Subaru has long enjoyed a reputation for crafting robust vehicles that thrive in hostile environments, enduring everything from the hellish terrain of the WRC's Cyprus Rally to the toughest Colorado winter. Now, Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, is taking that stoutness to a whole new level: minesweeping. Yes, really.
Officials for FHI have announced that they'll be testing their latest unconventional off-roader, a 1.5-ton robot, beginning in Croatia at the end of next month. The semi-autonomous Scooby sniffer can reportedly detect mines up to one meter deep with 90 percent accuracy.
Interestingly, this isn't Subaru's only munitions detector, let alone android. Despite letting other Japanese firms steal their robotic limelight (read: Honda's Asimo), Subaru has been working on robots for ten years. In addition to more mundane appliances like automated garbage pickers and floor sweepers, Subaru apparently has a six-legged, gasoline-powered 'spider' that crawls over minefields, marking potential troublespots. Road test, please.