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Future robot battle buddies may read your emotions to fight better

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The Army's plans for robotic wingmen in vehicle formations, a drone on every soldier and robotic mules carrying gear all aim to take the load off the fighter. But how will the two communicate, robot and human? Voice commands like automated assistants on smartphones are great, but not when the threat of incoming fire means the robot battle buddy needs to decipher a range of priorities that humans might take for granted. The next test will come in late 2021 and involve a company-sized maneuver at Fort Hood, Texas. Think more C3PO or R2D2 in the "Star Wars" movies than Hal in "2001: A Space Odyssey" --or better yet, a friendly cyborg from "Terminator" might be the best way to see your robot combatant squad mate of the distant future.


US Army's heavy ground robot reaches full-rate production

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army's heavy common ground robot has reached full-rate production, less than a year after FLIR won the contract to deliver the system, FLIR's vice president in charge of unmanned ground systems told Defense News in an interview this month. "We've progressed with the U.S. Army through all the milestones on the program and are now at full-rate production on the program. We're building systems, we're delivering them, there are systems out at Fort Leonard Wood right now going through training with troops and there are more systems in the pipeline to be delivered all the way through next year and further," Tom Frost said. "I think what's remarkable is how quickly the Army was able to run a program to find a very capable, large [explosive ordnance disposal] robot and then get it out to troops as quickly as they did," he added. The service award FLIR an Other Transaction Authority type contract in November 2019 to provide its Kobra robot to serve as its Common Robotic System-Heavy -- or CRS-H.


US Army readies robot tanks fitted with chainguns, missile launchers

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In the near futures, the U.S. Army plans to deploy packs of semi-autonomous robot tanks armed to the brim with chainguns, missiles, and other fearsome weaponry. Two classes of these Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCVs) are already under development, Breaking Defense reports, with a third on the way. As they make their way to future battlefields, Major Corey Wallace explained at a conference last week, they'll be used to lead the charge in both conventional and electronic warfare in the years to come. The U.S. Army is building RCV lights, mediums, and heavies. Respectively, the three are lightweight scouting vehicles, heavily armed mini tanks, and powerful artillery vehicles.


QinetiQ and Pratt Miller Deliver First Robotic Combat Vehicle – Light to U.S. Army – IAM Network

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The first RCV-L was delivered to GVSC on November 5, 2020. The RCV-L, provided by the team of QinetiQ Inc. (QinetiQ) and Pratt Miller Defense (Pratt Miller), is the first of four systems to be delivered. The culmination of eight months of challenging work, this on-time delivery is a major milestone for the RCV program's industry/government collaboration. Michael Rose; Branch Chief for Robotic Combat Platforms, GVSC Ground Vehicle Robotics; shared the following after the delivery took place. "The delivery of the first RCV-L is an exciting result of numerous government organizations and industry working together to achieve our first combat ready robotic vehicle. This unit is the first of four vehicles developed in support of the Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) Soldier Operational Experiment, planned for 2022, and represents a significant milestone for the program. QinetiQ and Pratt Miller have successfully developed and delivered these systems within budget and on-schedule even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The GVSC team now plans to add Autonomous Mobility as well as Government Furnished Software for the Tethered UAS Multi-Mission Payload and CROWS-J Lethality package."


Robot soldiers could soon make up a quarter of the army

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In the age of artificial intelligence, robots will soon represent a large part of the armed forces, according to the UK's chief of the defence staff Nick Carter, who predicted that up to a quarter of the army could be made up of autonomous systems in the near future. Speaking on Sky News for Remembrance Day, the general speculated that as cyber and space join the more traditional army domains of land, air, and maritime, so will AI systems become an integral part of the armed forces' modernization effort. Carter warned that decisions haven't been taken yet, and insisted that his predictions were not based on firm targets. He nevertheless shared his visions for an armed force that is "designed for the 2030s". SEE: An IT pro's guide to robotic process automation (free PDF) (TechRepublic) "You'll see armed forces that are designed to do (cyber and space). And I think it absolutely means we'll have all manner of different people employed because those domains require different skill sets, and we will absolutely avail ourselves with autonomous platforms and robotics wherever we can," said Carter.


