Project Avatar: U.S. military researches ways for soldiers to control robot ‘surrogates’ using just their minds
According to the Darpa’s 2013 budget: ‘The Avatar program will develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier’s surrogate.’
The report, released this week and seen by wired.com, says the remote controlled androids will be capable of doing everything that a human soldier can.
They should be able to perform all the duties expected of a human soldier, including ‘room clearing, sentry control [and] combat casualty recovery,’ all via remote control.
The means in which this man-machine mind-meld are to be achieved are unclear, but Darpa’s description of the project notes ‘key advancements in telepresence and remote operation of a ground system’.
The agency has reportedly already funded successful attempts to control robots with thought - albeit using monkeys - raising the terrifying prospect that wars may in the future be fought by machine proxy.
The initiative seems like the next logical step in the U.S. military’s robotics and remote warfare research.