April 16, 2015

Google robot army and military drone swarms: UAVs may replace people in the theatre of war

By Paul Scharre

If you thought that having helicopter drones flying around delivering packages was a scary concept, then you won't be very happy to learn that the US military is seriously considering enlisting the help of tiny robot quadcopter drones in warfare.

The US Navy is now testing a cannon system that launches 30 small robot drones into the air in less than a minute. The drones are able to fly in formation for 90 minutes in order to complete missions and are designed to overwhelm an adversary.

Google is also keen to get involved in swarm robotics - on 14 April, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Google a patent that allows it to link together and control a large group of robots using the cloud, with the intent of having the robots work together to complete tasks.

While we don't know what Google plans to do with its swarming patent, the US Navy's tests could be part of a rising trend. According to a new report by the Center for New American Security, the US military is seeking to transform and sustain "American military technological dominance" even though the increased military spending is now buying less and less as the years go by.

Read the full article at International Business Times.

  • Paul Scharre

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is author of the forthcoming book, A...