I bet you never thought you’d see fighting robots in your lifetime. Or maybe you did? According to the Marine Corpss robotics guru, there are now over 2,000 robots being used to fight the enemy in Afghanistan. This is the first war in which we have ever used robots in combat.
Some of the robots are actually fighter jets that go by the name of X-47B. They require very little human interaction. In fact, the only thing they actually need a human for is to tell them when to drop the bomb. An X-47B can actually take off and land by itself, even on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Drones being used before these actually required soldiers to remotely control these functions.
Other robots currently being used by the military can detect bombs, disarm bombs and dispose of them. It was even noted that they use ground bots to detonate buried mines. On one occasion a unit sent it’s four-wheeler-size M-160 ahead of their truck to clear the path. The four wheeler was blown up by a hidden roadside bomb and the unit was fine; it was a good thing they sent it ahead. These are all very great uses for these ground bots, and they are very good at these tasks. However, the newest combat robots have one job, and that is to get shot at. However, these ground bots are still very stupid. On ground, there are many obstacles; even a twig in the road can be an obstacle for one of these ground bots. The pentagon still does not know how to train these robots to be truly independent. I suppose this is a good thing given the whole terminator scenario we see in the movies. Thankfully, we’re just not there yet.
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