Robots could soon be standing in for U.S. soldiers. The Army is reportedly considering replacing as many as 25 percent of its combat troops with mechanical counterparts.
" ... as a way to deal with budget cuts. Now, ideas under discussion reportedly include remote-controlled ground transportation vehicles and supply trains. Could be the future." (Via Fox News)
The Washington Times reports the news broke at a recent military symposium in Virginia. Gen. Robert Cone said he's putting together a panel to investigate how the military could use robots to automate more of its operations.
Cone said this is part of the Army's overall goal to reduce the number of troops, saying, "3,000 [infantry] is probably enough to get by." He adds, "When you see the success, frankly, that the Navy has had in terms of lowering the numbers of people on ships, are there functions in the brigade that we could automate?"
So what kind of robots will be out on the front line? Well, Military Times reports unmanned vehicles would be the first step.
But if the robot plan doesn't work out, there's always this option.
"Let's see if this dog hunts." (Via Paramount Pictures / "Iron Man")
Well, sort of. Last October a report claimed the Army was working on a smart suit called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit. (Via Military.com)
The suit drew plenty of comparisons to Iron Man and other sci-fi suits with its "promises to provide superhuman strength with greater ballistic protection." (Via NBC)
Right now there's no indication the Army will actually arm its robot soldiers. They'll be more for transportation and support. No timeline yet on when these robots will start showing up on the battlefield.