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.

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