To grasp how robotics is transforming warfare, consider that about 7,500 unmanned aircraft are operating among U.S. forces, compared to only a handful a decade ago. Sometimes referred to as drones, the market for unmanned aircraft is forecast to grow into an $89 billion global industry in the next 10 years, according to the Teal Group,an aerospace and defense consultancy.
“The small, unmanned ground vehicle has become the infantryman’s Swiss Army knife — something you don’t want to be without,” says Joe Dyer, chief strategy officer for iRobot,a leading maker of robotics whose products range from the household favorite Roomba vacuum cleaner to the PackBot, which has been used extensively in combat to dispose of bombs.
Click ahead to explore emerging trends in robotic warfare, surveillance and beyond. “We’re just scratching the surface of this,” says P.W. Singer, author of “Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century.”
By Heesun Wee
Posted 29 May 2012