It isn’t really clear from this story whether the “robots” involved or available were autonomous, teleoperated, or some combination. However, this story wraps up my reaction to a lot of techno-angst in a nutshell:
Speaking at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference, Lynch said that robot systems already in place could have saved 122 of the 155 men who died during his time in Iraq.
Lynch’s concerns hold particular weight, as he has both the combat experience of leading the Army’s Third Infantry Division in Iraq, and the academic experience of earning a Master’s Degree in robotics from MIT.
Echoing similar statements he made in August, Lynch claims that deploying remotely, or autonomously, navigated ground vehicles could have lowered casualties as a result of IEDs, and that robotic infantry could have replaced humans on dangerous surveillance missions.
Some robot infantry had been deployed to Iraq, specifically the SWORD gun platform, but the Army severely restricted their use over safety concerns.
Right. Perhaps the title should be “Safety concerns kill 122.”