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Soldier launching UAV  (Source: Sgt. 1st Class Michael Guillory, U.S. Army)
Robots with ethics could one day be used on the battlefield

The United States military continues to invest heavily into robotic technology, as the newer generations of robot-based soldiers will be programmed to understand battlefield ethics.

According to an article in the Army Times, the so-called 'ethical robots' would follow international laws.  Ronald Arkin, from the Mobile Robot Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology, wrote a book to discuss the future of robotics.

In "Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots," Arkin claims robotics, if programmed correctly, have numerous advantages over human ground troops.  Robots are emotionless , expendable, and can be customized for specific missions.  

It's possible the robots could be taught remorse, compassion and guilt, but exact senses the robots would be programmed with are still unknown.  Furthermore, depending on the determined level of guilt, and the mission being carried out, the firepower and effectiveness of weapons used will change.

The robots could also be used to monitor soldiers to ensure international treaties are being followed by U.S. and coalition ground troops.  Although many soldiers don't want to be monitored in such an intrusive manner, several high-profile cases of abuse and murder have further blemished the military's image among locals in Iraq.  

If funding is properly allocated for the research, it could be available in 10 to 20 years.  As the U.S. continues to fight wars using enhanced technology, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other unmanned resources have become popular alternatives to launching manned missions -- and is expected to further increase in the future.



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By ryan023 on 12/29/2009 10:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
Hard to put down and necessary to know -- Arkin's book provides a comprehensive intellectual history of robots and a thorough compilation of robotic organizational paradigms from reflexes through social interaction." -- Chris Brown, Professor of Computer Science, University of Rochester

This introduction to the principles, design, and practice of intelligent behavior-based autonomous robotic systems is the first true survey of this robotics field. The author presents the tools and techniques central to the development of this class of systems in a clear and thorough manner. Following a discussion of the relevant biological and psychological models of behavior, he covers the use of knowledge and learning in autonomous robots, behavior-based and hybrid robot architectures, modular perception, robot colonies, and future trends in robot intelligence.

The text throughout refers to actual implemented robots and includes many pictures and descriptions of hardware, making it clear that these are not abstract simulations, but real machines capable of perception, cognition, and action.

http://rapidshare.com/files/197529653/Ronald_C._Ar...




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