There are #squadgoals, and then there are squad goals — and only one of them includes a potential future accompanied by autonomous robots.

Hot on the heels of the Marine Corps's head-to-toe overhaul of infantry rifle squads, a handful of grunts at the Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California recently conducted field testing alongside a handful of autonomous surrogate vehicles engineered by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Squad X Experimentation program.

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(Mississippi National Guard/Spc. Jovi Prevot)

A battlefield full of remote-controlled robot battlewagons is closer to reality than you think.

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(British Ministry of Defense)

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.

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Soldiers train at Fort Hood's underground training facility. Photo: Sgt. Jessica DuVernay/U.S. Army

The Army is looking for drone or robot technology that would allow soldiers map out tunnels to up its subterranean warfare capabilities — and it wants it now.

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Task & Purpose photo by James Clark

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