A high-tech robot developed by Martin Marietta Corp. i Baltimore for loading weapons and spying on the enemy on battlefields is getting a tryout in a non-military job: handling radioactive waste.
A prototype of the Teleoperated Robotic Excavator -- T-Rex to friends -- will be tested at a federal nuclear laboratory. If it passes, the machine could be used to excavate and move barrels of nuclear waste buried at Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Moreover, cousins of T-Rex could find themselves employed in a wide range of jobs handling hazardous material, says Charles Manor, spokesman for Martin Marietta. The company, like many defense contractors, is looking for new uses for its products as the Defense Department scales back its purchasing.