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The Israeli army is trading its llamas for robots

Reuters/Ronen Zvulun
The golden era of llama warriors is coming to a close.
  • Dave Gershgorn
By Dave Gershgorn

Artificial intelligence reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Great news if you’re an Israeli war llama: Your tour of duty is over.

The Israeli army will begin testing robots designed to carry up to 1,100 pounds of equipment alongside soldiers starting in September, according to Haaretz.

Llamas have proven to be valuable combat companions in Israel: The website Israeli Defense credits the animals’ strength and stealth, as well as their ability to hold completely still, and to keep cool amidst gunfire. Despite being practically perfect warriors, llamas have been slowly phased out of service as they can sometimes slow down soldiers during critical missions (although reports indicate some soldiers haven’t had proper llama training).

The robot replacement will be controlled remotely, and could even someday transport injured soldiers back from the front lines. Haaretz notes that these robots—like their llama predecessors—are not armed, though that could change. The robots can operate for up to 8 hours on a battery charge, and drive 3 to 6 miles per hour.

While llama employment appears to be on the decline, job prospects for goats remain strong.

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