Military robots are remote- controlled autonomous devices especially designed to perform military applications. Robots used in military are designed accordingly to walk in mine fields, clearing the hostile buildings or deactivate the unexploded bombs. Military robots may undertake some of the most dangerous tasks which soldiers can’t. If a loss occurs, only the money is lost, not the life. Robots used in military are never tired and do not ask for sleep.
These killer robots have no fear and are often tele- operated; and, are not equipped with weapons that are used in sniper detection and surveillance. Such robots may neutralize such devices which can cause explosions. Combot robots possess an integrated system of equipment’s and have different shapes depending on the purpose they have to serve. Robots used in military are equipped with cameras, video screens, force sensors along with special grippers, making them efficient to handle even the most risky jobs with ease.
Combat robots on the line of duty
The job of a military soldier is to assist a soldier, making his task easier and safe him from the risk of life in dangerous areas. The duties of a military soldier are similar to that of a human soldier without posing any threat to humans. They have the ability to endure any loss caused by bombs and other weapons which are fatal to human body. Military robots can hold fire as well. They have features like machine guns which make them look like a mini army.
These robots are made to replace human soldiers in risky situations like crawling down the caves or streets in wars. This helps to reduce casualties. Civilian causalities are also reduced by them. They can take decisions faster that what humans can do and do not possess the feeling of anger, hunger, stress, fatigue, fear or revenge.
Some questions that needs to be answered
The decision to employ a military robot in a battle field is accompanied with many serious questions like:
- If causalities of aggressors is reduced by a military robot, may be they will raise the chances of war more frequently, especially against the opponent who is technologically inferior?
- If robots are gathering information regarding the conduct of human soldiers through video sensors, won’t be regarded as spying which is ethically wrong?
- If the rules of war are broken by the soldiers, who is going to take the responsibility? The human commander? The programmer? The manufacturer?
- What do military robots do if a rouge commander overrides the safety of robot and the use it in taking some action which is undesirable as per the rules of war?
- The robots may be hacked by an enemy and could turn out to be friendly for opponent troops?
- Is it possible to imagine for a programmer every situation that the robot could face in the battle field? If not, it will surely make some lethal mistakes.
- Will the robot be able to differentiate between innocent civilians and opponent troops?
But the experts have come up with some of the advantages of military robots which can’t be neglected in any way.
Robots used in military – Advantages
- They refuse tom perform any illegal or unethical command which the human soldiers might be pressurised to do.
- By using video sensors, human soldiers can be monitored to check the violation of the war laws’.
- They are unaffected by stress, fatigue, fear, hunger, revenge and anger.
- It capable to make fast decisions than what humans can do which is extremely beneficial in a battlefield.
- One fighter can command to an entire quad of robots which promotes semiautonomous working.
- By developing sufficient and proper ethical programming, civilian causalities can be reduced.
- Human soldiers are replaced by robots in dangerous missions like crawling in street or caves, causing a reduction in causalities
But this fact can’t be denied that every coin has two faces. Same is with military robots. Despite of several advantages of military robots, many disadvantages are also associated with its use. Some of them are listed below:
Robots used in military-Disadvantages
- Situations dealing in social cues cannot be handled by them. For example, they may not be able to differentiate between civilians and soldiers.
- The signals sent by the humans to control the robot can be intercepted.
- A huge amount of money is required to make up one military robot.
- What do military robots do if enemies may hack them for selfish interest?
- They are rapidly outnumbering the computers in army
- Soon they will take over human division in military.
Military robots for future prospects in the Indian and US army
It is estimated that military robots in future US army will be more than humans by 2025. The military units are aimed to maximize their performance by employing human robots in future battlefields.
Experts say combat robots are ready to become a part of US forces in next ten to fifteen years. Intelligence experts have mentioned that unmanned trucks which could be driven on their own are soon to appear on roads. This will outnumber the human soldiers.
A contract of 6 million has been rewarded to Six3 Advanced system to design and develop such a system that could make a combined squad of unmanned and human assets.
What to expect from the military robots for future
Greater robotization is expected in future warfare including machine and operators rather than soldiers fighting with each other in the battlefield. The soldier will just become and operator and soon will vanish out of the battle field.
Even the Indian government has started work to incorporate artificial intelligence in near future to their armies. The armed forces are planning to include robotic weaponry, aerial vehicles, unmanned vessel and tanks. Unmanned naval and aerial vehicles are also under development to soon join the Indian armed forces.