, the tragically doomed friendships between North and South Korean soldiers operating in the zone, the almost unbelievable defection of a South Korean farmer across the DMZ into North Korea. And perhaps this history will go on to include ice-cold robotic killers.

Through military eyes, the existence of a shoot-on-sight no-go zone several kilometers wide opens up options for some interesting high-tech hardware, like DoDaam's Super aEgis II, which we had a chance to look over in person at the Korea Robot World Expo 2010.

The Super aEgis 2 is an automated gun tower that can find and lock on to a human-sized target in pitch darkness at a distance of up to 1.36 miles (2.2 kilometers). It uses a 35x zoom CCD camera with 'enhancement feature' for bad weather, in conjunction with a dual FOV, autofocus Infra-Red sensor, to pick out targets.

Then it brings the pain, either with a standard 12.7mm caliber machine-gun, a 40mm automatic grenade launcher upgrade, or whatever other weapons system you want to bolt on to it, including surface-to-air missiles. A laser range finder helps to calibrate aim, and a gyroscopic stabilizer unit helps correct both the video system's aim and the direction of the guns after recoil pushes them off-target.

DoDAMM's Super aEgis 2: South Korea's autonomous robot gun turret

Each 140 kg (308.6 lb.) unit can be rigidly mounted or put on a moving vehicle, where the gyro stabilization would be a huge asset. They can operate in fully autonomous mode, firing first and asking questions later, or they can be put into a manual mode for more human intervention. All machines communicate back to headquarters through a LAN cable or wireless network.

There's no word about whether the Super aEgis 2 has been deployed in the Korean DMZ in the wake of several recent incidents that threaten to push the peninsula into full-scale, potentially nuclear war, but Dodaam has been exporting units as far afield as the United Arab Emirates.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz loves motorcycles - at the age of two, he told his mother "don't want brother, want mogabike." It was the biker connection that first brought Loz to Gizmag, but since then he's covered everything from alternative energy and weapons to medicine, marital aids - and of course, motorcycles. Loz also produces a number of video pieces for Gizmag, including his beloved bike reviews. He frequently disappears for weeks at a time to go touring with his vocal band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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22 Comments

We need these on our Southern border

Welsarth
7th December, 2010 @ 07:15 am PST

At first look this sounds great until you stop and think about how many ways it could be defeated with thermal blocking clothing and decoys. Nor would you want a battle triggered by a deer grazing across it's field of view. A more valuable weapon would be a semi-autonomous robot controlled gun that was also capable of instantaneously returning fire based on the enemy's muzzle flash and sound location. I have been puzzled that something like this hasn't become standard equipment by now. The gun mentioned in the article could also have the undesirable effect of targeting civilians which would severely limit its utility. Being able to instantaneously return fire would be far more useful. As a matter of fact I have been puzzled that we haven't developed remote controlled patrol vehicles like those now being used in the air.

Bob
7th December, 2010 @ 07:37 am PST

Fire first, and not ask questions. It's not in its programming.

Eletruk
7th December, 2010 @ 09:07 am PST

There's another (southern) border that comes to mind where this could be used with a non lethal weapon system.

Bruce Williams
7th December, 2010 @ 12:02 pm PST

As is far too common on Gizmag, the hype in this story far exceeds the facts.

The first half is all about the DMZ, then we're told how this gun could be used there, and finally, we're told that gizmag really doesn't know anything about the gun's deployment. Gizmag had created the story from thin air.

DrifterToo
7th December, 2010 @ 12:44 pm PST

Welsarth, Bruce spot on my thoughts exactly though non lethal, naww

Bill Bennett
7th December, 2010 @ 10:24 pm PST

Another "popular mechanics" wank ourselves over ways to kill other people - and thus bolster the banks investment in war profiteering.....

Mr Stiffy
7th December, 2010 @ 10:40 pm PST

@Bob: You write "Nor would you want a battle triggered by a deer grazing across it's field of view"

I have it on good authority that these turrets have incorporated the infamous Bunker Hill algorithm which holds fire until the camera is able to detect the whites of their eyes.

Since deer have no whites,, problem solved!

adamw
8th December, 2010 @ 04:14 am PST

Sweet!

The terminators have arrived. Hook them up to goog-skynet, put them on segways and start executing "plan B".

Conny Söre
8th December, 2010 @ 08:55 am PST

But before they can build any more... THEY MUST CONSTRUCT ADDITIONAL PYLONS

Chris Ryan
8th December, 2010 @ 09:07 am PST

The additional plyons comment got a chuckle out of me.

jimnorcal
9th December, 2010 @ 03:30 am PST

"Spy, sappin' my sentry!"

But more appropriate for North Korea...

"This is unbelievable..." *gunfire*

"20 meters and closing...15..." *gunfire*

"How many?" *gunfire*

"Can't tell...lots! *more gunfire* D-gun's down 50%. C-gun's right behind it"

"It ain't stoppin' em...this **** jus' ain't stoppin em!" *screams and gunfire*

"150 rounds on D!" *continuous gunfire*

"C'mon...c'mon, baby? C'mon!" *non-stop firing*

"100 rounds! (C'mon, c'mon!)" *screams and explosions*

*BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP* (lots of screams)

"D-gun's down to 20.....10....dammit!" *grabs pulse rifle*

Facebook User
9th December, 2010 @ 08:13 am PST

Nice Aliens reference. Still one of the best movies in my opinion.

