Print 12 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Sep 8 at 3:46 PM

The recent contest had 30 companies show off their unmanned vehicles

The U.S. Army is now testing robotic vehicles that may one day be able to protect soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. To help spur research, the Army recently held the Robotics Rode, offering companies the opportunity to show off future vehicles.

"We've all fought and we've lost friends on places where unmanned ground vehicles could have done the task equally well, and I regret that like you'll never know," said Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch.  "If I had done a better job fielding unmanned ground vehicles, those young people would still be alive."

The event, which was held from September 1-4 at Fort Hood, Texas, gave 30 companies the opportunity to show off their autonomous robotics.  Each vehicle had to maneuver through several field demonstrators, with military and civilian judges on hand.

The military hopes that the vehicles can help evacuate wounded soldiers, serve as scouts to help locate ambushes, and intentionally set off improvised explosive devices hidden by insurgents.

There isn't a set time line as to when the military hopes to use these vehicles, but military experts say they need to be used as soon as possible.

At the same time of the Robotics Rodeo, the Army also tested several advanced battlefield technologies pulled from the now defunct Future Combat Systems program.  Soldiers on the battlefield will give Army officials feedback on the technology, and what they would request.

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RE: Err ...
By Master Kenobi on 9/8/2009 12:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
How do you win a war? By making the enemy feel they are better off giving up than continuing to fight, potentially even better off giving up than if they win the war at great cost. Strategy, not the latest toys.

I dunno, it worked pretty damn well in World War 2 to simply destroy everything that got in the way. I do recall many of our combat bombing raids on "industrial" towns racking up a nice 500k or more death toll in an afternoon. Don't discount the psychological damage we ca inflict with mass casualties. If everyone around them is dying in vast quantities, the desire to continue fighting tends to drop fast. Aside from the few fanatics in which case you simply kill them as they crop up.

RE: Err ...
By mindless1 on 9/8/2009 3:46:50 PM , Rating: 2
These are different times, we're not in any world wars and hopefully won't be within the viable lifespan of these proposed robots.

... or to put it another way, the conflicts that we are presently engaged in, are we simply destroying everything? That too would save our soldiers' lives, if we just sent in bombers instead but we are a bit more humane than that when possible.

Further, destroying everything isn't actually everything, as I wrote the remainder of the enemy felt they were better off giving up. We couldn't, and didn't, destroy all of Europe and beyond.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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