What is an automated robot for the military system?

What is the US Army robotics and Autonomous Systems Strategy?

This presentation by Col Michael B.

Sell, former Director of the Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command Robotics Office, discusses the US Army's strategy for Robotics, Autonomous Systems and AI (Artificial Intelligence) within the Army. Col Sell, who has held a series of key leadership roles at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), presented this paper at USAAE in December 2023. The content is based upon the author's experience and is provided here by kind permission. No copyright infringement is intended.

I am honored to be part of the panel that will open the conference. In many cases we're talking about autonomous decisionmaking, a new discipline of Artificial Intelligence. We define decisionmaking that involves autonomous decision-making as AI decisionmaking and, in all instances, it is going to involve some form of robot.

For a military leader who has never served in the military or been a military planner, what are some good definitions? Autonomyautonomy in combat is defined by the US Navy at least as follows. "Automation of combat processes beyond those supported by human performance." There are a number of ways the US Navy puts this forward. "Beyond the human decision loop" is one way. It might depend on a human operator that can correct their actions based on feedback from an autonomous system. Another is called "operator-centric," and in this case autonomy is designed so that the operator no longer needs to pay attention to the robot. If the human decides to move the joystick, the computer moves the joystick automatically, without any human having touch it.

It's also important to talk about decisionmaking because that encompasses command and control, which depends on both decisionmaking and autonomous decision-making. How do you give your commands if you do not think about the environment, the enemy, terrain, and the weapons systems at your disposal? If you just tell the machine, OK, take me there, that would not help. To do anything intelligently, you have to think about the environment, you have to think about the threat that exists, and therefore it is very much a human decision that you make. That requires your training, your experience, your knowledge base.

Robots and decisionmaking are intertwined but we define them separately, and when we define them that way they get quite different attention.

How does robotics impact the military?

8 billion in 2023 to support robotics research, with the goal of developing a robot that can perform more complex operations and replace human soldiers on the battlefield.

Robots are already making a difference for the military. At Virginia Tech, for instance, researchers have developed robots that can operate independently and find bombs or land mines. At the University of California, Berkeley, there's a robot with the ability to drive without a human operator. And at Carnegie Mellon University, researchers have created a robot that can walk, run, balance, jump, and climb.

But a new paper argues that robotic technology could dramatically alter the military in ways that most people haven't considered. Robots, according to author Michael Moorcock, are "the most destructive single development in the history of warfare."

"We have changed the nature of war for the first time since man learned to use fire and iron," he writes. For example, in an all-out nuclear war between the U.S. And Russia, Moorcock estimates that the U. Would have a fighting chance if it had an advance force of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), meaning autonomous flying robots, to monitor the situation.

A UAV can stay in the air longer than a piloted aircraft, meaning it can keep watch for days or weeks on end, giving the U. A chance to gather critical intelligence on the enemy. It can also do reconnaissance missions, allowing the U. To accurately predict enemy movements.

Even if a UAV was destroyed, a future conflict between the U. And Russia would be "far more lethal than any conventional conflict," Moorcock writes, because it would be "more intense, more mobile and less predictable."

A UAV pilot could be replaced by a UAV. A UAV pilot, Moorcock says, would be much safer than his or her human counterparts because the risk of a UAV crashing into a building or tree is negligible, and the odds of hitting a human soldier are low. The U. Military isn't likely to adopt these recommendations. There's no official Pentagon policy on using robots in combat, and U. Officials say that a robotic attack is unlikely to happen unless the Russians or Chinese build an unmanned weapon that can carry out a premeditated attack against the U.

Related Answers

What is autonomous systems in mechanical engineering?

Autonomous systems are systems where all the processe...

What is the difference between autonomous and AI?

"A human is free to decide how she wishes to behave in a particular situ...