ForFreedom
10th December, 2010 @ 04:26 am PST

Judgment day may come sooner then we think. God save John Connor! :D

IR
11th December, 2010 @ 06:55 am PST

@Bob, just for your information there is nothing great about this at all. Killing people is an obscenity and if you don't have the stomach to do it with your own hand then you should be put down.

Nick Rowney
12th December, 2010 @ 03:50 pm PST

Funnies:

"Killing people is an obscenity... you should be put down." Does that mean you hate killing but you like "putting down"?

One thing I can stand is intolerance. It should never be allowed.

My mother told me a million times not to exaggerate.

"We need these on our Southern border" means what, kill all the illegals who try to cross the border to escape poverty? The Statue of Liberty only welcomes white northern Europeans, eh? The rest of the world's population is unfit and should be exterminated. Heil Hitler!

666gm666
13th December, 2010 @ 02:36 am PST

"We need these on our Southern border" means what, kill all the illegals who try to cross the border to escape poverty? The Statue of Liberty only welcomes white northern Europeans, eh? The rest of the world's population is unfit and should be exterminated. Heil Hitler!"

Thats one way to put it coming out of the mouth of someone who probably thinks he is secretly robin hood, or Robin hood had a good idea. You only quoted one part of what the guy wrote, he said with non-lethal weaponry. But either way lethal or otherwise, yes shoot a INVADER. You said it in your own writing. ILLEGALS, being that they are well ILLEGAL and crossing over the border ILLEGALLY which amounts to a invasion then yes weapons free. Overall it would serve in all Americans and their children future. On that note I agree that technology like this (unmanned sentry weaponry) could be used to with great success not only in protecting borders while they are being breech but deter it from happening in the first place. Though I will say it should like the original quote that you quoted out of context said use non-lethal weaponry. Though if it did not work other measures would be necessary. However it would work as non-lethal weapons that disable without real long term harmful effects, would give time for agents to pick up the ILLEGAL INVADERS and escort them back to their country. So while you may think your way of arguing is cute with how you quote out of context in hopes for your side to sound better, I would say what you wrote is crap and nothing more. Take your over liberal robin hood love everyone but your own country mentality and wonder into the Korean DMZ for everyones sake. because quite frankly quoting people out of context shows your failure. Thought your mother told you not to exaggerate, because that is all your post was. "Heil Hitler!"? Really, come on with that shit I love how you throw in the "white northern Europeans" comment. Sorry no that is not all that is allowed in. How about what is allowed in are those who go through every legal channel no matter how long it takes, and if you do not get in oh well try again or give up. But instead its just ok for them to go hop the border with no recourse since they are close, while those Northern Europeans go through every hoop imaginable. Funny people like you are usually the idiots screaming America has no right to go certain places blah blah blah, however its alright for others to just outright invade without any rules just hop on over. Funny thing is people like you also defend other countries rights to scrutinize who they let in to their country or how other countries can be very selective of who they grant citizenship to, or how they wish to protect their borders. Should we employ something halfway close to those measures you bitch and moan. Just to get into Mexico for a vacation Americans have to jump through a ton of hoops and pay money to do it. But hey for them to just have a nice shiny new country that pays for them to live all they have to do is make it over a under-secured border and they are home free no fee. Sorry these would be great even if deadly force had to be used. I can say with certainty this type of weaponry would probably prevent more death and protect the country a lot better than the current border protection. So I say get them or something like them, they could shoot tranqualizers for all I care. Tranq them pick em up and escort em back, if that is somehow inhumane to you than your just a loon. So this was long but every bit I said was valid, it was a article on weaponry and you turned it into a attack with your smugness and misquotes. Do not worry in the end of the day you will think your still right and that your better than others because, well because your absolutely crazy and probably have a disease I call uber-liberidiotism.

gvr492
14th December, 2010 @ 01:49 pm PST

666gm666 when quoting please use the whole sentence and not part of it. I said if you aren't prepared to do it with you own hand then you should be put down and yes I believe people who start wars should be killed (make them lead the charge).

I do however like your sense of humour.

As for gvr492..... man if you are going to say something make it concise I tried to read your rant but to many words I got tired.

Nick Rowney
14th December, 2010 @ 04:53 pm PST

South Korea is best Korea!!! hurra...

Stephen O'shea
15th December, 2010 @ 04:47 pm PST

I'd hate to work in the factory that makes this weapon, especially if someone forgets to turn the gun off after testing.

MrGadget
17th November, 2012 @ 12:39 am PST

Technicality: There is no "12.7mm caliber", because the word caliber is referring to inch diameter. It's just 12.7mm or .50 caliber. Interesting weapon, good article.

Brett Lewis
8th February, 2013 @ 01:26 pm PST

I agree with gvr492 for about 1/3 to maby 1/2 of his statement. After that, it would have probably been better if i stopped reading or he stopped writing.

Arahant
10th May, 2013 @ 01:14 pm PDT
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