Robotics and Autonomous Systems Strategy Reveals Army’s Future Plans for Robotic Advancement
By Robert Foster
A detailed report, RAS, was just released by the Army’s Training and Document Command that gives a detailed outline of the upcoming plans for incorporating robotics into the modern military. This report provides goals, strategies, benefits and timelines necessary to integrate modern technology, strengthening the Army’s force.
There are three primary goals set out in the report. First is to create a basic structure that will combine the RAS capabilities with the Army’s current initiatives. Second is to lay out a direction for future resources. Finally, to identify those technological advances that are already developed or nearly developed and figure out how they can be of benefit to the Army.
The five capability objectives that will guide future technology development are also laid out in the report. Increasing situational awareness is the first, allowing greater surveillance and reconnaissance over a larger area going where manned systems cannot to improve mission success. Lightening soldiers’ physical and cognitive load is another, giving them more stamina and endurance.
Sustaining the force with increased distribution, throughput and efficiency is the third, providing materials to the most urgent points of need. Facilitating movement and maneuver allowing troops to both physically and cognitively outmaneuver the enemy is fourth. Lastly, protecting the force which will improve soldiers’ survivability and put them at greater distances from the threat.
This report also describes in detail the three technological advancements that must be achieved over the next 25 years in order to obtain the fastest and most cost-effective RAS capability objectives. These advancements are autonomy, artificial intelligence and common control, which is the ability of a single common software package to control a wide array of ground and air systems.
One motivation for advancement of this type of technology stated in the strategy is “Effective integration of RAS improves U.S. forces’ ability to maintain overmatch and renders an enemy unable to respond effectively. The Army must pursue RAS capabilities with urgency because adversaries are developing and employing a broad range of advanced RAS technologies as well as employing new tactics to disrupt U.S. military strengths and exploit perceived weaknesses. RAS are increasingly important to ensuring freedom of maneuver and mission accomplishment with the least possible risk to soldier.”
It is imperative that the U.S. Armed Forces remain on the cutting edge of technology to maintain the upper hand over current enemies and future foes.