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Robot soldiers could outnumber humans?

Robot soldiers could soon outnumber human soldiers fighting for the US.

The US Department of Defense have awarded a $10,539,652 contract to Six3 Advanced Systems to create a "combined arms squad", which will be able to have both human and robotic capabilities.

Describing their brief, they said: "[We will] design, develop, and validate system prototypes for a combined-arms squad ... [It] combines humans and unmanned assets, ubiquitous communications and information, and advanced capabilities in all domains to maximize squad performance in increasingly complex operational environments."

It comes after Michael Horowitz, a University of Pennsylvania professor, revealed the automation taking place in other sectors could be transferred over to military organisations.

He said: "Just as in the civilian economy, automation will likely have a big impact on military organizations in logistics and manufacturing. The U.S. military is very likely to pursue forms of automation that reduce 'back-office' costs over time, as well as remove soldiers from non-combat deployments where they might face risk from adversaries on fluid battlefields, such as in transportation."

Whilst Henrik Christensen, director of the Institute for Contextual Robotics at UC San Diego, added: "Robots will continue to replace the dirty, dull and dangerous jobs, and this will affect typically more uneducated and unskilled workers. You need to look at the mundane things.

"Logistics tasks will not be solved by people driving around in trucks. Instead, you will have fewer drivers. The lead driver in a convoy might be human, but every truck following behind will not be. The jobs that are the most boring will be the ones that get replaced because they're the easiest to automate."

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