Aerospace and Defense

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Is the Future of the Battlefield Led by Military Robots?

Author : Priyanka | February 16, 2024

Soldiers play a crucial role in defending borders and protecting lives by engaging in combat. Maneuvering through minefields, disarming unexploded bombs, and clearing hostile buildings are all perilous tasks associated with the risk of death. What if fully armed robots could take on the responsibilities of war instead of humans? This approach could potentially save human lives, with the loss being limited to the cost of constructing the robots. Numerous nations are actively developing military robots, and some have already deployed them in combat.

This blog will delve into these robotic soldiers, their contributions to national defense, and the latest advancements shaping the military landscape.

What are Military Robots?

Military robots refer to autonomous or remote-controlled mobile robots designed for a range of military applications. They perform various tasks, including transport, search and rescue, and combat. They are intended to support soldiers in the field and contribute to military superiority by providing tactical advantages.

Robots play a pivotal role in modern warfare by enhancing soldier capabilities and minimizing the risk to human life. They are crucial for ground missions, protecting countries from potential threats, and neutralizing bombs without endangering human soldiers.

The robots used in the military are gaining popularity due to their extraordinary capabilities. According to Kings Research's recent report, the global military robots market is expected to garner $20.64 billion in revenue by 2030.

Pivotal Types of Military Robots and Their Uses in National Defense

Various types of robots are being used in the military field. Listed below are the main types of robots and their applications that are reshaping defense and safety in the military.

  • Transportation Robots

Transportation robots are commonly used for transporting supplies such as artillery, bombs, and other essential items in military operations. They also play a crucial role in other activities, including evacuating casualties from the battlefield. These robots can be used as unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) equipped with wheels or legs, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

  • Search and Rescue Robots

Military robots are extensively utilized in search and rescue missions to locate missing or captured personnel, providing critical support in challenging and hazardous environments. These robots can perform various risky tasks that humans can't. They can be used for various unstable missions, such as underwater, floods, wildfires, and mountains.

  • Surveillance and Reconnaissance Robots

Robots excel in surveillance and reconnaissance, assisting the military in spying on potential threats and enhancing their effectiveness in military operations. These robots track and monitor the potential hazards in the military zone and alert the military.

  • Defense Robots

Defense robots serve various functions, including carrying heavy equipment, operating in dangerous situations, and rescuing wounded soldiers in combat zones. They are designed to handle a wide range of combat tasks, from surveillance and reconnaissance to engaging in combat with greater efficiency compared to human soldiers.

  • Firefighting Robot

These are futuristic military robots that can help humans extinguish fires in the military field. These robots can be equipped with a fire hydrant to save lives and investigate fire sites. For example, Angatec, a French company, designed and manufactured the TEC800 firefighting robot. These robots were used by Angoulême firefighters to contain fire outbreaks.

  • Armed Robot

Armed robots are military robots equipped with weapons to eliminate combat threats and enhance defense systems, aiding in military operations. Other than armed robots, some nations, like China, Israel, South Korea, Russia, the UK, and the US, have developed fully autonomous weapons called killer robots. Human Rights Watch calls for a preemptive ban on their development, production, and use, as they threaten human dignity and fundamental rights.

  • Training Robot

Training robots are designed to educate and instruct individuals in robotic systems' programming, operation, and maintenance. These robots are utilized to teach various aspects of robotics, including programming, robot operations, advanced integration, and troubleshooting. Companies such as Kawasaki Robotics and ABB offer robot-based training courses tailored to individuals with varying skill levels, providing hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge.

3 Innovative Military Robots on the Defense Ground

Various types of UGVs and UAVs are being developed for defense and military purposes in various nations. Below are the top three robots are given below

1. Ripsaw M5

Ripsaw, an unmanned ground combat vehicle (UGV), developed by Howe & Howe Technologies, is under order by the U.S. Army for its silent operation and potential applications in various fields. These robots offer situational awareness and 360-degree coverage, making them ideal for protecting convoys, conducting rescue missions, and disposing of explosive devices. They can be used for perimeter defense, patrolling the border, surveillance, and crowd control.

2. THeMIS

Milrem Robotics' THeMIS is a ground vehicle designed to reduce troops on the battlefield. It has been used in anti-insurgency missions and purchased by 16 countries. The vehicle can be reconfigured for transport, attack, ordnance disposal, and intelligence operations. It can also support logistical activities and aid in the evacuation of casualties. The MIS vehicle serves as cargo by carrying soldier loads and offering additional gear and firepower.

3. MQ-28 Ghost Bat

Boeing's MQ-28 Ghost Bat UAV is a 38-foot-long drone that supports reconnaissance, surveillance, and intelligence missions. It can fly over 2,000 nautical miles and is a "force multiplier" for the U.S. Air Force, aiming to create 1,000 collaborative combat aircraft. It is equipped with AI technology and is likely to take part in upcoming fighter jet battles.

To Conclude

A military robot has witnessed significant advancements in recent years, driven by breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, automation, sensor systems, and computing performance. These innovations have led to the developing a diverse range of unmanned ground vehicles and autonomous ground robots that play vital roles in military operations.

From ground-based robots to air jets, robots have significantly enhanced operational capabilities and minimized risks to human personnel. The efficient military robots provide crucial support in reconnaissance, surveillance, transportation, and combat operations. As technology continues to evolve, the role of military robots is likely to expand, further reshaping the landscape of modern warfare and defense.

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