DoD report details push for autonomous combat robots

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In a turn of phrase that seems designed to provoke headlines, the US Department of Defense this week said one of its primary goals is to "take the 'man' out of unmanned" combat. This quote and much more comes from the latest in the Department's ongoing series of Roadmap to the Future reports, which seek to lay out both the current realities and future plans of the US military and defense industry. This time, the topic was ripped straight from the headlines: remote combat systems.

While the American military has for a long time remained static in terms of overall manpower, one type of recruit it just can't seem to get enough of is drone pilots. It's not just the US, either; in the UK, they're so desperate to meet their need for highly skilled cyber-warriors that they recently threw out the physical fitness requirements for those positions. However, as much potential as there is for an unmanned future, the most recent update (PDF) on unmanned systems policy shows that it's autonomy that really interests the DoD.