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Remote Control Military Vehicles: A Brief History

Remote Control Vehicles: A Brief History

A remote control vehicle is defined as any mobile device that is controlled by a means that does not restrict its motion with an origin external to the device. This is often a radio control device, cable between control and vehicle, or an infrared controller. A remote control vehicle or RCV differs from a robot in that the RCV is always controlled by a human and takes no positive action autonomously.

Military usage of remotely controlled military vehicles dates back to the first half of 20th century. The Soviet Red Army used remotely controlled teletanks during 1930s in the Winter War and early stages of World War II. There were also remotely controlled cutters and experimental remotely controlled planes in the Red Army.

Remote control vehicles are used in law enforcement and military engagements for some of the same reasons. The exposure to hazards are mitigated to the person who operates the vehicle from a location of relative safety. Remote controlled vehicles are used by many police department bomb-squads to defuse or detonate explosives.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have undergone a dramatic evolution in capability in the past decade. Early UAV's were capable of reconnaissance missions alone and then only with a limited range. Current UAV's can hover around possible targets until they are positively identified before releasing their payload of weaponry. Backpack sized UAV's will provide ground troops with over the horizon surveillance capabilities.

Small scale remote control vehicles have long been popular among hobbyists. These remote controlled vehicles span a wide range in terms of price and sophistication. There are many types of radio controlled vehicles. These include on-road cars, off-road trucks, boats, airplanes, and even helicopters. The "robots" now popular in television shows such as Robot Wars, are a recent extension of this hobby (these vehicles do not meet the classical definition of a robot; they are remotely controlled by a human). Radio-controlled submarines also exist. (courtesy: Wikipedia)