Israel eyes futuristic robot army

Monday, August 29, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

As effective as Israel is at utilizing its human resources in times of conflict, the Israeli army may be on the verge of fielding the first fully robotic fighting force.

Israel's Ministry of Defense recently issued a call for the creation of an "Advance Guard," a robotic vanguard that will lead the charge in future battles in order to minimize human casualties.

The bi-monthly journal IsraelDefense reported that numerous Israeli defense contractors are working hard to meet the challenge.

Israel already makes extensive use of robotics for the purpose of surveillance. Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are some of the most sophisticated and effective in the world.

But this new project is about creating robots that will actually do the fighting, or at least handle the initial armed push against entrenched enemies.

"The basic idea is for robots to function as a strike force, leading the way in the first stage of engagement with the enemy, which usually results in heavy casualties," explained IsraelDefense.

And Israel is not just talking about remote-controlled weapons systems here. The vision of Advance Guard is on par with any number of science fiction-based descriptions of futuristic warfare.

One of the chief requirements the Israeli military has given to the firms working on Advance Guard is that the robotic warriors (which will NOT look like the image above) be able to autonomously select and engage targets and to coordinate attacks with one another, without human input.

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