Although Stephen Colbert hates bears, he might actually go for this one, given that it's designed to save lives, not destroy them. The Battlefield Extraction and Retrieval Robot is a new bipedal droid designed to carry injured soldiers off of the battle-charred landscape as far as an hour's distance. What's more, its lower legs can fold down to roll away on tank treads, which seems a vast improvement over the previous spider-like designs that we've seen lately. No word yet on if it's actually tried to carry a real live shell-shocked GI -- which might be a little different than a lifeless dummy -- but beyond military applications, Vecna Technologies intends to use the BEAR for more domestic purposes. On their site they also illustrated plans for the robot to help mobility-impaired patients as a home-living assistant, and even show it carrying tea in one diagram. You know, come to think of it we wouldn't object at all if one of these things showed up every now and again to refill our tea mugs.

[Via Roland Piquepaille]

802.11n getting prelim certification in March 2007