[[quoteright:330:[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mecha_maneuvers_6853.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:There's no way they can lose now in this war.[[note]]Technically [[TheEmpire "they"]] did.[[/note]]]]

->''"CAUTION: Large feet required to evenly disperse weight in a fantasy cartoon environment."''
-->-- [[http://nidaram.deviantart.com Nidaram]][[http://nidaram.deviantart.com/art/PERFECT-MECHA-114540355 tells it like it is.]]

Real robots are what happens when HumongousMecha and MilitaryScienceFiction collide; they're mecha that are treated just like any other weapon of war. Unlike the SuperRobot, real robots are typically mass produced units designed and built by governments and large corporations, rather than something designed and built by (or for) a single person -- though the occasional SuperPrototype or AceCustom may be an exception. While real robots might be the dominant weapon of the setting, they frequently appear alongside other forms of combat vehicle (like the CoolTank, CoolPlane, and SpaceFighter) rather than replacing them entirely. In other words, instead of being the be-all and end-all of a conflict, real robots are simply another cog in the war machine.

Real robots also tend to be harder than super robots on MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness, often involving elaborate forms of AppliedPhlebotinum to explain why giant robots are physically possible to create and tactically advantageous to use. On the harder end of the scale, this explanation may become a full-blown type of MinovskyPhysics. Even on the softer side of the scale, real robots usually take into account things like the immense cost in time, material, and expertise of operating a machine as large and complicated as a giant robot would inevitably be. Expect to see references to things like extensive maintenance requirements, the logistics of supplying fuel, ammunition, and spare parts, and other such ancillary issues.

Of course, all of this won't stop an OrdinaryHighschoolStudent with no one but a RagtagBunchOfMisfits for support from FallingIntoTheCockpit and saving the day when the plot requires it, but it ''will'' make such a feat seem all the more impressive when it happens. Oddly enough, because of the emphasis on realism for the mecha, real robots tend to make their ''pilots'' be the ones to stretch WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief instead. After all, when you can't rely on pure HotBlood and ThePowerOfLove to save the day, then it's entirely up to the main character's HeroicSpirit and ImprobablePilotingSkills to do the job instead -- and how unrealistic is ''that''?

Real robots are often HumongousMecha, but other types like MiniMecha or PoweredArmor are also common. They are often (but not always) featured in the RealRobotGenre. Compare and contrast SuperRobot. See also WalkingTank.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' was the TropeMaker, though it didn't completely shed its roots and retained plenty of SuperRobot traits. Still, with a few exceptions (like ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'', ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'', and ''Anime/TurnAGundam'') even the SuperPrototype Gundams themselves are solidly real robot in the "treated as weapons, not superheroes" sense -- and in the shows where the Gundams aren't, the [[MechaMooks grunt suits]] still are.
** Of particular note is ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam'', which is undoubtedly the [[MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness hardest]] Gundam show to date. Much attention is paid to maintenance and logistics -- to the point where some of the mecha in question undergo changes (including one near-total redesign) while being repaired, due to a lack of spare parts. The techs are basically MacGyvering them back together. There's also how they're actually used in the series - they're seen used in combined operations, supporting and being supported by infantry and other vehicles, rather than still being superweapons that handle their battles on their own like in the other series.
* ''Anime/{{Patlabor}}'', where mecha are mostly used in a non-military setting by industrial workers and the police. Some militaries (the Japanese Self Defense Forces in particular) have mecha too, but they tend to be of the SpiderTank variety... at least until they start to commission military versions of the mecha the police are using.
* Predating Patlabor, most mecha in ''[[Anime/{{Xabungle}} Combat Mecha Xabungle]]'', with exception of few models (like the Xabungle), are actually working machines used for digging mineral. However, the savage WildWest-ish setting means pretty much every mech is also armed with a weapon.
* ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' toyed with this for a while, as it did most tropes. While the Valkyries and Destroids are quite clearly just advanced military hardware from the outset, for a while it appears that the eponymous Macross itself might qualify for SuperRobot status, what with its main cannon capable of blowing away entire enemy fleets in a single shot. That is, until the climax of the show where it's revealed that [[spoiler:''every'' Zentradi ship has a gun like that, they've just been refraining from using them as they wanted to study the Macross and its inhabitants before destroying it]].
