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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Military Touts 'Robugs'

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico () -- Tiny "robot soldiers" capable of clearing landmines, detecting chemical weapons and guiding missile strikes ahead of troops will be commonplace by 2001, scientists said Monday.

So-called Small, Smart Machines -- also known as "battlefield robots" -- being designed in a $33 million lab unveiled in Albuquerque on Monday will be the size of a shoe box or as small as a dime. They will crawl, hop and eventually fly over minefields, across deserts and beaches and through towns, gathering information for nearby troops or headquarters thousands of miles away.

Nicknamed "robugs," the tiny battlefield robots will be cheap and dispensable, loaded with electronics found on portable stereos and cellular phones, officials said.