Pentagon Lays Out Blueprint For Robot Wars Of The Future

Pic: USDOD (PD)

Pic: USDOD (PD)

Prepare for more drone warfare.

Via Christian Science Monitor:

At a NASCAR racetrack in Miami earlier this month, teams from NASA, Google, and 14 other groups of engineering gurus put cutting-edge robots through some challenging paces.

The aim was to see how well the robots could tackle tasks that may sound simple, but are tricky for nonhumans – including, say, climbing a ladder, unscrewing a hose from a spigot, navigating over rubble, and steering a car.

The contest was dreamed up by the Pentagon’s futuristic experimentation arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and senior defense officials were watching it carefully – well aware that the Pentagon is growing increasingly reliant on robotics.

The Defense Department will become even more reliant on such devices in the decades to come. That’s the conclusion of a new blueprint quietly released by the Pentagon this week, which offers some telling clues about the future of unmanned systems – in other words, drones and robots.

The study, the Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap, is meant to provide the Pentagon with a “technological vision” for the next 25 years – a vision that will be “critical to future success” of the US military, according to its authors.

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  • Daniel Gill

    The problem with robotics is the dehumanizing aspect it brings to conflicts. They’re killing machines at worst and life saving bomb removal and such at best. In a conflict zone, the last thing you want is indiscriminate killing of not only innocents but combatants. there should be international war crimes rules prohibiting drone use in certain circumstances. the enemy has to be engaged on a human to human basis with the sincerity of conflict resolution and conflict prevention not war mongering.

    If the goal is peace keeping, which is should be, then you don’t want drone use. We need infantry to engage combatants so that they can be disarmed or surrender. war is not an excuse to commit genocide and that is exactly what drones do.

    and if you’re serving in the military and you don’t want to engage with other human beings than maybe it’s not the right job for you. maybe you should pick a different job and leave it for non-cowards.

    • jasonpaulhayes

      Well said, I couldn’t agree more.

    • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

      The disconnect is a feature, not a flaw. Everything about modern warfare strips people of their humanity. This type of technology leverages the power of those in positions of authority to make unreasonable demands on those whom they order. The moral repugnance of certain commands, like droning a wedding in Pakistan (and then the first responders), becomes emotionally palatable when the technician’s experience is mimeograph of reality projected on a screen from 60,000 feet up and half a world away. The culpability is dissolved across that space. It is paraphrased in a moment of pixels, then institutionally absorbed and absolved by a culture enabling atrocity.

  • American Cannibal

    OK. So those fancy killer robots can unscrew a firehose, but could one of those things unscrew my wife, please?

    • Anarchy Pony

      Ba dum tish.

      • American Cannibal

        Ah-thank-yous

  • nicholas p.

    meh robots wil be controlled with xbox controllers and it will turn into call of duty style warfare. i hope theres no trolls in the future.