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Subject: What about robotic infantry?
Treadgar    11/27/2006 10:03:54 AM
In the early 90s I used to play this game called F-19 Stealth Fighter. You flew missions in the Middle East and Russia. As I flew my simulated fighter I imagined my control inputs were being beamed to an unmanned fighter that was flying half a world away. Because my computer was very slow the game play was choppy. My imagination said this was an artifact of jamming or some type of enemy action along those lines. In the real world we see this happening with the predator. There are predators that are now armed. It seems to me this trend will continue. The question is, how far does anyone who reads this think it will go? Will there be robotic infantry, soon, or is that a hundred years in the future? Here are some more questions: 1. If humans control these robotic soldiers remotely, how would such a force be organized? 2. If the ability to jam transmissions is a function of distance do you think it would be best to have controllers near the FEBA to exert localized control? 3. What degree of autonomy would such units have? 4. What might robotic infantry look like? Would you have anthropomorphic designs or something else? 5. Does anyone think a science fiction novel with this kind of setup would be interesting? Treadgar
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Jeff_F_F       2/7/2007 10:47:57 AM
Phalanx works fine on a ship in the middle of the ocean because you have a very simple situation for its AI to deal with. At the point when the system is turned on, anything that is moving toward the ship is going to be a threat. Unless some seriously classified research has made some heavy progress that none of us know anything about, we are nowhere near doing the same thing in a land environement, let alone an urban one. Fully automated mobile systems will probably be able to shoot down rockets, mortar projectiles and artillery shells very soon, but for anything that requires picking a target out of the scenery forget it.
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Jeff_F_F       2/7/2007 11:04:59 AM
The robotic systems that will be deployed soon will be remotely operated.  I suspect that part of the reason the armed robot was dropped from the FCS program was that such systems are in development and probably very close to being fielded without the need of the FCS. Consider that civilian systems allow a fixed gun to be used to hunt deer over the internet. Combining such systems with existing tracked robotic chassis used for bomb disposal work is basically off the shelf technology.
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ens. jack       2/7/2007 3:43:24 PM
my referance was more to the vulcan machine gun with a human operator, not so much the phalanx, my mistake. the main reasoning is the massive rate of fire and heavy hitting power. its like having a platoon of infantry that is really only five unmanned tanks. could work pretty well. theoretically.
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