Teknologi Robotic untuk militer
There is an interesting article on the Washington University in St Louis web site about the increasing use of robotics in military operations. University researchers Few and Smart note that the military expects to have robotic forces of up to 30% of the Army by 2020. With the increasing deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), robots searching for IED’s and robotic surveillance devices, this goal seems very achievable. With that in mind it is probably time to ask the question; can military robots be used for chemical facility security?
According to the article the current generation of robotic devices deployed with the US military utilizes some level of teleoperation; that is a remote human uses a communication device to control the operations of the robot. For the foreseeable future robotic devices in military and security service will have their major functions controlled by a remote human operator. There will be a general increase in the use of self-directed deployment or control of auxiliary devices and services.
Security Roles for Robots
Most military robots currently deployed are being used as human-substitutes in high risk situations like explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) or IED detection. The defining exception to that generality is the use of UAV’s for long-linger time observation of remote areas. This is the most likely model for initial robotic security deployments.
Many large chemical facilities have lengthy perimeters that are difficult to secure. Irregular fence lines, natural and man-made obstructions, and lack of manpower make it difficult to detect and confirm perimeter incursions. Early detection is the key to allowing for adequate deployment times for active security measures.
Larger UAV’s like the Predator would not be practical for any but the largest facilities. There are a number of smaller UAV’s that may be more appropriate for large high-risk chemical facilities. They could be used for both routine perimeter patrol and immediate response for checking out intrusion detection system alerts. Adding chemical sensors would allow for their use in monitoring dispersion of chemical clouds.
As the ability to employ semi-autonomous navigation (point-to-point route selection for example) for ground robots improves their utility for perimeter patrol and immediate response will increase. If the operator can navigate the robot by selecting a series of pre-programmed locations instead of driving the robot, a single operator will then be able to operate multiple observation robots. This will go a long way to overcoming the security manpower cost problem.
Armed Robots for Emergency Response
One of the most controversial uses of robotics in military service is the use of the robot as a weapons platform. Even with full teleoperational control of the weapon system, there are still concerns about inadvertent weapons discharge due to control system or communication system malfunction. These concerns may be substantially reduced by using non-lethal weapons.
Many of these concerns, and general concerns about weapons employment in a chemical facility, could be further reduced by adding a redundant safety-interlock to the weapon’s control system. This interlock could prevent the weapon from being discharged in a number of pre-defined situations. ‘No Fire Zones’ could be programmed into the interlock to prevent weapons discharge in unsafe areas of the facility. A flammability sensor could be added to the platform to prevent discharge of a ‘fired’ weapon in a flammable environment.
A Future for Robotic Security
As the military continues to improve the sophistication of their robotic systems it becomes more likely that security robots will be deployed in the defense of high-risk chemical facilities. Not only does the sophistication increase, but the unit cost of these robotic systems will come down. Additionally, the number of experienced robotic operators that are veterans of robotic combat operations will increase.
It is likely that it will be these veterans that will be behind the companies that develop and start the deployment of security robots. With their government supplied education, practical experience, and security training they will be the natural leaders of the robotic security businesses of the future.
The Ground Forces Command has purchased ast least four UGVs for combat missions along the Gaza Strip and Israeli border with Lebanon. The platforms were identified as G-Nius, developed and produced by Israel's Elbit Systems.
"We don't need manned patrols along the border," Elbit Systems president Joseph Ackerman said. "We could use UGVs." [On Aug. 5, the Israel Air Force announced the deployment of the Sniper electro-optic reconnaissance system. Sniper, developed in Israel by several defense contractors, was said to enable air defense operators to track fighter-jets at a distance of more than 70 kilometers.]
US army in 2020
Doug Few and Bill Smart of Washington University in St. Louis say that robots are increasingly taking over more soldier duties in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the U.
"When the military says 'robot' they mean everything from self-driving trucks up to what you would conventionally think of as a robot. You would more accurately call them autonomous systems rather than robots," says Smart, assistant professor of computer science and engineering.
All of the Army's robots are teleoperated, meaning there is someone operating the robot from a remote location, perhaps often with a joystick and a computer screen.
While this may seem like a caveat in plans to add robots to the military, it is actually very important to keep humans involved in the robotic operations.
"It's a chain of command thing. You don't want to give autonomy to a weapons delivery system. You want to have a human hit the button. You don't want the robot to make the wrong decision. You want to have a human to make all of the important decisions," says Smart.
The technologist duo says that researchers are not necessarily looking for intelligent decision-making in their robots. Instead, they are working to develop an improved, "intelligent" functioning of the robot.
"It's oftentimes like the difference between the adverb and noun. You can act intelligently or you can be intelligent. I'm much more interested in the adverb for my robots," says Few, a Ph.D. student who is interested in the delicate relationship between robot and human.
He says that there are many issues that may require "a graceful intervention" by humans, and these need to be thought of from the ground up.
"When I envision the future of robots, I always think of the Jetsons. George Jetson never sat down at a computer to task Rosie to clean the house. Somehow, they had this local exchange of information. So what we've been working on is how we can use the local environment rather than a computer as a tasking medium to the robot," he says.
Few has incorporated a toy into robotic programming, and with the aid of a Wii controller, he capitalizes on natural human movements to communicate with the robot.
According to the researchers, focussing on a joystick and screen rather than carting around a heavy laptop would help soldiers in battle to stay alert, and engage in their surroundings while performing operations with the robot.
"We forget that when we're controlling robots in the lab it's really pretty safe and no one's trying to kill us. But if you are in a war zone and you're hunched over a laptop, that's not a good place to be. You want to be able to use your eyes in one place and use your hand to control the robot without tying up all of your attention," says Smart.
Devices like unmanned aerial vehicles, ground robots for explosives detection, and Packbots have already been inducted in the military.
"When I stood there and looked at that Packbot, I realized that if that robot hadn't been there, it would have been some kid," says Few. (ANI)