* ''Anime/SuperDimensionCavalrySouthernCross''
* ''Anime/GenesisClimberMospeada''
* ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'', which consists of ''Macross'', ''Southern Cross'', and ''Mospeada'' meshed together with a CutAndPasteTranslation.
* ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico:'' Played with, in that many of the mecha pilots are ''fans'' of SuperRobot shows, and try to bring in the associated tropes. (Sometimes this is vaguely succssful. Sometimes this is tragic.)
* ''Anime/ArmoredTrooperVotoms'', which is famous as being one of the grittiest and hardest mecha shows ever released. The mecha are small, ugly and utilitarian and seemingly very disposable, at least to the main character who goes through dozens of them by the series end.
* ''Anime/FangOfTheSunDougram''
* ''Anime/{{Gasaraki}}''
* ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' has a notably serious and semi-realistic depiction of mecha on a battlefield. Of course, having the series [[LampshadeHanging point out]] that mecha are unrealistic (and using physics-defying BlackBox AppliedPhlebotinum generators as power sources) gives it room to keep a SuperRobot trope or two.
* All the mecha in ''Anime/SoukouNoStrain'' but Ram-Dass and the Gloire are mass produced (and the pilots are [[KillEmAll generally expendable]]).
* ''{{Dai-Guard}}'' has the odd distinction of being a Real Robot in a SuperRobotGenre show. While the format is pure super robot genre -- featuring the Dai-Guard versus the MonsterOfTheWeek -- the Dai-Guard itself is ''extremely'' real robot, with not only maintenance and logistics taken into account, but also things like insurance for the property damage they inevitably cause, or the mountains of paperwork its pilots have to keep up with. The only reason the Dai-Guard is the only mecha they have to fight the [[{{Kaiju}} Heterodynes]] is because no one else bothered to build and maintain such an expensive machine when there was no obvious use for it. Once Heterodyne appearances become frequent, the military does eventually build their own.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' has a solid Real Robot setting where its small Knightmare Frames are originally used in a way that is halfway between modern entries in the ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' universe and ''Anime/ArmoredTrooperVotoms''. During the second season, a rapidly-accelerating LensmanArmsRace takes place, which means that the two most advanced Knightmare Frames end up being head and shoulders above anything else by the finale.
* HAVWC units from ''Anime/{{Flag}}'' are usually deployed from real-world Osprey transport helicopters, and use their four-wheeled mode to travel across terrain before the four wheels come together underneath the machine to make it "stand up" so it can fire its massive gatling gun. It also requires extensive modification and testing to attach a new weapon to it (to the point where an entire episode is devoted to tuning a machine in preparation for loading a giant sniper rifle onto it).
* The ''Manga/{{Rideback}}s'' from the anime/manga of the same name, vehicles with arms and the ability to convert between a motorcycle-style speed mode and a humanoid maneuvering mode.
* The ''Manga/AirGear'' manga has a few of these in the form of the 'Caesar's Chariot', a one-person vehicle similar to a tank. Although it has a turret, in place of tracks it has a twin two-segment legs with wheels on the end that fold up much like a human kneeling. It's considered a prototype, but being able to stand, crouch and even jump combined with its smaller footprint makes it far more maneuverable than existing tanks. Doesn't stop them from being thrashed by the series' protagonists though.
* ''Gaiking: Legend of Daiku-Maryu'' uses a number of real robot conventions, such as having its own style of MinovskyPhysics and paying attention to things like supplies, despite the original ''Anime/{{Gaiking}}'' (a GoNagai anime from the '70s) being entirely SuperRobot.
* ''Anime/BlueCometSPTLayzner'' is definitely one of these, to the extent that ammunition & fueling are actually key plot points.
* ''Manga/TheFiveStarStories'' is definitely this. The [[AllThereInTheManual author's notes]] go into much detail about the key components of the mecha, and an entire volume was once spent repairing one.
* ''Anime/VipersCreed'' with the Maneuver-Roid, which can switch between a mech and a motorbike. These are heavily customized with different weapons and equipment, depending on the operator. Given that Shinji Aramaki made the majority of the show, it should be no surprise to anyone. The mechs are powered up thanks to the electrical supply built in the highways after World War III and global warming.
