WASHINGTON -The Defense Department is rapidly expanding its army of robot warriors on land, air and sea in an effort to reduce American deaths and injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We want unmanned systems to go where we don't want to risk our precious soldiers," said Thomas Killion, the Army's deputy assistant secretary for research and technology.
Robots should take over many of the "dull, dirty and dangerous" tasks from humans in the war on terrorism, Killion told a conference of unmanned-system contractors in Washington last week.
Despite doubts about the cost and effectiveness of military robots, the Defense Department's new Quadrennial Defense Review, a strategic plan that's updated every four years, declares that 45 percent of the Air Force's future long-range bombers will be able to operate without humans aboard. No specific date was given.