The US Army Is Considering Replacing Thousands of Soldiers With Robots, Judgment Day Draws Near

Sure, just go to our future robot overlords for help. What could they possibly want in return?
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We all know robots are coming for our jobs (and world domination), but that is about to apply to the US Army in a very big way. Due to recent Army budget cuts, Army officials are talking about reducing the size of their brigades from 4,000 soldiers to 3,000 and replacing them with robots. They pretty much want to build a robot army.

Of course, robots to aid law enforcement and army operations are nothing new, but the scale of this transition is like nothing that’s ever been done before.

Take heart in the fact that they’re not sending T-800s to the front lines just yet. The idea behind replacing the soldiers with robots is that only about one third of personnel on any given Army mission are involved in combat while the remaining two thirds are support troops. While we aren’t quite ready to send robots onto the battlefield to laser people’s limbs off and so forth, robots could handle some of the workload done by that latter two thirds of support personnel.

So, toy army sets won’t see their shooting-guy or crawling-guy-with-gun get replaced by little plastic robots just yet, but walkie-talkie-guy may not be so lucky.

Army man goes exploring.

Your job is safe for now, old friend.

Hopefully, replacing thousands of soldiers with robots doesn’t mean replacing thousands of soldiers with thousands of robots, because the smaller the robot army is when it finally turns on us, the better. Now we just have to imagine just which of the DARPA or Boston Dynamics-created mechanical horrors our soldiers will soon work alongside.

Hopefully building Skynet is still beyond their budget. You know, so we can start strategizing about the the robots’ weaknesses. We’ve got time, because most of the robot support systems are still in early stages, but in the face of the robot apocalypse, it’s important to be prepared.

(via IEEE Spectrum, image via UK Ministry of Defence)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.