Contemporary Robotics - Defense

We're moving towards a world full of robots, that's a fact. In this series, we're taking a break for a second to assess where Contemporary Robotics are at today and what the future looks like. For this sixth and final chapter, we're taking a look at the state of robots in the military and defense sectors.
contemporary-robotics-military-defenseContemporary Robotics - Defense

Many Defense Robots are already on the battlefield

While we're still far from seeing an all autonomous army on the ground, soldiers can already count on many robotic tools. Demining robots, Dragon Fire mortar, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Reaper Drones), Unmanned Ground Vehicles (such as the Israeli Guardium), Sentry gun (such as the Samsung SGR-A1),...
contemporary-robotics-military-defense-robots-minesDefense Robots - Minesweeper
That being said, most of them are inspection and demining robots. Indeed, there are many ethics debate about the use of autonomous lethal forces.Thus, the focus in research and development is mostly on "companion" robots which are assisting human troops and decreasing the risks they're facing.

Defense Robots will automate army forces

The Pentagon has been working for a couple of years on the Brigade Combat Team project which aims to robotize most of their forces.
Robots will not only help decrease the human cost of military interventions, but they will also improve the efficiency of the operations. They will be faster to react, they will move faster, they won't get tired,... While we're not saying that they will completely replace the humans on the ground, they will surely make up for a huge part of the military forces and work alongside humans.
contemporary-robotics-military-defense-robots-roverMilitary Remote Rover

Defense Robots will make civilians and soldiers safer

In 2017, according to, there are about 110 million land mines in the ground (and about the same amount waiting to be planted or destroyed). While the numbers of injured or dead have been decreasing year over year, there are still about 5,000 deaths and 15,0000 injuries related to land explosives every year. And not only the mine removal is quite expensive (from 300$ up to 1,000$ per mine), but it claims a deminer life every 5,000 successful demining operations.
contemporary-robotics-military-defense-robots-fighterSoldier with a rover
Fortunately demining robots are more and more present on the ground to help deminers lead defusing operations with less and less risks of injuries or death. They also help drive the costs of these operations down, which could lead to a mine-free world in the future. Indeed, the cost of removing all the landmines in the world have been estimated between 50 billion dollars and 100 billion dollars. That's just one example of how the defense and military robots will help offer a safer future to civilians and soldiers.
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