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Interest growing in military ground robots (follow up)

Robotization of ground forces has been of interest to the military of the world since the early last century. The development of technologies allows implementing the idea only now. Growing military budgets in the past decade caused a landslide of artificial intelligence projects and combat robots. The Izvestia writes about the current state of affairs.

Interest growing in military ground robots follow up
A Soldier of the 25th Infantry Division remote controls a Kobra 710 during the Pacific Manned Unmanned - Initiative (PACMAN-I) at Marine Corps Training Area - Bellows, July 22, 2016. The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) is the Army's front line in bringing capabilities in the form of MUM-T (Picture source: TARDEC/Kimberly Bratic)

So far, MUM-T units are experimental and mostly engage in information collection and feedback from soldiers. The aim is to obtain effective interaction with machines. It is the most important issue faced by engineers and the military in various countries. The problem is human psychology. Teaming with a machine capable of independent decisions differs from a remote control and is perceived differently. The main reason for attention to the human component of MUM-T units is that the success of team performance depends on the human perception of the system and its behavior. If human expectations do not coincide with the set of behavioral models of the machine, the human being begins to doubt the effectiveness of its actions, US scientists said.

At the macro level, professional mercenaries or outfit programs and training of national armies are considered as instruments of Remote Warfare. The concept does not distinguish between a cruise missile and a team of mercenaries. Both are remote warfare weapons engaged in specific conditions.

The Americans believe the stand-off principle is a priority of improved training for future combat.

At the micro-level, there are approaches considering each soldier and unit as integrated combat platforms. The idea is that all outfit elements are linked together and interact with the soldier and fighters of his unit. As a result, each soldier is a part of a complicated combat system. Most robotic projects are in the beginning of the path. Data are collected and prototypes tested. Some trends are already visible and are likely to form the concept of the armed forces in the near future.

Firstly, there is a trend to increase the distance between friendly and foe soldiers to the maximum to decrease losses. Previously it was done by drone technologies, now the technologies are used for the ground forces.

Secondly, potential losses are likely to exert smaller pressure on the decision to wage conflict. Broad use of automatic systems and mercenaries will decrease the risk of losing soldiers.

Thirdly, international law is likely to change. In June 2018, a special UK panel drafted recommendations on the future policy and regulations for technologies related to artificial intelligence. It was a long-awaited development, as technology militarization demands regulation.

As for the soldiers, training requirements have to increase. New technologies demand skilled personnel to operate costly and sophisticated hardware. The military is optimistic. The head of the Scorpion combat laboratory believes future soldiers learn digital technologies at school. It is clear that artificial intelligence development is a long-term plan of action in the coming decades, the Izvestia said.

Interest growing in military ground robots follow up 2
Soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division stand near a multipurpose unmanned tactical transport (MUTT) armed with an M2 .50 caliber machine gun during the Pacific Manned Unmanned - Initiative (PACMAN-I) at Marine Corps Training Area - Bellows, July 22, 2016 (Picture source: TRADEC/Kimberly Bratic)

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