Robotic and Autonomous Systems: From design to development and use in military operations

Source: The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies

Robots and Autonomous Systems (RAS) are an evolving industry for militaries around the world. RAS refers to the physical layout (robotic) and cognitive (autonomous) aspects of certain unmanned or uninhabited systems. Although the public’s perception of RAS is often rather narrow, seen as exclusively about lethal force use, the reality is RAS can be applied to numerous military functions and tasks, for example to transporting and supply or for communication. 

Though long seen as the future of warfare, the application of RAS is relatively new and experimental in most militaries, including in the Dutch Armed Forces. In 2018, the Royal Netherlands Army established an experimental unit to explore the use of RAS and research key topics on the application of such systems by militaries.

 

Robots and Autonomous Systems (RAS) are an evolving industry for militaries around the world. RAS refers to the physical layout (robotic) and cognitive (autonomous) aspects of certain unmanned or uninhabited systems. Although the public’s perception of RAS is often rather narrow, seen as exclusively about lethal force use, the reality is RAS can be applied to numerous military functions and tasks, for example to transporting and supply or for communication. 

 

This article is a summary of the army’s Concept Development & Experimentation (CD&E) plan and its research on RAS for Military use, conducted over a two-year period at the RAS unit of CLAS situated at the 13 light brigade. This paper builds on previous research on military applications of RAS and briefly discusses questions of autonomy, as well as ethical and legal considerations. This paper highlights the importance of attempting a different approach within the army to keep up with technical innovations but reflects on the challenges that can arise within a large bureaucratic organization.

 

Read the full report – visit The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies website.

Tags:

Related news & articles

Scroll to Top