03 June 2016
Military organisations world over have to grapple with a range of organisational, policy, and operational issues with the expanding role of robotic systems. This is coupled with increased automation of functions and processes in pursuit of military operations.
Popular media historically has been titled towards portraying ‘robots’ as menacing humanoid machines on a mission to exterminate the human race. In reality, the current robotic systems are more benign—or for that matter sometimes nondescript—ranging from iRobot’s cleaning robot Roomba to iPhone’s personal assistant Siri to drones hunting terrorists and unmanned ground vehicles sniffing IEDs. In fact, robots and the artificial intelligence that runs them have become so ubiquitous that we have lost the ability to detect their presence among us and sustain our normal functioning in their absence.
Similarly, in case of military applications, robots come in all shapes and sizes—from blimps to buggies to bugs—and gradually acquiring capabilities to undertake missions in all domains of warfare. On this road to robotisation, military organisations have to grapple with a range of organisational, policy, and operational issues, some of which deserve closer attention.
… Kalyan M. Kemburi is an Associate Research Fellow with the Military Transformations Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 06/06/2016