Robots have done their fair share of safeguarding troops on the battlefield, from defusing bombs to scouting out caves for insurgents. In spite of their success, or perhaps because of it, the U.S. Defense Department now wants its unmanned ground vehicles to be more than one-trick ponies.
unmanned ground vehicles
Machine has not quite fully replaced man yet, but a new development in unmanned technology is coming close. An emerging system successfully tested in Europe this spring might help keep infantry troops safer while also lightening their transport load.
The Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System, or THeMIS, developed by Estonia-based company Milrem, is an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) that can be adapted to a number of battlefield missions, from logistical support to reconnaissance and surveillance, border patrol, medical evacuation and high-technology weapon systems.
Analysts and warfighters may not have to sift through reams of footage from a stationary surveillance system if the camera itself is programmed to determine exactly what's happening within its view. Maryann Lawlor's article, "Seeing Eye Systems Learn to Discern," in this issue of SIGNAL Magazine, describes the Mind's Eye program, a visual intelligence project underway at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in cooperation with the U.S.