Robots in Battle
American-made robots can navigate water, move on the ice, climb fences and maneuver through sewers.
American-made robots can navigate water, move on the ice, climb fences and maneuver through sewers. For more than 15 years, remote-controlled rovers have helped soldiers disable bombs. But the future is smarter, nimbler and more durable. Future robots serve as scouts, decoys, bomb-defusers, and mules for carrying equipment.
“We were very cognizant that our adversaries are certainly looking at ways to implement them in their formations, and we feel that it’s very important that we do the same to maintain our competitive edge over our enemies in the long term,” Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Bodenhamer, U.S. Army product manager said.
The U.S. Army uses a squad multipurpose equipment transport, or SMET, to help lighten soldiers’ loads up to about 450 kilograms. A soldier can control it with a tether.
“Anytime you can keep troops out of harm’s way and create distance between troops and hazardous situations or materials you’re potentially saving lives,” Endeavor Robotics CEO Sean Bielat said.
Some experts believe that fully autonomous robots on the battlefield are unlikely because of legal, ethical and moral questions. But these are questions that will need to be addressed, as technology advances.