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This paper looks into the state of robotic and autonomous systems (RAS) and their current implementation in the military context, as well as their potential applications.
RAS presents numerous, significant and far-reaching opportunities for the RNLA. This includes creating better and faster situational awareness and understanding, reducing the physical and cognitive loads of soldiers, sustaining and protecting the force, extending the reach and persistence of operations, increasing the pace of the OODA loop, and allowing the simultaneous execution of tasks for efficient action.
In addition to examining the state of RAS today, this paper considers what new RAS will be created and how they can be incorporated into military operations. Practical as well as ethical challenges are examined, such as RAS’ vulnerability to cyberattacks as well as negative public perceptions of RAS. It puts forth suggestions for the future of RAS that range from technical advice about developing them, to guidance about managing the image of RAS.
Across all domains, the current human-centric boundaries to speed, knowledge, endurance, scale, accuracy and flexibility will be pushed forward to new, ever-expanding limits. However, with these opportunities come significant challenges, both in terms of practical issues within the military and also in terms of conditional, external issues.