No doubt about it. The Army has had success with robots in the last few years. For instance, robots have detected and disarmed roadside bombs. But you could characterize Army robotics as version 1.0. The next generation of robots must cost less. They've got to be more flexible and programmable. Easier to maintain. A big question is whether industry can deliver. Sandra Erwin, editor of National Defense magazine, joins the Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more.
It has started already, but the next wave of innovation in unmanned technology will bring autonomy. That is, vehicles won't require human operators with a joystick flying them remotely.
Fifteen years ago, NASA began their Robonaut project to create the first humanoid robot that would be capable of working in space. Despite various funding problems, the resulting humanoid machine is currently on the International Space Station helping crew members by taking over simple, repetitive or dangerous tasks now performed by astronauts.
With the help of robotics, nanotechnology and neuroscience, the Defense Department is creating an army that may look like the troops of today but is faster, stronger and more resilient, Wired reports.