Unmanned ground vehicles (UGV’s) can operate without a man in the loop. This means detection of a threat, identification and extermination. Will that happen?
A decision has not been made, but the potential may be used in cases were elapsed time until a human squeezes the trigger, is not an option.
Israel is using a very advanced UGV along the border with Gaza. The Guardium is manufactured by G-nius , a joint company of Israel aerospace industries and Elbit systems.
The border with Gaza is one of Israel’s most tense regions. Hamas snipers, anti-tank missiles and explosives threaten IDF soldiers whose job it is to patrol the security fence on the border.
The Guardium is unarmed, but is equipped with 360 degree cameras and a loudspeaker. It is highly mobile, which means that it can stream images from various angles and gather more data than a stationary camera can.
The current fleet of UGV’s operated by the Israeli defense forces (IDF)is controlled by using a remote control unit from a command center monitoring the whole border section.
But this mode of operation may not be the right one if the Guardium will be used in the future in sites where reaction time is of the highest importance.
The debate is on and there is a powerful opposition to allow the UGV an operation mode with a man in the loop.
Proponents of a fully autonomous mode of operation , claim that when a UGV is for example patrolling a perimeter of a sensitive site not on a border and there is a “sterile area” around it , a man is not needed in the loop.