As the Israel vs. Hamas situation heats up in the Middle East, the Israeli government is watching the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip very closely. This Robo Cop-looking unmanned truck is one of the pieces of equipment the Israel Defense Force uses to patrol the border.

Built by Israeli Company G-NIUS, the Guardian UGV is a fully automated offroad vehicle that could fit two men, but is instead outfitted with an array of cameras and sensors (and maybe some defenses of its own). It's based upon the chassis of a TOMCAR, which is basically a really advanced ATV. Developed for the Israel Defense Force 30 years ago, the TOMCAR was designed to fit inside of Sea Knight and Chinook helicopters, and uses special swing axles to provide huge ground clearance. It turned out to be a good platform for a remote controlled recon truck.

G-NIUS produced a cheesy video showing how the Guardian UGV can be used. It's operated remotely to pick out targets and coordinate air and ground assaults. It also looks like a machine from Robo Cop, and probably scares the living bejesus out of anyone who sees it. But it keeps soldiers who might otherwise be riding in it out of harm's way.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that there's a chance residents of states bordering Mexico might see these start to pop up, if they haven't already. The U.S. Border Patrol currently has a few TOMCARs on patrol duty, so putting a few cameras on some of them wouldn't be much of a stretch. (Hat tip to minardi!)

Photo credit: Israel Defense Force