The South Korean Army has deployed a set of sentry robots fitted with machine guns or test trials at a guard post on the southern side of the military buffer zone with North Korea.

Developed by a SAMSUNG Techwin-led South Korean industry team, the SGR-1 robot will detect, warn and provide suppressive fire against intruders along the demilitarised zone (DMZ), according to the Yonhap News Agency.

The robot uses heat and motion detectors to sense possible threats on a real-time basis and alert command centres.

The SGR-1 can be ordered to open fire with its machine gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher if the operator fails to identify the threat through the robot’s audio or video communications system.

A military official said the robots had been deployed in June to carry out test trials at a guard post in the central sector of the DMZ.

Upon successful completion of the tests by the end of 2010, the sentry robots will be deployed at guard posts along the 250km-long MZ, the official said.