In Piney Flats, 74-year-old entrepreneur, engineer and world-renowned, high-precision cast steel parts expert Jerry Baber
is arming robots and mini-helicopters with automatic shotguns.
After making hundreds of improvements to an original design that a friend developed (and after spending $1.2 million of his own money), Baber, owner of Military Police Systems, finalized the AA-12 automatic shotgun.
unique design eliminates recoil, allowing his
shotgun (and other machine guns he's
adapted) to be mounted on unmanned vehicles where it can fire hundreds of rounds per minute.
The AA-12, which has been profiled in national media outlets such as Fortune and The New Yorker, got a significant boost after Baber partnered with some Silicon Valley robotics experts.
One such expert was Adam Gettings, a software engineer and partner in Robotex, a robot technology solutions company founded by Terry Izumi. (Izumi is a filmmaker, samurai warrior descendent, Secret Service trainer and veteran of Disney's "imagineering" division.) Baber also forged a key relationship with Huntsville-based Alabama Aerials, makers of unmanned helicopters.
explains it, pre-existing robot soldier designs are too heavy, can't climb stairs effectively and merely work for the purposes of diffusing bombs.
"They're not soldiers," Baber
By contrast, Baber's
armed systems can, for example, enter dangerous firefights in urban environments, clear rooms, start fires, take out door locks, destroy whole buildings, or, in the case of his
23-pound, 30-inch long helicopters, fly undetected at 500 feet off the ground before taking out a sniper, or, with a new product under design, a tank.
"You name it, they do it.
And they are merciless," Baber boasts.
"I've got some of the best people in the world in terms of robotics working with me on this."
Robots that will "go somewhere dangerous so a soldier doesn't have to," Baber
"With his shotgun, Jerry Baber
may single-handedly save a lot of lives in future conflicts and bring them to a close faster," Ivers says.
Five major movie projects, all of which were in production at press time (including GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, to be released next month), have leased units from Baber
"It's the most publicized weapon in the history of the world that our military doesn't have," Baber
And Hollywood isn't the only one taking advantage of Baber's inventions.
says nations such as Saudi Arabia
, the United Emirates
and Mexico have scheduled meetings with him to see his
weaponry in action.