I could have sworn I killed this thing while playing Mass Effect 2 the other day, but the designer says this is actually a benevolent, firefighting automaton called Firegard that's meant to aid firemen in the field, not kill them.

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Much like the bomb-sniffing and disarming robots deployed in Iraq today, Firegard goes where humans can't, or shouldn't go. Like precarious, burning and unstable structures.

Using its unique "wheels" and segmented body, the Fireguard can navigate uneven terrain with ease, hypothetically. A camera at the head records imagery and video, which can be used by firefighters in a command center to assess the situation and act accordingly.

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Again, just a concept for now, but I can easily see such a device scaring the bejesus out of rescue victims in some burning building from the future. [Kh-Berlin via Design Blog]