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U.S. Army foresees robots becoming squad members

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Sharon Gaudin
Computer World
July 26, 2013

The U.S. Army wants to move from using robots as tools to creating a human-robot cooperative that will make machines trusted members of the military.

“The issue is can I have a squad augmented with robots cover more ground, be more effective, do more things on a 72-hour operation than they can today?” asked Lt. Col. Stuart Hatfield, Branch Chief of Soldier Systems and Unmanned Ground Systems with the Army. “We see a transition from a dumb robot being a tool to it becoming a member of the team. Do I have a robot that carries my stuff, or do I have a robot that is a member of the squad?”

The Army is using robots, such as semi-autonomous vehicles, mainly as dumb tools. However, the military has a different vision of the future of robotics and how the machines will fit in a soldier’s life at home base, as well as on the battlefield.

In 20 to 40 years, humanoid robots, using human tools, could precede soldiers into dangerous areas, performing tasks such as turning a wrench to open valves, opening doors and climbing ladders. Some day, the Army might send autonomous robots into battle to physically engage with the enemy.

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This article was posted: Friday, July 26, 2013 at 5:30 am





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