The US Army is buying 18000 drones from mini-palm sized drones to new ground robots for Afghanistan. The palm-sized Black Hornet mini-drone only weighs just over one ounce.
The Army is buying 9,000 systems — each with two drones — over three years for nine-man infantry squads.
A squad leader will use mini-drones to scout ahead by air before exposing human soldiers on the ground. The SBS has sensor options for both night and day, and it can fly about 20 minutes before needing to recharge.
But the squad-level mini-drone is just the entry model. Larger units will get larger, more capable, but also more expensive and more maintenance-hungry drones.
In 2020, there will be new drones that weigh three pounds or less, fly for 30 minutes, and be able to landing in a vantage point overlooking a target area so it can keep watch without burning through its flight time.
Squad Support Ground Robots
There are four robots competing to be the new robot for squads to have ground supply support.
The four competing ground robots are the Polaris MRZR, Howe & Howe Grizzly, HDT Wolf, and General Dynamics MUTT.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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23 thoughts on “US Army Loading Up on New Mini-drones and Ground Robots”
We recognize our place in the world. How about other countries don’t pick a fight the Alpha male ?
TRULY smart politician would have embraced the image – or at least used social media to trigger a different comparison he finds more suitable – maybe one that is smarter and more chinese?
I was joking.
I’d like to propose that the large armored ones be called “Bolos.”
Always people everywhere trying to get other people to stop doing things they don’t like. The fight is eternal.
But Pooh didn’t get declared an outlaw in China because of the imagined content in the books, or because the books were remarkably insipid and of dubious educational value, as some alleged with Blyton (give that she wrote 50 books a year, they may not have deserved a place in the school library or the classroom, but that’s no excuse for censoring them completely).
The problem with Pooh in China was people were comparing their supreme-leader-for-life with the silly old bear. Now imagine any place you might want to live suddenly declaring Star Wars must be censored because people are comparing a major political figure with Jabba the Hutt.
People who would do that are sure to have many more undesirable habits.
Sorry but western nations are also heavily into censoring children’s books.
Enid Blyton (of all things) was banned in many places because it doesn’t meet the ideological standards of the current ruling class.
How about the USA recognises it’s place in the world and doesn’t pick fights with bigger countries who will grow up and kick its ass.
Guess what, you’re not the biggest bully in the school yard anymore.
But yet Luca the mullah-fellator supports the evil Theocracy in Iran screwing its own people raw.
Well US just lost one drone so I guess they’ll need a replacement soon.
Censoring WtP is the peak of totalitarian horror.
Yes, but on one side you have people dying, on the other
videogamers getting a coffee break, and people getting a
good job at the factory.
Since when it’s impossible to make a gasoline powered drone?
Because of greenhouse gases?
So the soldier is going to become an office worker…better put the
office well underground.
Yeah, probably you are right… Something like MQ-8B Firescout with a rifle firing EXACTO bullets : ) But I think they could already have developed humanoid robots, if they put enough effort in it.
Also mirror like surfaces can shield against lasers! So I don’t even know why they show them on GA Avenger, which otherwise can be an effective machine.
I am not talking about drone areal support. A quadropter is a VTOL, highly maneuverable, can hover, is stable, very cheap and quite. Does not take a lot of space thus can be the perfect robot to hop on the ground and operate on it and just above it both remotely controlled and autonomously. It can can set ambushes and if made small enough enter building. Since it can have a foot on the ground it will one day a territory, even a city. What else would you like a super soldier do? Work is being done to fit it with a greater power fuel cell.
Catch-22. Don’t develop them and you will be at the mercy of those who do.
I’d rather not be at the mercy of people in a police state (harvesting organs from political dissidents, censoring Winnie-the-Pooh, etc.).
Shotguns work pretty well against drones. Just use smaller buckshot.
Quadcopter drones with machine guns will not be practical until they either solve the battery problem or figure out how to power them with something else, a 20 minute flight time is simply not enough. Using quadcopters to drop bombs on enemies from above is practical and has in fact already been used by terrorists in the Mideast to drop grenades on crowds.
Must be why China is developing them so heavily. Imagine living in a country where the government is not scared of its populace. Wait, I guess you can’t.
Fun fact: The Black Hornet is not developed by the US Army. It is developed by the Norwegian company Prox Dynamics AS.
I think, artillery like Saab GLSDB or Gerald Bull’s Babylon supergun together with V-Bat (or Israeli Orbiter 4) and those minihelics will be main military machines. Infantry can’t hide from them too long in cities. Even in jungles, if you buy those Black Hornets in a really big quantity for $4000 each and not $125 000.
And instead of quadropters with machineguns why have the USAF still not bought a dozen of General Atomics Avengers with lasers mounted on them?
Who needs near-mindless street sweepers when you can near-mindless automatons.
Keep your guns.
The most likely scenario for the future battle field is that it is moving above the ground as it is becoming too much of a target. A quadcopter drone equipped with a machine gun is the best replacement we will have for the epicenter of the battlefield, the foot soldier. This is probably the most important area where China currently has an advantage over us. The country that overall will have the better and the more of these drones and vice versa the biggest ability to shoot them down, will have the greatest advantage militarily.
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