By Aaron Kesel
You know those “cute” and “lovable” chunks of metal being called robot dogs? The military is now going to be using them for base security because the police and Ford weren’t enough.
Last week the U.S. Air Force hosted the second demonstration of its new Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS.) During that demonstration there was a surprise in the form of quadruped “dog” robots for perimeter defense at Nellis Air Force Base. The robots were built by Ghost Robotics and are not the same we have been seeing from Boston Dynamics. The latter Boston Dynamics already has several stories which Activist Post has previously reported on where their robot dogs are being used by police and even Ford.
It’s important to note that robots have already started stealing man’s best friends’ work as well. Activist Post previously reported about robot dogs being used for social distancing with CV and for even herding sheep.
These robot dogs are guard dogs, though, and won’t be innocent. The model tested is the Vision 60 or what Ghost Robotics calls a Q-UGV, or Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicle. The Vision 60 is designed for tasks such as remote inspection, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, mapping, distributed communications, and security.
According to the Ghost Robotics website, the Q-UGVs are practically “unstoppable” and their modular design means they can execute a wide variety of missions:
Beyond all-terrain stability and operation in virtually any environment, a core design principle for our legged robots is reduced mechanical complexity when compared to any other legged robots, and even traditional wheeled-tracked UGVs. By reducing complexity, we inherently increase durability, agility and endurance, and reduce the cost to deploy and maintain ground robots. Our modular design even supports field swapping any sub-assembly within minutes. Strategic partners can build solution-specific Q-UGVs for virtually any use-case with their choice of sensors, radios and even size the robot to suit specific requirements by licensing our reference designs.
You can watch a video of the Vision 60 below.
The military seems highly interested in artificial intelligence and been working quite some time on developing the technology. Recently, the machines surpassed humans, again winning a simulated F-16 dogfight – a term used to describe an air battle between jets. And if that’s not enough, the military wants self-healing robots straight out of The Terminator, as Activist Post reported.
However, the military isn’t satisfied with a simulated dog fight, oh no, they want to put a human against a robot by 2024, Washington Times reported. There is no word how that will safely be done for the human pilot of the F-16 fighter jet and there are very few details available.
After all AI development is central to the Pentagon’s 21st-century battle plan.
Last year, robots took a record number of human jobs in the U.S. according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) as Activist Post reported. Now, with the impetus of the coronavirus, the number of jobs occupied by robots could multiply quite rapidly. Oxford Economics also published its own report warning that accelerating technological advances in automation, engineering, energy storage, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have the potential to reshape the world in 2020 through 2030s, displacing at least 20 million workers.
With the coronavirus as a catalyst to speed up the deployment of automated machines, we can probably safely say that number will be much more severe. It seems I am not the only one to share that opinion; a recent MarketWatch article written by Johannes Moenius, a professor of global business and the director of the Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis at the University of Redlands, agrees with this author’s conclusion stating “at least 50 million jobs could be automated in just essential industries.”
In fact, the Brookings Institution said in a report last month that “any coronavirus-related recession is likely to bring about a spike in labor-replacing automation … Automation happens in bursts, concentrated especially in bad times such as in the wake of economic shocks, when humans become relatively more expensive as firms’ revenues rapidly decline.”
Now, the military looks to be seeking to replace humans within its branches. Which is good for the fact that humans won’t die in wars, and bad for the fact that wars will be fought by autonomous robots that don’t question orders.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post.
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