Ripsaw MS1


The Ripsaw MS1 is an unmanned ground vehicle built by two brothers in Maine. The tracked vehicle can go 0-60 in 3.5 seconds with an 80mph top speed. In its current form, it has a 2000 pound capacity, which opens the possibility for many different types of weapon systems. Control is provided by two people: one driver and one gunner. They work in independent remote stations. The Ripsaw could potentially be used in any application normally reserved for a tank. It could lead a charge without putting soldiers at risk.

We’ve been watching this project mature since 2005 when it was being marketed as a Grand Challenge competitor. This week it’s being demoed at the Army Science Conference. Check out footage of it in motion below.

[via BotJunkie]


  1. Matthew says:

    If I saw this coming at me I would run in the opposite direction. This is one intimidating machine. and 0-60 in 3.5 seconds beats most sports cars, unbelievable.

  2. Grovenstien says:

    Its the end of uncomfortable tanks for soldiers and the begining of armchair warfare!

    Hurray for remote control!

    This is scary stuff.

  3. AS says:

    yay. More exciting and interesting ways of killing people we don’t like.

    In what way is this a hack? Isn’t developing machines to kill people counted as normal business?

  4. colonel kananga says:

    Perfect for home defense!

  5. EdZ says:

    I wonder how the internal cameras are stabilised for remote control? Otherwise it’d be nearly impossible to drive with the amount of bumping and shaking it;s intended to go through.

  6. dan says:

    check out their other vehicle, the ‘badger’.

    you can get inside!!11

  7. jose says:

    I guess since it’s “2 brothers in maine” that made it instead of a large company, it’s more hack-ish than say the stryker…

    Wasn’t this thing making the rounds of teh interweb a while back in a rideable version? the shape and handling characteristics look really familiar, but last time there was a guy inside…

  8. tony says:


    I agree. It sad, though, that killing people is so lucrative.

  9. roosta says:


    if you look at related videos there are some of the ride on ones in there. one of them mentions rip saw 2 which was meant to be HUGE, but it doesnt look like thats materialised. theres a video of it pulling a hummer from a hole though. looks effortless. hahaha.

  10. mike says:

    I wonder what it has for a powerplant in there to do 0-60 that fast? It would be pretty lightweight with that tube frame and no need for extra thick armor to protect armor inside.

  11. Carl says:

    Makes you wonder when we will have soldier less war. If you think about it, then you could just solve conflicts with a game of chess. No one gets killed.

  12. nubie says:

    I wish that this had been the new batmobile (maybe it can be ;) )

    I wonder if it is cheaper on gas than a normal tank, not very silent with the current (big-block?) motor.

  13. Alan says:

    Some people have alarm systems installed in their house and stick a flag in the lawn to indicate that they have the alarm system. I think parking this in your driveway would have a better effect, no one would bother you.

    Better yet the gun turret should track movement on the property. :)

  14. Coderer says:

    @tony: It must be nice to live in candyland, where all disputes are settled with pillow fights. Say hi to your unicorn buddies for me.

    In all seriousness, though, wouldn’t a strong enough signal jammer make this thing into a 10-ton paperweight?

  15. techyguru says:

    @matthew don’t run away from such a monster, run at right angles

    This indeed would be a good sentry platform, but i don’t think I would trust my programing not to mention someone else’s to make it autonomous and hence wouldn’t be too effective for 24/7 defense of a small domicile.

    But it would be a fun new twist for robot wars: 10 square mile arena constructed for these battle bots to compete until their destruction, the winners move on to the semifinals which take place on a foreign battle field.

  16. dax says:

    @coderer, signal jamming is pretty darn easy to find. it’ll work for a little while but i’m sure the air force/navy/army know all about dealing with that.
    conversely, it would slow the adoption or solitary use of this sort of rc vehicle.

  17. evgen says:

    coderer: Yes, if you could jam the signal then you would turn it into a paperweight. OTOH, if there is one org that is really, really good at dealing with EM jamming it is the military. I would imagine that a decent ultra-wideband comm system would make jamming this beast a very difficult task.

  18. FonduStik says:

    yay. More exciting and interesting ways of killing people we don’t like.

    In what way is this a hack? Isn’t developing machines to kill people counted as normal business?

    Posted at 4:39 am on Dec 5th, 2008 by AS

    Co-sign that.

    A cowards ultimate killing machine.
    What a cold, heartless way to kill people. Disassociates the game player from the murder.

    They do that shit in Iraq with the drones.

  19. Vepr says:


    That’s why the military is working on autonomous killing machines.

  20. omnomnomnom says:

    The Machines will destroy us all! Isn’t this just a Hunter-Killer tank from Terminator?

  21. d1nk3r says:

    and to think i was going to get a dog… lol “kill”…. “good ripsaw”……

  22. longshot says:

    Screw the remote control! I wanna RIDE that thing!

  23. pragma says:

    @matthew: “nd 0-60 in 3.5 seconds beats most sports cars, unbelievable.”

    I’ll wager that it’s easy to design a vehicle to accelerate at break-neck speed when there are no necks to break.

  24. John says:

    Waste of US money.
    This can not right itself.
    A small explosive would detroy it.
    A RF jammer would cripple it.

    Hey military, pull your head out. If you don’t want your convoys getting attached stop sending troops into areas where they are not needed or wanted.


