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Unpersoned Ground Vehicles
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Interesting that the morning after posting about the DARPA contest, C-Span has a guy from the DoD in charge of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles on their morning program.

The guy's name was Dyke Weatherington, but I'm going to resist making fun of his name. Most of the calls were incoherent, but toward the end someone asked what I'd been wondering about. That is, the unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the Predator drone, have been getting a lot of press, but I never hear anything about unmanned ground vehicles. Are we using them?

I would imagine a remote-controlled light tank with lots of camera mounts would be especially useful in urban warfare, allowing you to roam around the streets and check out the neighborhood before sending dozens of soldiers into close-quarter combat.

And while making autonomous, fairly-intelligent ground vehicles would be extremely difficult, I would think the technology to remote-control a ground vehicle would be fairly accessible and easy. Hell, remote piloting an airplane drone and firing a Hellfire missile from it to hit a target seems like a much more complicated task than remote controlling a rover through the streets of a town to see if anybody's hiding in the alleys.

The man named Dyke insisted that we were using unmanned ground vehicles in this war, and he also said we were using unmanned aquatic vehicles, but the answer was pretty vague. I certainly haven't seen any mention of them in the numerous gadget and hardware profiles that most of the major news sites have (like CNN's).

Wouldn't a few remote-controlled Humvees seem like a really good idea right now? And even moreso when we start going into Baghdad?


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