An exclusive sneak peek: a machine soldiers
to fight in the future
The terminator series shows us a war launched by robots, these robots very much like humans, they have joys and sorrows of emotional changes.At present, although this is only seen in science fiction, but in many countries, including the United States had begun to develop machine soldiers.In fact as early as in 2001, Freud d. spencer's Defense Authorization Act (the Floyd d. Spence National Defense Authorization Act), had to America's armed forces to set a target, build an anonymous mechanical forces, both the number of equipped with mechanical arms to reach one-third of all currently in service of mechanical arms.So far, these mechanical forces does not look like the appearance of the terminator, but like the terminator with deadly killer.
Recently, the U.S. military has proposed a called Future Combat Systems (Future Combat Systems, FCS) plan, aims to promote land, sea and air, and other forces of military power system.The program first needs to establish an integrated combat system, and this includes - a composed of different military transport fleet, but these parts used in transport, 80% is the same;On the battlefield sensor automatically collects information;One can toward the horizon automatic system of missile attack to the enemy;There are several intelligent robot.
These robots are mainly four categories:
Unmanned Aerial vehicle (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, uavs) : used for surveillance, reconnaissance missiles.
Small Unmanned Ground vehicle (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles, UGV) : used for in-depth soldiers unable to enter dangerous area for information.
Multifunctional Logistics robot (Multifunctional Utility/Logistics and Equipment, MULE) : used to supplement operations necessary goods in the battle.
Armed Robotic Vehicles (Armed Robotic Vehicles, ARV) : weighing 9.3 tons, can be used to transport powerful Armed platform, sophisticated detection equipment and transportation.
Among them, the logistics robot (MULE) and armed robotic vehicles (ARV) marked the beginning of a new war.At present there are three versions of MULE, these three are driven on the wheel.Two of these mutations, it is both a means of transportation can carry more than a ton of military equipments, to destroy the anti-tank missile again at the same time, some similar to the current common military robots.While the other one is integrated with transport - attack - ignition and other functions of the robot.It has the detection, monitoring, obtain the target functions, integrating the function of all kinds of weapons.In other words, the robot can play like a real soldier fighting.
Armed robotic vehicles (ARV) looks more like a tank, and not like a soldier.The purpose of, in fact, the U.S. military invented the robot is to help human transport.Tanks, for example, the squadron commander can use the ARV - type A robot extends the operational area, without the need for additional soldiers.The robot can enter the battlefield, along with the manned vehicle and deeper into the most dangerous area.
But because of budget cuts, the future combat systems (FCS) planned many action plans are forced to postponed indefinitely.MULE and ARV unfortunately.As a result, the distance we see robots real gallop on the battlefield but also for many years, I'm afraid.But the U.S. military to be used for research and development of military robots never interrupt, because they hope that one day robots can replace completely soldiers fighting in dangerous battlefield.
In this article, we will take a look at how these robots work, and how they will make the future war.
We first look at the robot soldiers exactly what role in this process.
The robot team
Arguably, the future robot soldiers should be qualified for ordinary soldiers can complete all the tasks.They must have independent initiative, such as found on its own goals, identify friends and enemies, sneak into the enemy within, rather than simply to fire.In spite of some robot can almost without control independently completed such simple actions
from destination A to B, but now, the vast majority of robot depends on people on the remote control.But if you want to become the backbone of the war, the robot troops must judge for themselves the current situation and make a decision.
At present, the U.S. military is working with government agencies, such as NASA and university, the companies work together to strive for an early let the idea become a reality.As part of the FCS program, Autonomous Navigation System (Autonomous Navigation System, ANS) goal is to build a can integrate all human and non-human land transport of modular Navigation System.The system will include navigation sensors, global positioning system (GPS) and inertial navigation system (inertial navigation systems, INS), traffic prediction sensors and collision detection software.
Military and engineers are worried about the same question, that is, the risk of robot is out of control.In addition, the robot also has shot associates and the possibility of innocent civilians, this is enough to become soldiers refused to use the machine for a reason.It might sound absurd, but the control machine in the history of soldiers did lead to a tragedy.In 1993, San Francisco, a blasting robot team in performing tasks is out of control, and a beginning crazy rotation before seize the explosive devices.Fortunately, out of control of robot end without igniting explosive device .
Like this is called "dragon" (Talon) military robots, they can transport heavy weapons, but the lack of autonomy.
The U.S. military said machines soldier's purpose is to prevent casualties, at least we can reduce our casualties.Another advantage is that the use of robots expense is low.Although make robots are expensive, but also much cheaper than hiring soldiers - because the robot only needs to maintain, without having to pay for the health and retirement subsidies.Of course, perhaps their service time can be longer than soldiers.
