According to a report that appeared on Australian SBS TV recently, today 1 in every 50 soldier in US army is a robot. At the same time, this proportion is increasing dramatically. Although being autonomous is a highly controversial subject and great majority of the robots are either non autonomous or semi autonomous, it is also a fact that the level of decision making without human guidance is also increasing. It will take a lot more time to teach robots between good and bad, however with ever increasing visual and voice recognition capabilities of artificial systems, even this issue can be tackled. Nevertheless even in the far future, it is still likely that the ultimate decision will belong to humans for firing missions. Army officials and robot makers insist that we will not face a Terminator-like future and the robots in the army will always be complimentary to human soldiers, but not a replacement.
One of the most evident situations where being autonomous is highly needed in today’s missions is when a task is complete, returning of robot to its base autonomously. The users in the military find that as a highly useful tool.
Another major issue in military robotics is the user interface. Makers of I-Robot military robots found a very good solution to save a great deal of time when training the end users of the robots. They made the controls similar to well known and user friendly computer game controls, so that the computer gaming experience of many young soldiers can be utilized.
The report on Australian SBS TV analyses the current and future of military robotics industry. For more information you can watch the video here.
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