  25. I absolutely don’t believe that acceleration figure on face value, it’s ridiculously high.

  26. TheLucster says:

    “A small explosive would detroy it.” An explosive would do the same to any other personnel carrier, better to have this destroyed than people no?

    Amazing, congrats to the guys who built it.

  27. wake_up says:

    yay. More exciting and interesting ways of killing people we don’t like.

    Voting Democrat has killed more people
    then robots have.

    I don’t see anyone protesting that.

  28. barry99705 says:

    @ nubie

    I think its a v8 running the thing. It’s definitely quieter than the turbine jet engines running the larger tanks.

  29. Louis II says:

    Wow… some one is actually building the tank I designed in High School… but unmanned… and armed… this is NUTS.

  30. Robert Spies says:

    Better than making another ‘shoot-em-up’ gadget would be to have a foreign policy that does not infuriate non-US people and countries enough to attack us.

    If democracy is so great, lets demonstrate that works well for us. Lets stop trying to force democracy upon non-US peoples. If non-US peoples see democracy works well for us, they will copy and probably modify it in ways that suit them. What’s wrong with that?

    Democracy as a principle does not incite violence. However, the US form of democracy certainly does.

    It seems as if Howe & Howe could learn a bit from Robert LeTourneau. Get away from ‘skid-steer’, a huge waste of power and desecrator of terrain.

    Look into the drive system of military M8E2, for example.

    Could we some movies of the Howe & Howe machines doing non-military, non-testosterone stimulated things? Do the Howe & Howe machines have non-violent uses?

  31. Mike says:

    Funny that you guys mention ripsaw because I just spent a couple of days seting up at the Army of Science show in Orlando, FL at first glance standing next to RipSaw looks mean as hell, I even snapped a couple of phone pics right as they were showing up. Enjoy

  32. Joe says:

    imagine an entire column of these bad boys supported overhead by a fleet of predator uav’s. awesome.

  33. Kender says:

    Very nice! I like how it can attach and pull a vehicle out of the way.
    @robert the us is not a democracy it is a republic, governed by law not majority (look it up)!

  34. umps says:

    god this is some disturbing shit. Even more disturbing is comments like these that is completely disconnected from reality.

    “Makes you wonder when we will have soldier less war. If you think about it, then you could just solve conflicts with a game of chess. No one gets killed.”

    Are you crazy? Where do you think these things are going to be deployed? On the moon? They’re going to be ripping apart cities with people in them.

  35. Robert Spies says:


    You seem to have missed the point of my comment.

    My attempt to clarify…

    My point is not whether our way of life is a democracy, a republic, a kingdom — or anything else, for that matter.

    My point is that it is our own way of life.

    My point is, it is not up to us to force our way of life on anyone else.

    My point is if ‘others’ think our ‘way of life’ will suit them, or with modifications it will suit them, they will use it. They may even ask for help in using it.

    My point is that if we try to force our way of life on others, they will rebel, and will not adopt what they might have adopted if they had not been forced. They will rebel because they are forced — it matters not why they were forced.

    My point is, I am describing the behavior of our own (American) ancestors.

    My point is, I am describing human nature.

    The US failure to take human nature into account in our foreign policy is a huge part of what has come back to bite us in the butt — not only in the form of terrorist acts.

  36. Stainless says:

    Nice! When are they remaking, “Maximum Overdrive”? That weenie machine gun on wheels didn’t scare anybody, but this thing deserves respect!

  37. i have a feeling that if the remote control signal was jammed it could easily be set up to become autonomous.

  38. Dan Fekete says:

    Seems a lot of people are crapping on this because it is made for war.

    Seriously, war has been a part of life since civilization began. I don’t know how to say this any other way than: “tough shit, get over it.” It’s not going to change.

    Evil doesn’t lay down its arms when a powerful nation turns into a bunch of peace-loving pacifists, it picks them up. If you value your way of life you better be willing to defend it or at least support those who do. Otherwise you better get used to a government a la the USSR or Third Reich because it’s people like you who give them power through non-aggression.

    “Peace through superior firepower”

  39. Evan says:

    This is like that song its like shut up and drive

  40. finch says:

    I agree with you completely dan,
    I’d rather be fighting a cold war than a hot one.

  41. chris says:

    looks to me like a perfect platform for Metalstorm.
    add in a 7.62 mini-gun with all the bells and whistles. then add to the lan warrior. slave in the predator and phoenix drone. ability to laser paint targets and forward target positions to air assets. like fighter bombers and ac130 specter’s. and if you want to get real crazy have be able to call in artilary and calculate all time on target for maximum damage.

  42. xaint says:

    This machine is awesome but have to say this, wouldn’t a c4 or rpg destroy it?

  43. Shane says:

    yea currently c4 or rpg would destroy it, however, with a 2000lb capacity you could carry some nice Armour. Would have to be light weight but it dosent have to be like a full blown tank because there is no driver

  44. greg says:

    its not going in to theater like that it’s a proof of concept, besides it whole ton of testing before it’s approved for deployment. It took several years before the predator was approved for use.

    History is wrote by the victor, what would you rather be the author or be wiped out by the guy with the bigger gun. Oh don’t forget here you have the choice if you don’t like in the US please feel free to GET OUT!!!

    I second Dan completly.

    Like R Lee Ermey said “Walk softly but carry a big can of whoop ass”

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