May 5, 2020

Soldier-controlled autonomous robots call for fire in test, attack targets

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI


Armed Army robot vehicles conducted reconnaissance, called for indirect fire and then, when directed by human decision-makers, attacked and destroyed enemy targets in a recent experiment designed to assess the technical maturity and readiness of autonomous ground drones.

“We had four robot vehicles conduct a tactical mission while humans were safe in defilade. We built four robots that are refurbished M113 tracked vehicles and we’ve taken two Bradleys — gutted them — and turned them into two control vehicles with all kinds of sensors on them,” Jeff Langhout, Director, Ground Vehicle Systems Center, told reporters in October at the Association of the United States Army Annual Symposium, Washington, D.C.

Langhout explained that the robots engaged in “direct fire” missions when directed by human decision-makers, per existing doctrine requiring a human to be “in the loop” when it comes to using lethal force for attack.

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