The United States Marine Corps completed the first of several tests on its latest military vehicle nicknamed GUSS. For those who are wondering, GUSS stands for Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate, which is an unmanned support vehicle seen in the video above designed to assist Marines on the battlefield. GUSS works by locking on to a beacon carried by a Marine and drives along side the unit.
It can carry up to 1,600 pounds, including water, medical aid, ammo, and spare weapons. Not only can GUSS carry supplies directly to a fire team or a platoon, but it can evacuate a wounded Marine from the battlefield (yes it has the carrying capacity to carry Pvt. Pyle).
Like something out of a SciFi movie, GUSS is capable of creating its own route, avoiding obstacles, and dead ends, thanks to its LIDAR Scanner, cameras and advanced mapping computer. Its 4×4 suspension allows it to navigate through the roughest terrain, and if it gets stuck a Marine will be notified and operate it by radio control through the use of on-board cameras. If that fails, he can hop in and drive it like a standard Jeep.
GUSS was a joint project by TORC Robotics, Virginia Tech, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgreen Division.
The tests were recently conducted at the RIMPAC 2014 event during which it proved very effective on a battlefield, especially in the area of casualty evacuation. As robotics such as drones and automated Jeeps begin entering the battlefield, will the role of the USMC become obsolete? Will Parris Island instead be full of robot recruits instead of young men wishing to become Marines?