The US Army Marines have decided that the future of modern warfare lies in robots you can throw. Not at the heads of would-be terrorists - at the ground in their general direction for reconnaissance purposes.

The army's set a target of under 10lbs for each bot, so that troops don't have to take stuff out of their rucksacks so that they can carry the things. Col. James Braden, who works at the Robotics Systems Joint Project Office said:

"Part of that family is a small - read under 10 pounds - tough robot that could be actually throwable and would give reconnaissance type things - day or night reconnaissance".

The Marines already have one robot of that description, called the Dragon Runner. It can see around corners and is designed for use in buildings, sewers, drainpipes, caves and courtyards. Other robots are in development that'll allow more supplies to be carried or even carry weapons to support human teams.

However much more work is needed, says the Army, before those bots are ready to be a part of day-to-day operations in the field.