Military “Bot-Tober Fest”

Military “Bot-Tober Fest”

What is Bot-Tober Fest?

Bot-Tober Fest is an event that has been arranged by the army in order to raise interest for ground robotics being used in defense and other military divisions. It will take place in Columbus, Georgia on the 20th of October and looks as though it is ready to gain support from military organizations. Support from the military could mean incredible budgets and much faster development of robotic technology. To get the best range of ideas they will be allowing entries from high school students all the way to high up military engineers and international companies.

There are not currently any robots that would be close to being combat ready. Although this event is designed to show nations that we’re not as far forward as they might think towards being there. To drive home this point the event will include challenges such as cross-domain competitions during which the army will look for environmentally capable systems. There will also be platform races that are said to show a variety of movement capabilities. The judges will be looking for robots that can drive up to the shoreline, swim through water, submerge and then return to land.

The army will give feedback on what improvements are needed, with Don Sando deputy to the commanding general at the Army’s Maneuver Centre of Excellence at Fort Benning stating “I can do all those things today. Can I do all those things together in something that’s a bread box size?”

What could this mean for the future?

The question lots of people will be asking is “are these advancements for the better?” This is a fairly controversial topic with many differing opinions, but everyone has to admit that seeing any type of robot coming at you on a battlefield would be terrifying. If one country successfully trials a robot in a military setting then every surrounding nation will no doubt copy suit, possibly kick-starting a complete robotic overhaul of the worlds military. Although this can be scary it can also be seen as a huge positive in the fact that if wars were to become fought exclusively by robots then there would be zero casualties.

Not too long ago a military division in Germany completed a warfighting assessment in which it performed a robotic breach of a complex obstacle, showing that other countries are also trying these techniques seemingly successfully. There will be many game culture references going through peoples minds as looking at this technology makes you think we may be close to a Halo type Earth.

It is still unknown whether the military will be utilizing artificial intelligence in their operations, as it would undoubtedly be extremely beneficial for them. However the inclusion of an AI system perhaps controlling ground forces makes the whole thing substantially scarier, as it increases the chance of a singularity, and if a singularity were to happen in those circumstances it would already have an army of unstoppable robots. Despite those thoughts, a robot for a human military replacement still looks very optimistic in most ways and the worried thoughts are most likely just dramatic, for the time being at least.

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