Future of Military Robotics

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By ches35w
Words 502
Pages 3
Robotics is changing the face of warfare through progressive technology. Unmanned systems are a growing trend on the battlefield. These systems are not designed to provide complete human replacement, but rather to enhance human capabilities. The advantages of such a strategy are immense. Autonomous systems provide capabilities that are not subject to human error. Additionally, the operator has more options available and can be more flexible in dangerous situations. Unmanned systems can react at speeds that are beyond the capability of humans. Not only does this reduce the pressure placed on system operators, but it enables the operator to delegate tasks more effectively. The trend of autonomy can be seen in many robots recently released or currently under development. One example is the Pentagon’s PackBot. The PackBot, which aids US troops in clearing roadside bombs, recently received upgrades that allow it to act autonomously in certain circumstances. When the PackBot loses communication with its operator, it will return to the location where it last had contact. Before the upgrade, the robot had to be retrieved by hand, potentially putting soldiers in harm’s way. While still not fully autonomous, the PackBot reflects the goal of autonomy. It performs a specific function autonomously while eliminating a situation that can put soldiers at risk. Additional upgrades that increased autonomy included the ability of the PackBot to upright itself in situations where it falls over and the ability to travel between two points using satellite navigation. Yet another robot designed with autonomy in mind is the Bear (Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot). This project was funded by the army and is designed to retrieve wounded soldiers in battle. This eliminates the risk of sending someone in to rescue the soldier. The Bear can also carry heavy loads for long…...

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