October 20, 2014

The Coming Swarm: Robotics on the Battlefield

By Paul Scharre

The unfolding robotics revolution is transforming a range of industries, from manufacturing to transportation, warehouse management, household appliances, toys, elder care and more. Similarly, it will lead to significant and perhaps surprising changes in warfare.

Uninhabited vehicles, like the Predator aircraft or the Packbot ground robot, have already proven invaluable in today’s conflicts. As uninhabited vehicles incorporate increasing automation and become true robotic systems, they will have tremendous value in future military operations.

Individually, they will allow military forces to extend their reach into the battlespace, operating with greater range and persistence than would be possible with human-inhabited systems. With no human on board they can be sent into dangerous or even suicidal missions, allowing more daring concepts of operation. Individually, robotic systems can provide warfighters significant advantages in a range of missions.

Read the full piece on Real Clear Defense.

  • Reports
    • December 9, 2019
    The American AI Century: A Blueprint for Action

    This is a preview of the forthcoming report American AI Century. The full study, which contains in-depth analysis of the issues and details of the corresponding policy recomme...

    By Martijn Rasser, Megan Lamberth, Ainikki Riikonen, Chelsea Guo, Michael Horowitz & Paul Scharre

  • Commentary
    • Georgetown Journal of International Affairs​
    • November 21, 2019
    Upending the 5G Status Quo with Open Architecture

    This article is adapted in part from written testimony the author submitted to the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ...

    By Martijn Rasser

  • Commentary
    • Strategic Studies Quarterly
    • November 21, 2019
    Decide, Disrupt, Destroy: Information Systems in Great Power Competition with China

    The 2018 US National Defense Strategy (NDS) cites Russia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as “revisionist powers” that “want to shape a world consistent with their aut...

    By Ainikki Riikonen

  • Reports
    • November 20, 2019
    Make Good Choices, DoD

    In a new report, Susanna V. Blume and Molly Parrish offer a deep dive into how the U.S. Department of Defense makes decisions about what the U.S. military needs, what to buy a...

    By Susanna V. Blume & Molly Parrish

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia