Developing Military Robotic Vehicles

Since autonomous machines in the military became possible in the mid of 1980s, when processor computer became faster and faster. The development of improved sensor technology in the 199s allowed machines to pick up more information about their environment. Autonomous systems now can keep track of their whereabouts using global-positioning satellite links, and talk to commanders and comrades through wireless links that shut off automatically if the signal is in danger of being intercepted.

The first unmanned military vehicles in the early 1980s by the Defense Department of USA were huge vans the size of UPD delivery trucks, filled with hundreds of pounds of clunky computers that could barely navigate at 5 miles an hour in relatively flat terrain. For the comparison, Stryker can navigate through desert and forests environments, or drive on the road at top speeds of 60 miles an hour.

Now they have the basic functioning down, and they are trying to make it smarter at something or better. They have tested a four-wheeled robot called Short for Mobile Detection Assessment and Response System (MDARS), a robotic watchdog that patrols the Westminster lab’s snow covered back yard looking for intruders. It drives several feet, apparently puzzled, eyes a parking sign and halts, until a human attendant reprograms MDARS to move on.

Compared with a human, MDARS is not really that smart. Developing a robot is like raising children. Even Stryker’s most movement rudimentary requires complex calculations that must be taught to its brain, using hundreds of thousands of mathematical algorithms and programming codes. When it hits a fork on the road, it selects the gravel route instead of the dirt road. When it finds itself trapped in a cul-de-sac, it backs up to re-evaluate alternative paths. Stryker in the future will learn more tactical behaviors mimicking a human’s, like running and hiding in behind hills or trees in the presence of enemies.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...