As the number of robots in the Iraq war and other combat zones have risen dramatically over the past five years, so too have robot death tolls. The problem? Soldiers consider these life-saving machines essential to their units, and the government considers their continued operation essential to their financial bottom line (a combat-ready robot can cost $100,000).

Sharon Weinberger reports that at a recent robot conference in Denver, robot manufacturers trotted out several new features for their soldier bots, all aimed at keeping them alive longer. Some may come equipped with the signal jammers that soldiers use to disarm cell phone IEDs; others may have lasers so that they can disarm bombs from a distance rather than getting close enough to be blown up themselves.

via AOL News (Thanks, questorps7!)