Engineers are being urged by the US military to come up with designs for a robot that can rescue injured soldiers from the battlefield, with minimal or no help from outside.
A posting on the Pentagon's small business technology transfer website says that retrieving casualties while under fire is a major cause of combat losses, reports New Scientist.
So, the army is asking inventors to design a robot with strong, dexterous arms and grippers that can deal with "the large number of body positions and types of locations in which casualties can be found".
They said that the robot should be able to plan an approach and escape route without prior knowledge of the local terrain and geography.
The robot should also be able to cooperate with swarms of similar machines for mass rescues, says the army.