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December 12, 2011

India Makes Robot Army
By Miguel Leiva-Gomez
TMCnet Contributor

Just in case you thought that India’s military had little to offer, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), an organization similar to the Department of Defense in the United States, decided to begin development of robotic soldiers. These robots will perform the heavy tasks of the military originally assigned to human beings.

Unmanned fighting systems are a priority in a world that wants to avoid human casualties as much as possible. Considering how expensive it is to train a human soldier, manufacturing and streamlining machines that can do the things they can do is not only more profitable, but allows for more leeway in the decision-making process. A general normally has to worry about sending a human into a dangerous situation, but sending highly armored robots into situations with plenty of gunfire will reduce the danger in approaching the enemy.

The most interesting part of this robotic venue is that the organization not only decided to create robotic soldiers, but also wants to make robotic mules. The mules will carry all the heavy supplies necessary for battle and maintenance. This device, in essence, will replace real mules and make it possible to carry heavy equipment through the roughest and most mountainous regions.

This isn’t something new. The DRDO has already developed a robotic vehicle called the Danksh, which detects and destroys bombs. Although robotic gear doesn’t come cheap, this didn’t stop the DRDO from also making sure that production prices for the robots don’t go overboard. The Arjun Mark-II tank, for example, has many features found in modern armored vehicles and runs for less than half the price of an equivalent American tank. While such a tank in USA will cost upwards of 1 million dollars, the Arjun Mark-II costs only around 400 thousand dollars.

Miguel Leiva-Gomez is a professional writer with experience in computer sciences, technology, and gadgets. He has written for multiple technology and travel outlets and owns his own tech blog called The Tech Guy, where he writes educational, informative, and sometimes comedic articles for an audience that is less versed in technology.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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