Everyone knows that the U.S. military has always been active in launching advanced military technology, and one of its most famous inventions is the development of military robots.
Now you might say, "But Vivek, the mere thought of having autonomous military robots carrying heavy armaments makes me nervous." I understand this. However, my counter answer would be, these military robots have the potential of drastically reducing the number of deaths, enabling soldiers to safely scout to locations or even breach enemy locations.
You would also be glad to know this: Few autonomous military robots developed for support purposes instead of neutralizing the enemies on borders.
Let me now help you with the military robot's basics, including the types of military robots, before diverting our attention to this write-up's central theme: the top ten most advanced military robots for 2021.
What Is A Military Robot?
A military robot is an independent robot or remote-controlled mobile robot specially intended for military applications. This includes transportation, searching, rescuing fellow soldiers, and even combat the enemy forces.
There are four types of military robots:
- Airborne military robots
- Bomb disposal robots
- Unmanned ground combat vehicles
Now that we have looked at the definition of a military robot and the different types of military robots, let's look at how military robots work in the next section.
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How Military Robots Work?
At the most basic levels, we, human beings, are made up of five major components, including:
- A body structure,
- A muscle system to shift the body structure,
- A sensory system that receives information about the body and the surrounding environment,
- A power source to trigger the muscles and sensors,
- And finally, a brain system that processes sensory information and informs the muscles what to do.
In the same way, a robot is made up of the same components. If you look at a typical military robot, it consists of:
- A movable physical component,
- A motor of a certain type, a sensor system,
- A power supply
- A computer "brain" controlling all of these elements
All in all, military robots are essentially man-made versions of animal life, i.e., they are machines that copy human and animal behavior.
Robots are quite different from other movable machines like cars due to the computer element present in them. However, nowadays, with advancements in technology, we see modern cars having an on-board computer to make minor adjustments. You can control most elements in the car directly with the aid of different mechanical devices. Robots are different from ordinary computers in their physical nature as standard computers do not have a physical body attached to them.
Now that we have looked at the working mechanism of military robots, as promised, let's now look at the most advanced military robots to watch out for in the current year.
Without further delay, let's get started.
10 Most Advanced Military Robots To Watch Out For In 2021
Table of Contents
Before we look at the most advanced military robots in 2021, I would recommend seeing this YouTube video that showcases the top 5 most advanced army robots. Please have a look.
The idea behind showing you this YouTube video was to inform you about some of the best army robots consisting of tank robots, robot dogs, unmanned vehicles, and last but not least, the military robots.
Now that you have looked at this YouTube video consisting of some of the best army robots, here's my take on the ten most advanced military robots to watch out for in 2021.
Centaur was initially developed by Endeavor Robotics, which was acquired by FLIR Systems in February 2019.
It is a warfighter with the acumen of detecting, confirming, ascertaining, and disposing of hazards like landmines, unexploded ordnance, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and maneuvering forces.
Centaur is a remotely-operated and medium-sized unmanned ground vehicle (UGV).
It is an open architect robot consisting of a standard chassis connected with different sensors and payloads to support current and future military missions.
This fully-IOP compliant robot is a man transportable robotic system increment II (MTRS INC II) solution.
The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams utilize the military application of the robot.
FLIR received a combined order of $32 million in November last year from the U.S. army. As a part of this deal, FLIR will deliver 250 Centaurs. It is one of the best military robots of the future. It supports engineers, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN), and EOD Soldiers.
The Multi-Utility Tactical Transport (MUTT) has been developed by the General Dynamics Land System. It is a UGV that follows soldiers carrying the gear for them on their route. MUTT is also efficient in carrying wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Other soldiers do not have to worry about carrying their colleagues in the middle of the military mission.
The MUTT has been engineered in such a way that it can effortlessly evolve to accommodate new payloads, new controllers, and increased levels of autonomy. With the help of a remote-controlled MUTT, military personnel can scout an area before humans. It can even be used for launching weapons. The U.S. military has signed a contract with the General Dynamics Land System to buy 5,700 robots by 2024.
The MUTT comes in two different versions – wheeled and tracked. This autonomous war vehicle comes in three sizes: tracked, 6x6, and 8x8. The 8x8 MUTT is 12 inches long and 60 inches wide. It can carry a maximum of 1,200 pounds and travel for up to 60 miles on a single tank of gas. Isn't that amazing?
3. DOGO Robot
DOGO robot is one of the best future military robots that utilize advanced military technology. It is a cutting-edge tactical combat robot, armed with a 9mm Glock pistol to serve as a watchdog for soldiers in the war field.
It has been designed by General Robots and is the earthbound equivalent of the ubiquitous combat drone. The good thing about DOGO is its weight of roughly 26 pounds, making it easy to carry with a signal hand by a fully armed commando.
Israeli police's counterterror unit and the Defense Ministry's R&D directorate were the ones to give inputs in the designs of this great robot to combat terrorism.
It comes with a battery life that is enough to last for a 2-5 hour mission. There are eight cameras present in this robot that covers 360 degrees. It even comes with a fully-loaded Glock 26 pistol and accessories mounted on Picatinny rails. When the equipment is carried on the rails, it provides different non-lethal effects like a pepper spray module or a dazzler that temporarily blinds an aggressor from a distance of 5-10 meters.
To get up-close with this fantastic robot, take a look at the YouTube video given below.
