Monday, October 24, 2011

More on the Drone Revolution

The Christian Science Monitor has an extensive article on the latest developments in drone technology that is worth reading.
"We're not about 20 years, or 10 years, or even five years away – a lot of this could be out in the field in under two years," says Mitchell Zatkin, former director of programmable matter at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, the Pentagon's premier research office.
The drone revolution and its continuing impact is fascinating to any student of military history and technology. As the article points out,
The development of a new generation of military robots, including armed drones, may eventually mark one of the biggest revolutions in warfare in generations. Throughout history, from the crossbow to the cannon to the aircraft carrier, one weapon has supplanted another as nations have strived to create increasingly lethal means of allowing armies to project power from afar.
The impact of the drone revolution on warfare is so dramatic that it creates numerous possibilities and raises many questions. If as expected, we eventually progress from the use of armed drones to true robots, acting according to programming as opposed to being under direct human command, we may have seen nothing yet.
In the not-too-distant future, military officials envision soldiers and robots teaming up in the field, with the troops able to communicate with machines the way they would with a human squad team member. Eventually, says Thompson, the robot-soldier relationship could become even more collaborative, with one human soldier leading many armed robots.
The whole article is extremely interesting reading.

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