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What type of robots do they use in the defence industry?

Written by

Neil Martin

Neil Martin

The defence industry is huge and worth billions of dollars. Robots and automation are used extensively and range across all types.

For example, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which are commonly called drones, are used as weapons platforms and for observation, mapping and reconnaissance. 

There are underwater drones as well, which can be used for all of the activities listed above. 

Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) are widely used. Take for example the US Marines which recently added the FLIR Centaur robot to their ranks. The Centaur is a medium-sized UGV that provides a standoff capability to detect, confirm, identify and dispose of hazards (does that include people?). Weighing-in at roughly 160lb, the open-architecture robot features an advanced EO/IR camera suite, a manipulator arm that reaches over six feet and the ability to climb stairs. Modular payloads can be used for CBRNE detection and other missions.

UGVs are also used to fight fires, handle unexploded bombs and mines, and handle search and rescue missions.

Then we come onto the controversial subject of robot soldiers which despite claims to the contrary from many Western armed forces, are currently being tested and evaluated. Indeed, the President of Russia has already declared robot infantry soldiers as a good thing and plans to have robots troops in the field as soon as possible. 

Whatever the moral arguments, robots are going to play a huge role in the defence industry going forward. 

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