Less than a month after the U.S. Army ordered 1,100 micro-robots for $13.9 million, the Department of Defense placed a $1 million order for lightweight robots from iRobot Corp., it was announced Tuesday.

The order came from the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), which operates under the umbrella of the DOD. The purpose of the organization is to detect and eliminate IED threats. It ordered 105 FirstLook robots for $1.5 million — iRobot’s first “significant order” of the small bots.

Throw ‘em, drop ‘em, kick ‘em — these robots can take a beating. The iRobot 110 FirstLook weighs five pounds. It can be dropped from 15 feet and climb over obstacles up to seven inches high. The robot also corrects itself should it flip over. It is equipped with four cameras to survey from all angles.

To help protect soldiers, the robots can survey rooftops, go through houses and peer around corners, plus provide intelligence and clear the path in numerous other dangerous scenarios.

As badass as these robots are, the order also amounts to a hefty sum of taxpayer dollars. At $12,636 per micro-robot, the U.S. Army got a better deal last month than the JIEDDO did more recently. The JIEDDO order breaks down to about $14,285 per FirstLook robot.

Mashable reached out to iRobot and the DOD to find out more about these machines, and we’ll let you know what we hear back.

Robots can save lives in more ways than one — from military operations to nanorobotics being developed with the hope of curing cancer. Some critics, however, say these advances could also lead to human extinction.

But for now, such technological advances can decrease human fatalities in combat. They can also break world records.

What do you think about the U.S. using robots in combat? Share your opinions below.

Image courtesy of iRobot Corp.

More About: military, Pentagon, Robot, robotics, U.S.

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A company has found a way to incorporate smells into the Internet. Imagine, your significant other mentions you on Twitter and magically you smell his/her perfume. If someone tags you in a Facebook video, the scent of buttered popcorn or fruit fills the room. Olly makes an Internet with smell possible.

Olly — a web-connected smelly robot — created by London and New York-based company called Mint Foundry will give all your online notifications a scent. The creators figured since the web incorporates sight and sound, it’s time to experience it in a different way.

Olly would scent anything from a tweet on Twitter, Like on Instagram, to a photo tag on Facebook.

As seen in the video, Olly is a compact white box that has a removable space in the back that can be filled with any scent you desire. The company suggests essential oils, fruit, perfume, cologne or a drop of gin. They can be stacked, so you can give all your online accounts a different smell.

The process would involve downloading an application, signing in with a username and password into the Olly app and having the physical Olly reader.

Olly is not available for purchase yet. The company is working to garner backers for the project.

Would you want to experience the web with smell? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

More About: Facebook, Gadgets, mashable video, Robot, Social Media, Twitter

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1. Batmobile Replica

If you remember the original Batman series, this 1966 Batmobile will look familiar to you. This roadworthy replica is as close as you can get to the real thing, with a Batphone inside, a “Detect-a-Scope” radar screen, and there’s even a working rocket exhaust flamethrower.

There’s a burly BatEngine under the hood, cranking out 280 horses that’ll take you from 0 to 60 in 5 BatSeconds. You can actually buy the thing at a price of somewhere north of $150,000.

[via Technabob]

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Imagine yourself propelled 20 years into the future (or in one case, 45 years into the past), and that gives you a preview of what you’re about to experience with the latest addition of Top 10 Tech This Week.

As the year draws to a close, the world of technology kicked itself into hyperdrive. So prepare to be blown away with the fastest, coolest, shiniest and most advanced technology we could find across the globe and beyond.

Here are previous editions of Top 10 Tech This Week.

More About: Batmobile, LG, Robot, Super Bowl, Top 10 Tech, trending

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