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NATO Military Exercise Will Test Robots, Autonomous Vehicles

By New Scientist

October 31, 2018

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is conducting a month-long military exercise using autonomous boats and land vehicles, robotic inventory retrieval, and three-dimensional (3D) printers to manufacture spare parts.

For the Trident Juncture 18 exercise, the Odin autonomous boat will tow a minesweeper that beams acoustic and magnetic signals into the water to detonate nearby mines.

Also to be deployed is a driverless land vehicle outfitted with a remote-controlled weapon, while a 3D-printing facility will fabricate spare vehicle parts on demand, with design-sharing facilitated via linking with a similar system used by the U.S. Marines.

Frost & Sullivan analyst Michael Blades noted that the military sector is now driving the development of autonomous technologies more than the commercial sector, because “the highest cost in the military is personnel.”

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