Robots soldiers could soon make up a quarter of the army

ZDNet

In the age of artificial intelligence, robots will soon represent a large part of the armed forces, according to the UK's chief of the defence staff Nick Carter, who predicted that up to a quarter of the army could be made up of autonomous systems in the near future. Speaking on Sky News for Remembrance Day, the general speculated that as cyber and space join the more traditional army domains of land, air, and maritime, so will AI systems become an integral part of the armed forces' modernization effort. Carter warned that decisions haven't been taken yet, and insisted that his predictions were not based on firm targets. He nevertheless shared his visions for an armed force that is "designed for the 2030s". "You'll see armed forces that are designed to do (cyber and space). And I think it absolutely means we'll have all manner of different people employed because those domains require different skill sets, and we will absolutely avail ourselves with autonomous platforms and robotics wherever we can," said Carter.


Army fires tank-killing robots armed with Javelin missiles – IAM Network

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The U.S. Army will soon operate robots able to destroy enemy armored vehicles with anti-tank missiles, surveil warzones under heavy enemy fire and beam back identified targeting details in seconds due to rapid progress with several new armed robot programs. Several of the new platforms now operate with a Kongsberg-built first-of-its-kind wireless fire control architecture for a robotic armored turret with machine guns, Javelin Anti-Tank Missiles and robot-mounted 30mm cannon selected by the Army to arm its fast-emerging Robotic Combat Vehicles. These now-in-development robotic systems are intended to network with manned vehicles in high-risk combat operations. The fast-evolving concept is to optimize state-of-the-art networking between manned armored vehicles operating in a command and control capacity and forward-positioned armed robots capable of testing enemy defenses, performing surveillance under enemy fire or simply firing upon and destroying enemy targets when directed by humans. Made by Kongsberg, the MCT-30 turret is the first remotely-operated turret to be qualified and fielded in the United States, and a wireless fire-control has been demonstrated in ongoing testing.


Army fires tank-killing robots armed with Javelin missiles

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. The U.S. Army will soon operate robots able to destroy enemy armored vehicles with anti-tank missiles, surveil warzones under heavy enemy fire and beam back identified targeting details in seconds due to rapid progress with several new armed robot programs. Several of the new platforms now operate with a Kongsberg-built first-of-its-kind wireless fire control architecture for a robotic armored turret with machine guns, Javelin Anti-Tank Missiles and robot-mounted 30mm cannon selected by the Army to arm its fast-emerging Robotic Combat Vehicles. These now-in-development robotic systems are intended to network with manned vehicles in high-risk combat operations.


With artificial intelligence, every soldier is a counter-drone operator

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With the addition of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the aim is to make every soldier, regardless of job specialty, capable of identifying and knocking down threatening drones. While much of that mission used to reside mostly in the air defense community, those attacks can strike any infantry squad or tank battalion. The goal is to reduce cognitive burden and operator stress when dealing with an array of aerial threats that now plague units of any size, in any theater. "Everyone is counter-UAS," said Col. Marc Pelini, division chief for capabilities and requirements at the Joint Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office, or JCO. Army units aren't ready to defeat aerial drones, the study shows.


Army partners with University of Illinois on autonomous drone swarm technology

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Army researchers are working with the University of Illinois Chicago on unmanned technology for recharging drone swarms. The university has been awarded a four-year, $8 million cooperative agreement "to develop foundational science in two critical propulsion and power technology areas for powering future families of unmanned aircraft systems," according to a statement released by the Army Research Laboratory. "This collaborative program will help small battery-powered drones autonomously return from military missions to unmanned ground vehicles for recharging," the Army added.