05/04/2011 05:22 pm ET | Updated Jul 04, 2011

ReconRobotics' Recon Scout Throwable Bot To Climb Boats, Foil Pirates

Last week, we learned that the robots learned the comparatively pedestrian skills of catching balls and making coffee. This week, things have gotten a bit more serious with a tiny new anti-pirate bot.

ReconRobotics and SSC Pacific announced a new bot that can be blasted out of a gun, crawl metallic walls and be deployed via a larger "marsupial" robot. This one pound, beercab-sized bot is a modified version of ReconRobotics' Recon Scout Throwbot. Discover Magazine's Discoblog reports that U.S. forces have already been using the current version of the ReconScout Throwbot, which can be tossed 120 feet, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both of the remote-controlled bots pack a video camera, and are able to send live footage back to the control unit.

The new bot will have magnetized wheels for "climbing up and over" a ship's hull (watch a prototype in the video below), and ReconRobotics believes it will be helpful for anti-pirate operations where a remote controlled, robot-mounted video will be able to safely board a ship and send back footage. Low light isn't a problem either; the 'bot has infrared illuminators to see in total darkness.