Many people still insist that machine soldiers can never replace ordinary soldiers, they can only be used in extreme danger or tedious tasks.Due to machine soldiers never feel tired, so it is very suitable for defending and long investigation activities.Such as South Korea has used the inter-korean border patrol robot.These robots are called intelligence reconnaissance escort robot, them is equipped with far infrared camera
can periodically to monitor the surrounding environment, as far as can be observed 4 km outside intruders.Once the target, they will immediately follow.When they arrive in ten meters from the intruder's area, they will ask for a password.If you did not give the correct answer, this robot will alarm or direct fired at the intruder.
We will introduce what parts assembly such machines soldiers needed.
Tools and weapons
At present, the machine has been available soldiers can transport and created some weapons, such as shotguns, pepper spray, grenade launchers, and even Hellfire missiles (Hellfire missiles).MULE and ARV - A - L machine soldiers can ignite the line of sight guns and anti-tank weapons.Of dragon robot remote control (TALON robots) can carry almost any weapon: from M240 machine guns (M240 machine gun), small-bore rifle grenades and rocket launchers.'ve just mentioned is but a south Korean patrol robot can use non-lethal rubber bullets against invaders, can also be loaded K3 machine gun - this is a kind of similar to the M249 machine guns.
Mentioned above MULE type intelligent land robot can carry weapons such as missile launchers and machine guns.
The United States Marine corps "Gladiator" Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle (Gladiator Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle, TUGV) can carry some fatal and nonfatal weapons, including:
, Shoulder resistance type transmitters (Shoulder - launched), multi-function Assault Weapons (Multi - purpose Assault was, SMAW), the purpose is to destroy the enemy's defense bunkers, armoured vehicles, break through the enemy line.
• M240 or only model machine guns.
Light Vehicle, magnificent Smoke release System (Light Vehicle Obscurant Smoke System, LVOSS) - a Smoke emission System. An artificial barrier damage System (Anti - personnel Obstacle Breaching System, APOBS), it can be the fragmentation grenades is connected to a rocket launch, purpose is to destroy mines such obstacles.
A massive military robots can easily carry lots of weapons -- they are for humans is likely to be huge, heavy, dangerous and powerful.ARV - type A robot can be loaded or medium caliber artillery, rocket launch system is heavy machine guns.The U.S. military is interested in using ARV - type A robot as the main assist artificial transportation, so it must be loaded arms of the level of the tank.
Other tools include sensors and cameras, their main function is to help the robot perception surrounding situation, thus risk in complex environment.Like gladiators robots will be equipped with thermal camera sensor, it can perceive the surrounding temperature, and according to the temperature generated visible images.But most of the robots are still equipped with ordinary video camera.
FCS plan's ultimate goal is to build a global platform for the military, from now on the United States and other countries of the military cooperation can join the military system.But a challenge for the military plan depends on a series of military equipment, vehicles, and the software, but they failed to fully integrated as a whole.This makes war cooperation and tactical discussion is particularly difficult.Arguably, in complex military tasks, all of the military robots will share a platform, so that the military ready to deploy different robots.Unmanned aerial vehicles, for example, to keep the situation of the monitoring area to unmanned ground vehicles, so that they move into the area.
Many soldiers been sceptical on the machine.
Practical, economic and ethical
To fully play a role on the battlefield robots, the first hurdle is that, no one had to create a reliable, effective way to make the level of the robot to achieve full autonomy.The past few years, scientists have made big progress in this area.As the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Department of Defense, a Research organization, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA), in 2004 took out a $1 million bonus, for nationwide screening a horse funded scientists and engineers, can let them develop an independent 300 kilometers of the robot.Though there are 15 robot for run-off, but no one can walk to the end itself.
In 2005, the progress is more encouraging.Invented by a team of engineers from the Stanford university robot, independent in six hours and 53 minutes covered 210 kilometers, earned $2 million in prize money.The rest of the race for the robot in ten hours to go all the way the length of the period.This contest is testimony to the word of "everything is possible", we have reason to believe that the future of robots must use the same as the military transport speed, riding on the battlefield alone.
In 2007, the defense advanced research projects agency has launched a new challenge -- let alone robots in the complex terrain of
virtual city.These robots to simulate the arms supply tasks to a city, which means they have to blend in the busy traffic, while avoiding obstacles, but must not be affected only by the default route to walk.The first successful completion of the task team will win the $2 million prize.
This kind of full-function remote control robot was designed to destroy the enemy's explosive devices
In the process of research and development of autonomous robot system, autonomous navigation ability is indeed a formidable obstacles.But if you want the robot positioning, independently confirmed and fired at the enemy, then the research difficulty and promoted a grade.To let the robot learn to identify the enemy, the Allies and completely innocent people, also need to for a long time effort.
Remove the technical challenges, robot research and the manufacturing cost is also a challenge.The us department of defense for military Robotics research and Development began in 2006, and six years