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U.S. Army foresees robots becoming squad members

Sharon Gaudin
Computer World [1]
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 [2], 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.

Full article here [1]