Military Robotics

Security Guard UVS Patrol Bots

Posted 8 Nov 2003 at 16:38 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

You're starting to see them, right? The robot security guard with the yellow flashing light on top? CBC in Canada has an article about the U.S. military seeking robotic technology made-in-Canada. Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS), are the guard/sentrys of the future and the american military seems to be a big user of this technology. Cerkits Corporation Inc. in Canada has created robots such as MAGS (Mobile Autonomous Guard System) and The Prowler to fulfill these guard and sentry needs. At $85k each, these robots may not perform as well as a human would, but they're easier to cover the landscape with for guarding things like oil pipelines, fence lines, and parking lots and allows for fewer human casualties. So, you always thought that if you ever needed a job, you could always take a low paying security guard job? That may not always be the case in the future. Expect to see more robot security guards watching your every move and while giving you the freedom to search out higher paying jobs.

Future Shock, posted 8 Nov 2003 at 16:46 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

Enjoy this robotics presentation from Cerkits Corp.

Warfare in the digital age, posted 8 Nov 2003 at 17:38 UTC by motters » (Master)

These robots look rather crude - a sort of trolley with a periscope - but in time they will improve. It doesn't look like any of them yet carry weapons of any kind. If they do I bet they are teleoperated, so that although the robot may aim and fire at a target its still a human that manually selects it and provides some confirmation.

The logical next step with this sort of technology is to produce an automated tank. Get rid of all the human driver and gunner occupants and make a much smaller (i.e. physically more robust, quicker and harder to hit) tank which is partly autonomous and partly teleoperated. An operator would decide where the tank should go and what it should shoot at, but the lower level details of how it should get there and aiming its weapons would be automatic.

Going even further than that strategic decisions about coordination between multiple vehicles on the ground and in the air could also be automated - types of formation, coordinated attacks and so on. Strategic decisions can be much better and more quickly made by computers than humans - as is usually the case when I play warcraft 3 or chess against the computer. Some decades down the line the entire process of warfare could be automated, with human decisions only being taken at the political level. Perhaps war itself will become a meaningless charade once its just machines fighting other machines.

Having said all that I'm mainly in favour of robots being used for beneficial and constructive purposes rather than destructive ones. Wars are almost always a pointless waste of time, resources and lives, but I guess that military applications are pretty much inevitable.

All of the states have..., posted 9 Nov 2003 at 14:54 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

As far as I can tell all of the states in the USA have laws against having a weapon on a machine of some sort. It comes under the laws covering booby traps ans such. It is Ok to have man eating animals of some kind but not a mechanical contrivance.
But now the military doesn't have that problem.

In my opinion, posted 9 Nov 2003 at 15:00 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

This six wheel drive mode is a good step in the right direction. A security guard robot has to be large and heavy enough to discourage theft. Plus it has to be tough as it can easily be vandalized. For example a thief would sneak up and pour a half gallon of paint on the camera video system in order to blind it.
Then there are the random shooter vandals, who decide to use it for target practice.
Then there are those who want to steal those neat wheels it has. Thus special wheel lug bolts are in order.

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