War robots designed by academics at Cranfield University have won a Ministry of Defence (MoD) competition to develop autonomous machines to assist the military. As Times Higher Education reported (28 August), the MoD's first Grand Challenge was a national competition to design robots that can identify, monitor and report military threats in urban areas. Team Stellar, which included Cranfield academics as well as business figures, developed three robots that were judged against the creations of ten other teams in a two-week series of tests at a military facility. Toby Breckon, an engineer at Cranfield, said: "Over the past year we have all put a great deal of effort into developing the technology, but I believe our success as a team is due to our unique mix of expertise spanning business, industry and academia. The competition has been tough, but we are delighted - both to have won and to be one step further towards helping our troops stay safer and become better prepared to deal with potential threats encountered on overseas operations."