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By Brian Robinson

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Army to call up small robots for combat duty

It’s no secret that the military increasingly will depend on innvations such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other high-tech solutions to carry the fight to the enemy, but it seems that automated warfighting is being accelerated into the ranks.

The U.S. Army’s Brigade Combat Team Modernization program is apparently looking to provide regular Army line units with small robots that can search buildings, small hovering UAVs and robot missile launchers in 2010, as soon as they can start cranking them out, the Register reports.

The new program is the replacement for the funding-challenged Future Combat System, which was axed last year because of cost concerns. Some parts of that program’s ambitious robot plans were dropped, but it seems the powers want regular grunts to go robotic as soon as possible.

At the same time, however, there are reminders about what all of this tech might mean on the downside. UAVs are up there gathering intelligence, and maybe too much of it. Apparently analysts are struggling to cope with the flood of data the drones are collecting.

Posted by Brian Robinson on Jan 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Tue, Jan 19, 2010

Shades of that old Tom Selleck movie, 'Runaway' I think it was called...

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