Robots: Eliminating the First Contact with an Enemy Force


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Robots will someday interact with other robots like that someday.

In Australia, an experiment will take place where an operator in the U.S. will remotely guide a robot through the outback with just a second of latency from control to action using satellite technology, he said. It will also be red-teamed, he added, meaning that operators will try to hack into it to take control away from the "friendly" operator.

So the way ahead is like that, with industry partners, academia, and multinational partners. The real payoff is when industry is working on a project that the Army can simply tweak a bit for its own usage, Sadowski said.

WHERE WE'VE BEEN

Robotics isn't new, said Sadowski, who has a doctorate in electrical engineering and is a retired Soldier himself -- a grad from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He's also had some 40 months of operational experience in robotics in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For example in the 1950s, the Army developed a robot called Little David, which was driven by remote control. It had a TV camera on it, a machine gun and even a flame thrower.

Other nations, including the Soviets, had similar systems.

The problem then was taking it off road, especially in tough terrain like Korea and Vietnam. So that's the problem that the Army's looking to solve currently. It will eventually get solved, but it will take some time, he said.

An early example of using unmanned aerial vehicles was demonstrated by the Japanese during World War II, Sadowski said. They tied incendiary bombs to balloons and fire-bombed the U.S. Northwest. The furthest a balloon got was Michigan, 10 miles from TARDEC.

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