* The ''SakuraWars'' franchise.
* ''GunparadeMarch'' pits real robots against {{Kaiju}}. Another entry in the franchise, ''Gunparade Orchestra'', is significantly softer than ''March'' but both treat their mecha as essentially giant infantry -- with many of the same problems.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The Powerloader from ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' is a non-combat mecha that straddles the line between MiniMecha and PoweredArmor (minus any actual ''armor''; the "cockpit" is open-air), used -- as the name suggests -- for hefting cargo around. The depiction was so realistic that reportedly some construction firms asked the production company [[TheRedStapler where they could get one]].
* The [=AMP=] suits from ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' are fairly realistic MiniMecha. Their vaguely humanoid shape (including hands) is justified because it makes them more natural to pilot (and the audience actually gets to see this when the controls are shown in use), and gives them the flexibility to be used in many roles -- several times they are seen loading and unloading containers and doing other heavy non-combat work. This flexibility also means the suits can operate a variety of heavy weapons, without needing to have {{Arm Cannon}}s built in. [[AllThereInTheManual The Pandorapedia]] has [[http://www.pandorapedia.com/human_operations/vehicles/amp_suit an article on them]] detailing lots of other [[ShownTheirWork realistic design details]]. It notes that the [=AMP=] suits were based on earlier powered military exo-skeletons (which are actually being developed in RealLife).
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Most novels in ''TheHistoryOfTheGalaxy'' series prominently feature [[AMechByAnyOtherName serv-machines]], which are mass-produced and piloted by a human/AI combination, with the AI learning non-standard tactics from humans. Can also be piloted by [=AIs=], but off-the-assembly-line models are not very effective, as they lack experience. The author likes to go into technical detail regarding the operations of these machines. Typical of the genre, there are multiple models geared towards specific roles on the battlefield. The most common ones are the heavy Phalanxer and the light Hoplite, which often work in combat pairs with the Phalanxer providing heavy, long-range support, while the more nimble Hoplite keeps it safe from enemies that get too close or provides scouting intel, such as target-spotting. Other mentioned models are the medium Raven and the obsolete Golden Eagle.
* The Deinonychus Combat Mech and the Bellafaun Archangel types from ''Literature/ZetsubouRobo'' are a more recent American example of the trope. The book mentions that the Deinonychus itself is an evolution of standard industrial mecha found in low-gravity colonies and mining locations when military thinking is applied to what is otherwise a glorified construction machine.
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The ''TabletopGame/{{BattleTech}}'' universe. The [=BattleMechs=] are simply robots and their pilots simply humans. [=BattleMechs=] are akin to modern tanks in being kings of the battlefield, and like modern tanks they are still under threat from armored vehicles and even infantry; lone infantry troopers have been shown taking down a [=BattleMech=] with nothing more than a grappel rod and demo charge.
* The Striders and Gears of ''TabletopGame/HeavyGear'' are somewhere between HumongousMecha and PoweredArmor, but they are clearly Real Robots. The only marker they don't hit is interchangeable pilots, and that's because most pilots are only trained for one specific type of Gear or Strider over an entire lifespan. Beyond that point, they're treated like lighter, cheaper, and more mobile tanks, without the tank's hefty armor and heavier firepower. This can lead to [[ScrappyLevel problems]] when the computer games pit you against [[RedshirtArmy dozens of tanks]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' tends to treat its various Mecha along these lines, varying between different factions and types of giant robots. Imperial Guard Sentinels, Tau Battlesuits and Eldar War-Walkers are simply specialized units that die about as fast as anything else, while Space Marine Dreadnoughts and Eldar Wraithlords are a class up. Then there's the [[HumongousMecha Titans]]. Subverted to some degree in that Imperial mechs are treated as walking [[CargoCult god-machines]], Eldar mechs use the trapped souls of their people, Chaos mechs are literally possessed by demons, and Ork mechs work [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve because the Orks think they should]]. The Tau, however, use purely technological mecha, though none of them are [[HumongousMecha Humongous]].
