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“Unmanned and autonomous technologies will become a powerful and ubiquitous force multiplier in an integrated human-machine team. The combination will provide capabilities that far exceed the effectiveness of platforms or humans alone,” says the new Strategic Road Map for Unmanned Systems released by the US Navy.

Join us at the AUS&R 2018 Conference and Exhibition to learn more about the latest developments in military robotics and autonomy.

Formally signed in March, with a summary released in May, the US Navy roadmap offers  new guidelines for future autonomous operations, reflecting three major trends, according to

Robots will fight alongside sailors, not replace them. Even the most autonomous robots are designed to augment human abilities, instead of entirely replacing humans. For example, nothing about the job of tracking submarines at sea requires that humans be physically present, so if the Sea Hunter autonomous ship can do the job while humans remotely monitor the data it collects, all the better.

Robots will be developed alongside the laws governing autonomous weapons. As the Navy will eventually want robots that can use weapons for offensive purposes, the legal agencies must make sure that these autonomous machines fall within the law.

A related objective is promoting the national public acceptance of use of unmanned systems, which the road map notes will have to take into account public input on privacy, offensive use and safety.

To keep pace with technology, the Navy will also need to rethink acquisitions. Turning technologies from concept to functional, deployable tools in time for the machines to be useful will require a new acquisition policy.

Learn more about unmanned systems and robotics at the battlefield at the coming AUS&R Conference and Exhibition organized by iHLS on October 15, 2018.

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