June 12, 2013
India developing killer robot soldiers for deployment in the battlefieldby Shayne Rana
Get ready for Judgment Day! While there’s been a lot going around in the field of robotics, in medicine, teaching, prosthetic exoskeletons, assembly lines etc, India has decided to take it to the next level and prepare their bots for war. The guys working at India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation or DRDO, have been perfecting the perfect soldier – highly intelligent robots – to work in and around combat situations. These Pseudo-Soldiers will be designed to work along with real troops and would most likely be deployed close to the “Line of Control” area of the India-Pakistan border, that’s a temperamental location at best. DRDO chief, Avinash Chander, is reported to have made a statement saying, “It is a new programme and a number of labs are already working in a big way on robotics.” His take is that unmanned warfare is the future of warfare. Those sound like the words straight out of a robot apocalypse movie, the part right before a cut scene to an robots endoskeleton standing over a human with a laser rifle in his hand while the world around is in flames.
While some of us might not share the sentiment, and others would love the fact that instead of our intrepid boys fighting it out with bloodshed on the field a bunch or nuts and bolts are, it does still make the concept somewhat frightening. That being said, one should also consider the Siachen War, that’s been a major conflict between Indian and Pakistan on the Siachen Glacier located in the eastern Karakoram Range in the Himalaya Mountains. This is probably the highest battlefield on planet Earth and in all likelihood one of the most difficult terrains for warfare. Unmanned units here would naturally be a good bet.
This isn’t a Hollywood movie, but can’t all computers be reprogrammed? PTI’s report also has Chander saying that the robotic soldier is a step further – “It will have multiple technologies in terms of communication with team members, ability to recognise an enemy,” The report also mentions another statement by the DRDO chief – “Today, you have neural networks, whenever the soldier tells him (robotic soldier) that this is a human solider, he will derive his own logic as to what is the difference between him and others (civilians). That learning process will keep building up,”
On the plus side, it’ll be close to a decade before this comes to pass actively on the battlefield. But I shudder to think of the kind of tech that would be available then and the utilities for it. After all it was Hitler who said – Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. I’d rather have a man with a conscience out on that field rather than one without.
[Via – Indiatimes]