The robot army of the future


It seems a little irresponsible to write an article about robotic soldiers without at least making a passing reference to this really enlightening documentary about robots and the military we once saw called Terminator 3, but the New York Times has an overview of the the Pentagon's quest to have robots as a major part of the US military within the next ten years. The robotic army they're building is still a long way from humanoid-like bots that can come even close to replicating what a human soldier can do (or one that can be trusted to make decisions about who or what to attack), but the US military is already using robots to take care of Improvised Explosive Devices and haul stuff around in Iraq and search caves in Afghanistan, and there are plans to introduce a machine gun-equipped bomb disposal bot called the TALON over in Iraq in April (pictured at right). Eventually it'll be standard to have robots assigned to each army unit, with the plan now to have autonomous robotic trucks (that's what the Grand Challenge is all about), scouts, and sentries in addition to robotic infantry.

[Via SmartMobs]