* [[TabletopGame/IronKingdoms Warmachine]] has [[AMechByAnyOtherName warjacks]] which are massed produced by the various nations and [[BondCreatures bonded]] to the minds of the [[MagicKnight warcasters]] that use them. These bonds can be easily severed so as to allow warcasters to switch warjacks as they are destroyed or otherwise replaced, though personality traits and sparks of self awareness can develop in warjacks if they are bonded to one warcaster for long enough.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'''s warstriders are ''usually'' a {{Magitek}} version of this. While one does have to be an Exalt to pilot one effectively, that's simply because they can provide the Essence to power them. They're tools of war, that provide greater strength and defenses (and bigger weapons) in exchange for being a massive pain to maintain. However, once Solars get involved, you get personalized Royal Warstriders that are pure SuperRobot.
* The most common kind of robot in ''TabletopGame/{{Mekton}}'', although you can do {{Super Robot}}s too. In particular, anything costing less than 100 [[PointBuySystem CP]]. The system tends to break when you go above two or three hundred CP, and due to the system using cost multipliers for many "flashy" (and a few core) system, making a typical SuperRobot tends to cost several ''thousand''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''Videogame/MechWarrior'' franchise is a series of HumongousMecha simulators set in the ''TabletopGame/{{BattleTech}}'' universe. The mechs are essentially {{Walking Tank}}s, very vulnerable to having their legs shot out from under them, are (relatively) slow, and have extensive [[DesignItYourselfEquipment modification options]], such as swapping out armor for a bigger engine or [[MoreDakka more guns]]. Firing your weapons causes the mech to heat up, and OverHeating your mech can cause your [[MadeOfExplodium ammo to cook-off]] or the [[GoingCritical nuclear fusion reactor to explode]] inside your mech.
* ''VideoGame/AssaultSuitsValken (a.k.a. Cybernator)'' employs this trope - the titular assault suits, as well as other HumongousMecha, are deployed in large quantities, all very similar in design. As evidenced by the intro, any schmuck who was unlucky enough to get drafted can pilot one. In addition, the game's box art shows an assault suit being fueled and worked on, like any real vehicle would.
* Goliaths from the original ''VideoGame/StarCraft''. Terran mech play was expanded in the sequel, with HumongousMecha Thors and TransformingMecha Vikings. The ''Heart of the Swarm'' expansion was going to introduce the ''BattleTech''-esque Warhound, but Blizzard was unable to iron out its balance issues. It still appears in the campaign, though.
* The [=VTs=] of the ''SteelBattalion'' games are the most blatant example. Especially when you must figure out how to drive a HumongousMecha ''with a Humongous Controller'' featuring 3 joysticks, 4 pedals, and more than 50 buttons and dials! [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Steel_Battalion_controllers.jpg Have a looksee]]. It's worth noting that one button is the eject button, which you must use in time or else the game will erase your save file, [[FinalDeathMode as if you died]].
* The ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'' series is also an example. As of [=AC4=], there are three types of robots: [=MTs=], extremely expendable fodder bots that usually go down in one hit, "Normals", custom-built giant robot built to spec from the ground up for each pilot, with modular equipment and parts that can be swapped out between missions (also known as old-style Armored Cores), and the "Nexts", Armored Cores with the latest advances in AppliedPhlebotinum.
* The titular Hounds of ''VideoGame/{{Chromehounds}}''. Essentially a combination of ''MechWarrior'' and ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'' with a speed limit of 20 MPH, anything smaller than an ACV is essentially an non-entity compared to the Hounds. [=ACVs=] can still cause trouble when they have numbers on their side, though, and Hound v Hound combat is brutal almost beyond belief. One's first ten or so forays into multiplayer combat are guaranteed to end badly for the new guy, as the more experienced pilots rip both the rookie and themselves into tiny chunks of metal. Much like real life air combat, the victor is the one who screwed up the least.
* The ''VideoGame/FrontMission'' series of games. War machines there include tanks and 'copters as well as robots, most of which are camouflage painted and equipped with bigger versions of infantry or armor weapons. Pilots can swap parts in and out as they wish, but their skill lists generally tend in a certain direction for each pilot in order to create a balanced team. Also, the mecha of this series see heavy use in construction and civil engineering as well.
