We are living in the first age of drone warfare. While unmanned aerial vehicles can trace their origins back at least as far as 1918, it took the War on Terror and its accompanying technological advances to truly showcase the abilities of long-endurance, high-flying remotely piloted machines. Yet despite their prominence in modern battlefields, the greatest impact of drones will be felt in the future. At least, that's the argument from Michael C. Horowitz, Sarah E. Kreps, and Matthew Fuhrmann in an interesting new paper.
Last week in Hawaii, a squad of U.S. Marines brought a robot deep into the jungle. The Legged Support System (LS3) robot walks on four legs, carries 400 pounds, and shambles its way over rough terrain, like a mechanical mule in a future war. It’s all part of the Advanced Warfighting Experiment, and if the Marine Corps thinks the tests went well, future invasions may come with robotic horses doing some heavy lifting.