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.
More from CNAS
VideoWinning the Next War
Chinese and Russian capabilities to exploit vulnerabilities in America's current way of war have grown. Without major changes to how it fights its wars, does the United States...
By Robert O. Work & Chris Dougherty
PodcastWorking National Security on John McCain’s Presidential Campaign
Richard Fontaine spent years advising leading figures in American foreign policy, but working for the late Sen. John McCain was unlike anything he had experienced before. Now ...
By Richard Fontaine & Ilan Goldenberg
PodcastIran Conflict Could Shift To Cyberspace, Experts Warn
Hackers linked to Iran are probing American companies for vulnerabilities, cybersecurity researchers and U.S. government officials say. The warnings suggest that the next pha...
By Kara Frederick
CommentaryInterservice rivalries: A force for good
It’s no secret that the military services fight hard to protect their shares of the defense budget. Just last week, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday made his case...
By Susanna V. Blume & Molly Parrish