* The AFW units in ''RingOfRed'' are examples of this trope -- requiring a crew to load the main weapons, and additional infantry squads to provide support and cover fire. They also can only operate for very short periods before overheating, and visually are basically tanks with legs -- many models take very obvious inspiration from WWII-era tanks. Crippling the legs is important; there are no less than four infantry techniques meant specifically to do just that, and an AFW's targeting computer is programmed to shoot the legs when allowed to calculate max accuracy.
* Being the [[TropeNamer original source]] of the term "real robot", ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' has loads of these, from Grunt and Mook mecha like the Gespenst and Lion to {{Super Prototype}}s like the R-2 and Huckebein Mk III.
* There's also ''VideoGame/AnotherCenturysEpisode'', a game series that is quite literally ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' [[XMeetsY Meets]] ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'', since it's made by the team of Banpresto and From Software. It almost exclusively uses Real Robots, the only exceptions being ''[[GetterRobo Getter Robo Armageddon]]'' and ''{{Aquarion}}'' (though Hybrid types like ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'' and ''BrainPowerd'' are included with no fuss).
* One of the ''VideoGame/{{Earth 2150}}'' trilogy's factions, the [[TheFederation United Civilized States]], possesses a land army that's chock full of this, except for a lone [[TankGoodness tank]] that fills the role of MightyGlacier.
* ''Iron Soldier'' for the AtariJaguar has the player piloting a stolen Real Robot against the enemy's forces.
* ''VideoGame/ShogoMobileArmorDivision'', a PC FPS, made by the same people who made [[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon FEAR]] years later, was pretty much the closest thing to a Gundam FPS before they actually made a Gundam FPS. Completely deviating from series like ''MechWarrior'', it featured multiple types of mecha, as well as on-foot sections, {{Critical Hit}}s long before ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' popularized their use in FPS games, a story with MultipleEndings (complete with an UnknownRival played for laughs), and it was an in Animesque style inspired by various mecha anime. Also, provided you have the right weapons, lots of StuffBlowingUp.
* The Vital Suits in LostPlanet: Extreme Condition are fairly realistic, [[spoiler:at least until the final battle]]. It would take years to even emulate the new Vital Suits in the sequel.
* The eponymous weapons of ''Franchise/MetalGear''. The series even goes as far as specifying different mecha models for the US Marines, Army, and Navy, as well as mentioning copies being built by terrorist organizations and Third World countries.
* The Tactical Surface Fighters of the ''MuvLuv'' franchise, due to circumstances in the world they were developed, largely took the place of fighter aircraft in military combined-arms strategy. Most [=TSFs=] are even named after real-world fighters, and visually evoke the ones they are named after. The setting itself is among the more serious and realistic ones in the real robot genre, with the mechs limited to approximately modern-day weaponry (2000-shot 36mm chain guns, six-shot 120mm cannons, guided missiles), nations' reliance on combined-arms tactics instead of [=TSFs=] alone, and high casualty rates.
* The ''VideoGame/{{FEAR}}'' games, while placing more emphasis on supernatural horror, takes place in a near-future CyberPunk-esque setting where MiniMecha are a common fire support weapon in urban environments. These "REV" units range from heavy PoweredArmor to several-meter-tall "elite" armored units, armed with lasers, autocannons, missiles, and grenade launchers, depending on the model.
* The Warhound in ''VideoGame/GhostRecon: Future Soldier''.
* The Ryders in ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}'' are usually mass-produced, and generally only make up part of any army, often being fielded alongside small fighters and large battleships.
* [=HERCULANs=] from the ''Earthsiege'' and later ''VideoGame/{{Starsiege}}'' era are treated as mass produced war machines. They possess [[DeflectorShield energy shielding]] to protect them from harm (while they last), but this is well-known and widely used technology instead of a rare special ability. Certain models of Hercs are purposefully designed with specific missions in mind such as reconnaissance or direct assault, just like modern fighting vehicles, and they can be [[AceCustom customized to either pilot preference]] or mission requirements. Tanks still exist in the setting and can fight Hercs on almost equal footing in spite of a handful of disadvantages.
* For all their size, Combots in ''VideoGame/MetalFatigue'' are quite real. You mass produce them, throw them at each other, and support them with armored vehicles and aircraft. Given how it is possible to bring down a Combot with a well timed bombing run, they are ''not'' as invincible as they appear. There are no unique, one-of-a-kind Combot designs or unusuable technology--anything that you see on an enemy ''can'' be used by your forces, if you can destroy the opponent while keeping their parts mostly intact, then scavenge and research their technology, just like all warring nations have done.
