The U.S. Army is currently pursuing ways to reduce costs and casualties, and have intentions of replacing a quarter of their man force with robots by the year 2040. According to General Robert Cone, by the end of 2015, the man count for a brigade may shrink from 4,000 to 3,000 soldiers. By the year 2019, the General says that the entire Army should be down to as little as 420,000; way less than the more than 500,000 soldiers at present.
General Cone went on to mention that the lost soldiers will be replaced by drones and or robots. These additions will not be used in combat per se, but would rather support the existing troops. There was talk of self-driving cars and mules to carry loads. Of course drones would be summoned for drops and risky pick ups without risking the lives of troops. If it all sounds like the script from a futuristic movie to you, then you’re not alone.
There is still work to be done before this level of robotic support may be realized, but we’ve seen enough to know that it is all very possible. Google’s self driving cars and their purchase of Boston Dynamics has led us to believe that the Internet giants would be keen to get in on an act like this. In fact, before being purchased by Google, Boston Dynamics had supplied robots to the army and carried out several tests.
Boston Dynamics’ Wildcat in action
The drive to reduce the loss of life, and the cost of war has surely led to the hurried pursuit of the increased presence of robots on the battle field. Casualties are always tough to deal with, but it would be a lot more welcoming to know that fewer lives would be lost while getting the job done with greater efficiency. Now, if only they would find a way to eliminate wars altogether, I think it would make everyone a whole lot happier.