Photo by (Idaho Army National Guard/Thomas Alvarez)
The advancements in drone tech are comparable to that of cell phones. It's hard to imagine a time when your portable lifeline to everything (traffic, calendar, family, friends, banking, shopping, eating, yes, we literally mean everything) was the size of a backpack, sat on the center console in a car, and did nothing but make calls — with crap reception to boot — for something like $24.99/minute.
Seemingly overnight, Zack Morris had one at the Max calling his girl Kelly Kapowski to see if she wanted to fool Mr. B. and ditch school (that's a little Saved by the Bell reference for you Millennials out there. Add it to your Netflix binge list and thank us later).
Even then, those phones were the size of a small fish tank. Cheers, 1990s.
Robots in the air, on the ocean surface and on the ground guarded British Royal Marines as they stormed a beach during an important April 2019 war game.
The ground robot, in particular, is a new capability for the Royal Marines. The gun- and rocket-armed, tank-like unmanned ground vehicle could boost the naval branch's firepower while helping to keep human beings out of harm's way.
Alpha Company of the Royal Marines' 40 Commando and their robot guardians stormed a beach in Cornwall in southwest England as part of Exercise Commando Warrior. The Royal Marines' 1 Assault Group supported the naval infantry.
In May 1999, then-Lt. Col. David Goldfein's F-16CJ fighter jet was rocked by the explosion of a surface-to-air missile during a mission during the Kosovo War. Ejecting from his aircraft, the future Air Force Chief of Staff landed in a ravine and evaded Serbian fighters until he was rescued by a combat search and rescue team, according to the Washington Post; he was just one of two pilots shot downed as part of Operation Allied Force during the short conflict.
More than two decades after Goldfein's harrowing ordeal, the Air Force is exploring a more elegant option for future combat rescue missions: an unmanned system that, air-dropped onto the battlefield, is capable of whisking downed pilots and other wounded service members out of dangerous territory, Aviation Week reports.
Call it Uber for medevac — just without the surge prices.
If you thought that viral video of a dog-like robot opening doors was a bit to creepy for your liking, then fasten your fucking seatbelt: the South Korean military is getting serious about deploying mechanical birds, snakes, and other animal-inspired military robots downrange in the next five years, which sounds like a Transformers-inspired fever dream turned real.
The U.S. Navy is moving quickly to develop robotic warships that could hunt submarines and other ships, screen aircraft carriers and convoys from air attack and sweep away enemy mines.
But there's another mission the Navy should consider assigning to unmanned surface vessels, Neil Zerbe, a retired Navy officer,
argued for the Center for International Maritime Security: shuttling supplies from ship to shore in the aftermath of an amphibious assault by U.S. Marines.