To many people, "military robots" mean unmanned aerial or ground vehicles. Many military robots fit these categories, but some go way beyond this definition.
For example, we've reported before on Boston Dynamics robots that mimic human, animal, and insect movements. The Georgia Institute of Technology's Scalybots mimic a snake's movements. Designers of these tactical robots are trying to come up with small machines with rugged design, multiple data collection and communication methods, long battery life, the ability to negotiate rough terrain, and, in some cases, lifting and grasping capabilities. The goal is to go where humans can't without risking their lives.
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The Machine Lab's MMP-30 Mechanical Mobile Platform is used for explosive ordnance disposal in Iraq. It weighs 50 pounds (including control unit), measures about 23 inches long when collapsed, and can be carried in a backpack. Its pan/tilt color infrared camera has 180-degree pan and 150-degree tilt. The robot also sports a color, wide-angle gripper camera and a color, wide-angle rear-facing camera. The four-axis arm has a 20-inch reach and can lift five pounds at full extension. (Source: The Machine Lab)
Battar, thanks for the clarification. Actually, I believe someone else raised that possibility, since I don't tend to think that way. In any case, I think you've made a good point about what, or rather who, our lethalized robots will be fighting.
Ann, you raised to possibility of a future conflict in which unmanned military robots would, in effect, be fighting each other, or more to the point, aasigned to destroy or disable the oppositions' robots (which would be similarly tasked). I'm pointing out the extreme unliklihood of such a scenario, given that the current regimes and organizations which represent a threat to the US are not typically equipped with high-tech weaponry.
Battar, if you mean suicide bombers, yes, they've been around for some time and we've all heard of them. But I'm not sure what your point is--what do you see as the connection between them and these robots?
Ann, sorry to get political, but from reading the news it is hard not to get the impression that those who are unfriendly towards th US and its' allies are concentrating on autonomous, lethalized humans, not robots. I know of at least one occasion in which a bomb disposal robot was deployed to disarm a suicide bomber who had been shot and wounded, and it was unclear whether he was still cabable of triggering his IED.
Hmmm, that's a good point King DWS: if we're making and deploying weaponized robots and so is the other side, what's the point of robots duking it out with each other? For that matter, I wonder if the weaponized bots are being designed to take out humans or other bots, or both?
Robots turning robots into scrap is A WHOLE LOT BETTER than anything turning ME into garbage! Any day and every time! As for "weaponized " robots, I have seen a small robotic thing with a pair of minicannons mounted and it could carry "quite a few" rounds. That was a while back, and I am not at liberty to provide details, except that it was a US project. That was a serious robot that I would never want to meet up with.
Spears, bow & arrows, swords, catapults, shields, knight's armor, guns, machine guns, etc.... Man has used technology to try to gain a weapon's advantage since the dawn of time. It is not that you assume that your opponent is an idiot, quite the contrary; you assume he is very smart. That is why you have to try to stay one step ahead.
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.