SAFFiR is the acronym for Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot. It is a 5 feet 10 inches military robot weighing 143 pounds. Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed it. It is one of the most autonomous military robots that you will ever find that utilizes advanced military technology. The ultimate objective of SAFFiR is to extinguish fires that break out on naval ships. The only loophole of this military robot is that it cannot stand without a tether, albeit capable enough to take the requisite steps and handle a fire hose. For now, the movements come at the instruction of human controllers.
Its exclusive mechanism design is equipped with a superhuman range of motion to maneuver in complex spaces. The ultimate objective of SAFFiR is to work in tandem with Navy officers and not replace them.
It consists of infrared stereo vision sensors and a rotating laser that enables the robot to see through dense smoke.
To get up-close with this fantastic robot, take a look at the YouTube video given below.
The THeMIS is the acronym for Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System. It is a multi-role UGV to reduce the number of troops on the battlefield. The good news is, the robot consists of an open architecture equipped with a light or heavy machine guns, 40mm grenade launchers, 30mm autocannons, and anti-tank missile systems.
It consists of a self-stabilizing remote-controlled weapon system providing high precision over vast areas and can also function 24x7. Milrem Robots is the manufacturer of THeMIS and has carried out a demonstration for the Italian army in November last year.
Nine countries have acquired it, seven of which are NATO members. In November last year IrvinGQ, a company working in aerial delivery systems, developed a modular multi-role airdrop system ATAX that can deploy THeMIS into battlefields or hostile environments.
To get up-close with this amazing robot, take a look at the YouTube video given below.
6. Bug Drones
BAE Systems and UAVtec manufacture bug Drones. These are small-sized surveillance drones. It weighs just 196 grams, making it one of the most advanced military robots of the future. The fantastic thing is, these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are approximately the size of a smartphone. It boasts of a stealthy low visual profile.
These military robots come with antennas having a range of 2 kilometers with a battery life of a maximum of 40 minutes. It consists of four robust rotors that can keep the bug flying in a 50mph gale.
Despite their small size, these drones can function at 80 kilometers per hour of wind speed. It also consists of a high-resolution camera that will soon have an infrared detection capability.
The United Kingdom bought 30 of these drones last December with a budget of £66 million as announced by the Ministry of Defense for robotic projects.
Guardbot is a surveillance robot that was initially developed for a mission to Mars. It can maneuver on any terrain. It even has the acumen to swim. You can avail yourself of one of the best future military robots in a wide range of sizes, ranging from as small as 5 inches to a model that is 7ft in diameter.
It comes with two surveillance cameras and a battery that can last for 25 hours. Microphones and GPS present in this robot enable you to control it through satellites and even remotely.
The good news is, this amazing robot can roll on any terrain, like sand, snow, and even dirt. The military services are contemplating utilizing Guardbot in future operations.
It is still in the development process. However, it can cost as much as $100,000.
Gladiator was initially developed to aid the U.S. Marine Corps in various operations like Ship To Objective Maneuver (STOM). From the inside, the Gladiator Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle looks like a small tank. However, the good part is that it can be outfitted with different modular tools and armaments contingent upon the military personnel's situation. It tops a speed of 10 miles per hour. However, it trades speed for toughness.
It consists of an armored hull, and users can mount machine guns and grenade launchers directly from its body. The Gladiator employs a small-sized mobile robotic system to reduce the risk levels and neutralize Marines' threats across the spectrum of conflict.
Marines can utilize the Gladiator to carry out several activities like scout/surveillance, direct fire, NBC reconnaissance, and personnel obstacle breaching missions despite its limited configuration. It can be employed 24x7 thanks to its remote visual acuity compared to an individual Marine using current image intensifying on thermal devices.
9. AVATAR Tactical Robot
The AVATAR® Tactical Robot has all the capabilities of SWAT and tactical response teams. It enables them to swiftly and safely inspect particularly life-threatening situations. Hence, in such a scenario, military personnel do not risk their lives to access the situation. They now have the AVATAR® Tactical Robot to cover all the bases.
The AVATAR® Tactical Robot saves the military personnel's lives by keeping them at bay from risky situations. This tactical robot is considered a standard operation tool, like a firearm, body armor, or vehicle by the tactical teams.
The AVATAR® Tactical Robot is being used by departments across the USA and internationally. The good news about such military robots is that it can navigate different terrains like sand, stairs, clothing, grass, etc. It even has two-way audio and video recording capability.
RoboBee is a tiny robot capable of hovering for a limited period, after which you need to attach it with a power cable for charging. Harvard's Microrobotics Laboratory developed it. Practically speaking, RoboBee can prove to be an essential step towards insectoid robots, future military robots, capable of transmitting audio or video. This would enable military intelligence to fly on the wall to attend crucial meetings.
A RoboBee measures roughly half the size of a paper clip. It weighs less than one-tenth of a gram and flies utilizing "artificial muscles" consisting of material that contracts when a voltage is applied. If you enable additional modifications in RoboBee, certain models of this robot can transition from swimming underwater to flying. It can take even a perfect "perch" on surfaces with the help of static electricity.
Also, its role in non-military operations cannot be denied either. Its creators have highlighted the potential of RoboBee in crop pollination.
Here you have the complete list of the top 10 most advanced military robots to watch out for in 2021. I hope you enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed writing it for all you guys out there. Keep checking this section to read the latest tech-related blogs.