Future Armies Could Use Drones and Robots to Storm Buildings

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli defense company from the 1940s, unveiled a new artificial intelligence system that allows drones and robots to work together to enter buildings to scan the insides and create maps.

“We use commercial platforms and integrate the autonomous operational capabilities and our AI-driven computer vision,” Shmuel Olanski, director of Rafael’s innovation program center, told Calcalist. “Automatic target identification has been around for years with air and naval forces around the world, but infantry forces have not benefited from it so far.”

As part of his demonstration, Rafael used several nanodrones, a heavier multi-rotor UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), and the four-legged Spirit robot developed by Ghost Robotics, a military robot company that was already developing Digital Trends.

Creating a “Safer World” with AI

The system was developed in collaboration with the facial recognition and visual AI company Anyvision. Anyvision promises “AI-controlled computer vision for a safer world” on its website. The two companies have now formed another company, SightX, which will develop defense applications.

According to the report on the new technology, the system could be used to map entire buildings before a single person had to enter. This could ensure that human soldiers know exactly what to do when they are inside, how to avoid threats, and where targets might be. Visual recognition technology can reportedly be used to distinguish between civilians and combatants and to determine whether or not people are armed.

The drones and robots used in the demo could also be upgraded with thermal and proximity sensors to further enhance their capabilities. It is unclear whether such a system could also use offensive weapons, as has been the case with some other military robots in recent years.

It is also not clear when this platform could actually be deployed. In recent years, the number of robot platforms intended for military applications has increased significantly. The idea is that this could be used to protect lives by avoiding sending people into risky situations without being fully informed about the potential threats they are facing.

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