The benefits of using robots in military
Posted by tedmark on May 4th, 2014
Everyone knows that being a soldier is a dangerous job; but some of the tasks that soldiers are required to do are far more dangerous than others. Walking through minefields, deactivating unexploded bombs or clearing out hostile buildings are only a few of the most dangerous tasks a soldier is asked to perform in the line of duty. So it is no surprise that robots in military is a subject that’s on people’s lips more and more; and robot making companies are quite happy about that.
There are many advantages to using robots in military as compared to human soldiers — the most important one being their capability to perform missions remotely in the field, without any actual danger to human lives. Robot making companies make sure to make the robots sturdier and more capable of withstanding damage than humans, hence giving them a higher chance of success in dangerous environments — and whenever a robot is shot down, the military simply rolls out a new one. Interestingly, the first unmanned “aerial-assault vehicles” appeared as early as 1849, in the form of unmanned attack balloons loaded with explosives to launch towards the enemy.
Before robot making companies started taking over, the earliest battlefield robots appeared in the 1940s in the form of the German Goliath, an expendable minesweeper robot, which ran on wired remote control. By the 1960s, unmanned aircrafts were already scanning enemy movements and deploying weaponry behind enemy lines; however, their applications were still rather limited due to political reasons.
Even if almost everyone is used to the Terminator image when it comes to robots in military, there is actually no particular reason for robots in military to assume a humanoid form. In fact, the unwieldy and fragile human form pales in comparison to the military robots which robot making companies present nowadays. Robots designed for military applications typically have several major requirements. Among these, the robots must be robust enough to withstand enemy fire, usually require a low profile to avoid being targeted, and must be capable of navigating obstacles on the battlefield efficiently.
As such, current land-based military robots are generally ground-hugging treaded vehicles, with innovations such as treaded flippers to keep themselves upright and advanced navigation systems to traverse rugged terrain. These military robots are currently used as battlefield reconnaissance. Other robots are used as backup for soldiers by carrying ammunition, equipment, refreshments, and other essentials for personnel on the battlefield.
Despite these practical concerns, there is little worry that advances in military robots are heralding the age of the Terminator. The majority of robots in military does not contain much artificial intelligence at all, but are instead wholly remote-controlled.
As such, the chances of any of these robots going out of control and harming human lives are slim to none. However, the capability of robots to perform missions without endangering human lives is their greatest advantage and the main reason why military robots are here to stay.
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Joined: December 28th, 2012
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