Who needs people to guard a nuclear weapons facility when you can build an autonomous robot to do it?
Or, at least that’s what the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) was probably thinking when they ordered up three robo-tanks to take on the task of watching over the Nevada nuclear test site.
The first of the robots, named the Mobile Detection Assessment Response System (MDARS), just started working, according to Wired’s Danger Room, where we saw the story. Two more are scheduled to start their work in other remote locations on the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS, which is basically in the middle of the desert) within the next six months.
The NNSA claims in its press release that the new system will save six million dollars in infrastructure and a million a year in personnel and maintenance:
“The robots are a great addition to the NNSS protective force,” said Brad Peterson, Chief and Associate Administrator for Defense Nuclear Security. “The robots allow us to improve security at remote portions of the Nevada National Security Site at reduced costs. Deploying MDARS robots at NNSS is another example of NNSA’s commitment to being effective stewards of taxpayers’ money.”