[Defense in Brief] U.S. Army upgrading its fleet of war robots

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The U.S. Army is working to standardize its fleet of transportable robots in order to quicken modernization, interoperability, mission and autonomy.

Over the past 15 years during the ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army acquired and then fast-tracked some 7,000 unique robotic systems as the service attempted to keep up with the rising threat from enemy improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Now the service is attempting to build on those upgrades and developments, to include the deployment of several types of cave- and road-clearing robots. And Army planners want to develop a fleet of robotic systems that share common characteristics like a chassis that is configurable to many different missions.

“Previous robots often had just one capability, used expensive, proprietary software, and required more resources for training and maintenance. That means soldiers can do more while learning and carrying less, and that makes a big difference,” said Bryan McVeigh, the Army’s project manager for Force Projection, said in a service statement.

The Army is turning to Endeavor Robotics (formerly called iRobot), to acquire common robots called Man-Transportable Robotic Systems, Increment II (MTRS Inc II). [source]

(Analyst comment: Robotic systems have become an invaluable battlefield tool, and this is the Army’s effort to standardize systems for a widening variety of mission sets. Robots save lives in a variety of ways.

Up next: Armed systems which will be fielded by great powers and smaller forces alike such as militant and terrorist groups which are already using armed drones in battle.)

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