* ''VideoGame/MetalMarines'' treat their giant robots in a rather Gundam-esque fashion. While the robots aren't the ''only'' war machine in the setting (since things like {{DropShip}}s exist), the general difficulty of fighting across terrain comprised of dozens of diminutive islands means that tanks will suffer from mobility and transport issues, and aircraft are too easily shot down by the standard in missile defenses (that border on the excessively paranoid). Metal Marines become the weapon of choice because they can attack any terrain and still quickly hop back to their shuttle to make a hasty escape in a fashion similar to a strike team. Metal Marine pilots, like all other crew in the game, are nameless, faceless soldiers. Most of the time, combat is conducted via missile exchanges, with Metal Marines sent in mostly for surgical strikes.
* ''SLAISteelLancerArenaInternational'' is what happens when the real robot genre is put into TheThunderdome, all run through {{Cyberspace}}. The robots in the game are about ten feet tall at the most and are made from mass-produced (but [[AceCustom personally customized]]) parts paired with a personal ArtificialIntelligence. The main defense is an InvisibilityCloak available to all participants, including the rinky-dink {{Attack Drone}}s that also populate the field. Weapons are a fairly standard array of guns, explosives, melee weapons, and the occasional energy weapon. Stops short of being a BloodSport by taking place through what is effectively remote control.
* Arcade multiplayer team-based third person shooter ''VideoGame/BorderBreak'' features Blast Runners, which are specifically designed for certain roles and are not specially built for any one person. Units are built and lost on a regular basis and the whole game is based around territory control, base destruction, and other things that proper militarized forces would focus on.
* ''Metal Warriors'' is a side-scrolling SNES CultClassic that features a variety of pilotable robots fighting alongside infantry, turret defenses, and other vehicles. None of the units are unique, and in fact, one false move will actually allow the enemies to GundamJack ''you'' and force you to fight your own suit! Fortunately it's possible to steal abandoned enemy units. None possess any particularly anomalous features (perhaps save the Ball droid). One scene actually shows Nitros being serviced in hangars just like any other war machine.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'' had very Real Robot mecha that got damaged or put out of commission as easily as most military vehicles in RealLife are. In fact, the eponymous [[TheSquad Squad]] specifically included a repair specialist whose primary purpose was field maintenance of the others' E-frames. And, of course, she wasn't 100% successful. The squad's mechs ''did'' get a MidSeasonUpgrade but it only propelled them into SuperPrototype zone appropriate for an elite regiment that they are, rather than SuperRobot space.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RealLife]]
* The first remote-control tanks were deployed by Germany in WW2. The "Goliath" mini-tank was a one-shot weapon used to deliver a large explosive charge to where it would do most damage; it was steered by wire from a remote control station. The later version was a far larger remote-controlled tank that could be remotely steered, drop an explosive charge, and retreat to where it could be retrieved and reloaded.
* The USAAF and the Luftwaffe both experimented with using redundant bombers packed with explosives which could be guided on-target by a mother aircraft. The German version saw a mannned fighter aircraft piggy-backing on a redundant bomber which was emotely steered by the fighter, which would set it on course to the target, detach from it, and then fly home under its own steam whilst the bomber was deliberately crashed.
* The British Army pioneered the use of remotely-controlled robot tanks for bomb disposal work in Northern Ireland. The robot would be remotely steered to a suspect vehicle and would use a remote-fired shotgun to blow open the vehicle's doors, or else trigger the bomb without direct human involvement. The machines have since been improved and elaborated on and are now a standard part of bomb disposal technology worldwide.
* The various unmanned and remotely piloted drone aircraft and missiles developed and used by Western armed forces (principally the USA, although Great Britain has its own home-grown versions) would qualify here. The Cruise Missiles developed in the 1980's would also count as "smart" weapons, although in terms of sophistication would not be on the same level. Drone technology, at least in Great Britain, is also seriously being considered for police surveillance work as a cheaper option than manned helicopters. A police drone that could accurately deliver riot control gas is thought of as a feasible crowd-control strategy in the event of rioting, or dealing with pesky political demonstrators and other subversives.
[[/folder]]
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