myEarthLink
News

Weather  

 

The Weather Channel
Cloudy
59° F
New York, NY
Cloudy
Hi: N/A° / Lo: 57°

Sports   edit

nhl - Scoreboard [hide]

Sunday, April 9, 2017
New Jersey Devils (28-40-14) at
Final
No Games Scheduled
No Games Scheduled

nba - Scoreboard [hide]

Monday, May 22, 2017
Final
No Games Scheduled
No Games Scheduled

nfl - Scoreboard [hide]

Sunday, January 1, 2017
Final
No Games Scheduled
Friday, August 11, 2017
Preview

mlb - Scoreboard [hide]

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Final
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Friday, May 26, 2017
Preview

Market Update  

- By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch 'If that's not a sign of a bubble idk what is lol' Dan Bilzerian's penchant for automatic weapons, high-stakes poker, fast women and faster cars has made hi...
More

MarketWatch

 
Sign In to get personalized news, weather and more at myEarthLink.
 

Printable View

Robots, rappelling, rifles: Showcase of special ops gadgets
In this photo taken Tuesday, May 16, 2017, an underwater drone is seen in a tank at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, Fla. The conference is for military special operations forces featuring gadgets, weapons and tools. (AP Photos - Tamara Lush)
By TAMARA LUSH
From Associated Press
May 19, 2017 11:45 AM EST

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — It's like a supermarket for Navy SEALs. A grocery store for Green Berets. A Costco for commandoes.

It's a conference for military special operations forces and their gadgets, weapons and tools. The Special Operations Forces Industry Conference is held yearly in Tampa. Here, the U.S. Special Operations Command — the Tampa-based unit that oversees all of the nation's elite military teams — shops for equipment.

Lantern-jawed Marines in camo mingle with computer geeks in chinos who run complex intel programs on the convention floor. Panels such as "Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit Sessions" are popular, and alphabet soup acronyms are common in casual conversation ("Are you going to the USSOCOM J-Code Directors Panel?").

Outside the convention center, maritime displays of sleek boats with mounted weapons cruise by, and underwater drones surface.

Prototypes of new gadgets and gear are showcased. Robots, holograms, tanks, lethal weapons — it's all on display.

Here are some of the interesting gadgets that were on the trade show floor during the weeklong event, which wraps up Friday.

___

UNDER THE SEA

Deep Trekker is a Canadian company that sells underwater drones. The small grey cylinders with cameras can be remote-controlled on land or in the water, and Sam MacDonald, president, says the device can dive down 150 meters — it's great for hull inspection or contraband, checking out port security.

"We've also had it used in the Special Forces, for things they can't really tell us a lot about," she said.

___

NOT YOUR HOUSEHOLD ROBOT

Joseph Smith of Massachusetts-based Endeavor Robotics smiled patiently when a reporter asked whether his company's robots were in any way like the ubiquitous Roomba vacuums. At more than $100,000 each, the 510 Packbot overcomes stairs, obstacles and debris. It can reach speeds of 5.8 MPH (9.3 KM/H); perform bomb disposal, surveillance and reconnaissance; and detect hazardous materials.

Smith, a Marine, looked around the trade show floor. "I would say that this room is probably filled with the world's best in class warriors, yes."

___

A SIMPLER RIFLE

Gabriele de Plano of gunmaker Beretta showed off a new rifle — a soldier doesn't have to carry around a ton of batteries for the rifle's components.

"Overall, we're simplifying the system; we're adding capabilities with what the soldier can do with his assault rifle," de Plano said. The rifle's components run on six AA batteries

___

SPIDEY SENSE

Jeffry Pietersz of the Netherlands-based TAGS-Systems not only sells things that will help soldiers rappel up and down buildings but is also a little like Spiderman himself.

"When a special forces team wants to enter a ship, they use one of our compact launchers to shoot a grapnel and hook onto a ship with a rope attached," Pieterz explained, tugging on a device and a rope attached high into the convention center rafters. "And if they want to climb the ship, they can use one of our power ascenders to assault it. This is a battery-powered ascender — it has an exchangeable battery, and it has a lifting capacity of 150 kilograms. Optimized for a fully equipped operator. It will hoist yourself up 60 meters per minute."

With that, he zipped into the air.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.