"Robots that can decide where to kill, who to kill and when to kill is high on all the military agendas"
Mil robots are autonomous or remote-controlled devices designed for military applications. There are 43 countries working on mil robotics today, from Britain and Japan to China, India, Russia, Pakistan, and Iran.
The futuristic battlefield is going to depend substantially on deployment of standoff weapons and virtual technology. Robotic technology will play a major role. Presently, mil robots are essentially used as UAVs or for landmine and explosive search. A few developed armies are using them for counterterrorism purposes. However, robots are not autonomous entities with positron brains. Their performance still depends on human control.
Peter Singer who has authored books on military robotics include ‘Wired for War’ says that "Military robots are an even more revolutionary technology than the atomic bomb," "The robotics revolution in war has a critical difference — it affects the 'who' of war, not only the warriors' experience, but the very identity of the warriors themselves."
US Mil Robots
The use of robotics in the military has exploded in the past several years as technology has advanced while the world faced a new kind of enemy that required patient, precise surveillance. The US is leading the world in Robotics. It is creating a grand robotic army. The US mil and int agencies deploy thousands of unmanned vehicles in the air and on the ground, include Predator and Reaper drones which are being used for bombing. In 2003, the US military had almost no robots in its arsenal but now has 7,000 unmanned ac and at least 10,000 ground vehicles. The US AF, which initially resisted the idea of pilot less planes, now trains more operators for unmanned aircraft than pilots for its fighter jets and bombers.
Their current and planned mil robots of US are discussed at Appendix.
China is amongst the leading developers of AI based mil robots. It embarked on the research of the robot in 2007, when it was listed as a national key project. The Chinese military in 2006 had unveiled ‘Tianyan-2’ an unmanned helicopter. The T-2, developed by the Armed Police Engineering Institute, demonstrated its combat effectiveness by dropping bombs with "pinpoint" accuracy on a simulated target. The T-2 is designed for combat in high-density environments such as cities and is officially designated as an "anti-terrorism" weapon. The flight showed the PLA has the capability to field an Unmanned Air Combat Vehicle (UCAV). Beyond this project not much is revealed about their robot program.
China has also made crucial breakthroughs in many key technologies of space robots. It has a robot research center in Beijing. They have engineered a hand, as deft as a human's, for a space robot that will replace astronauts to conduct some difficult and dangerous operations outside the space capsule.
Scientists from the Robot Engineering Technology Research Centre at Shandong University in China have installed a computer chip into a pigeon's brain, allowing the bird to be remote controlled. The chip is connected to the brain with hair-thin electrodes implanted in key brain locations. Scientists then use a computer to order the bird to fly right or left and up or down.
On the social side it foresees problems of an aging society. It has developed a robot who can attend to lonely elders. The robot has been developed with the functions of fetching food, medicine, sounding alarms in case of water or gas leakage, sending texts or video images via wireless communications, and even singing a song or playing chess to entertain its masters. It has been claimed that the robot, developed independently in China, has technology at par with those in western labs.
It is no wonder Japan has been called "the robot kingdom." Of the...
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