The Age of Military Robotics

Advanced methods of waging war seem to progress with the advancement of technology. When modern rockets were first pioneered in the 1920’s by Professor Goddard, they were designed to measure altitude, climate and physics. This initial curiosity lead to the golden age of space exploration by America and the Soviet Union in the 1960’s. The Space Race was, however, preceded by military scientists using this technology as a weapon. Notably by Werner Von Braun and the German military during World War Two as they launched the first tactical Cruise and Ballistic missiles against London and other cities in England. The advancements of robotics seem to be following the same path.

The most famous of drones is the RQ-1 Predator, a former surveillance drone that is now used as a Rocket-firing weapons platform against Taliban forces in Afghanistan. While effective as a military weapon it has also invited controversy. Doubts range from how a pilot remotely controlling such a machine cannot utilize their experience and instincts, to being unable to make judgment calls in the field. There is a fear now that drones will no longer need a military serviceman to operate them. The new X-47B will include a new A.I. system that will allow it to make independent decisions free of a command structure. While this new innovation will supposedly cut down on pilot error and other issues regarding performance, there is a small danger of the system becoming compromised by hackers or of the drone itself becoming a self-aware weapon.

The Next Generation of Drone Warfare

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