Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: "Israeli Robots Remake Battlefield"

  1. #1
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default "Israeli Robots Remake Battlefield"

    I'd like to interfere a bit with the global love for robots.

    That's easily done by pointing out how old such news are.
    Her's a text from January 2009:


    Unmanned ground vehicles are in fashion. Thousands are in use in Iraq and Afghanistan, mostly as short-range scouts to inspect possible bomb sites - a task very similar to the one of police robots since many years.

    A lot of buzz was surrounding the Guardium UGV at Eurosatory because it was a somewhat autonomous, potentially armed UGV - as in general attention is guaranteed once "weapon" and "robot" are combined.

    (...)

    By the way; the first UGVs in combat were apparently Russian teletanks in 1939 or 1940, followed by unmanned German demolition midget tanks (ironically named Goliath), based on a French prototype.
    Remote control by radio was used to convert aircraft into target drones for a Royal Navy exercise around 1930 (the Royal Navy embarrassed itself with the lack of effect of its anti-air firepower).

    Just to make sure everyone gets it: The armed, unmanned and remote-controlled by radio tanks/ground vehicles are at least a 69 year-old technology. The current buzz about the modern examples is extremely ridiculous.

    Almost nothing is truly new, many innovations in the art of war and the tools of war are decades old when they still get great press as novelty.
    Get yourself a Jane's Weapon Systems issue from the 70's; you'll find the predecessors and first projects of much of what's today "brand new", "revolutionary" and "innovative" in it.
    There was also a Japanese "UGV" (an armed RC tank actually) during the 1930's - a functional prototype.

  2. #2
    Council Member IntelTrooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    RC-S, Afghanistan
    Posts
    302

    Default

    I like robots, but I'm under no delusions that they're new. Also, what we use would more accurately be called "waldos" since they're really just projections of the will of the operator, rather than autonomous machines.
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
    -- Ken White


    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

    "We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen

  3. #3
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I'd like to interfere a bit with the global love for robots.

    That's easily done by pointing out how old such news are.
    Her's a text from January 2009:

    There was also a Japanese "UGV" (an armed RC tank actually) during the 1930's - a functional prototype.
    Hey Fuchs, do you have a link to that story ?

    Concur, nothing new unless you've been operating one for the last 11 years, which would give you a better idea as to how evolved and functional they are in a variety of situations. Our robots carry and interface via optics sophisticated equipment into radioactive areas, x-ray real-time imagery on UXO and IED, provide surveillance during law enforcement support, and last but certainly not least, often translate into saving human (your) life.

    Quote Originally Posted by IntelTrooper View Post
    Also, what we use would more accurately be called "waldos" since they're really just projections of the will of the operator, rather than autonomous machines.
    Hmmm, check out just what the Israelis actually have and what it does...

    Among the recently deployed technologies that set Israel ahead of the curve is the Guardium unmanned ground vehicle, which now drives itself along the Gaza and Lebanese borders. The Guardium was deployed to patrol for infiltrators in the wake of the abduction of soldiers doing the same job in 2006. The Guardium, developed by G-nius Ltd., is essentially an armored off-road golf cart with a suite of optical sensors and surveillance gear. It was put into the field for the first time 10 months ago.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  4. #4
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    The military has caught up with late 80's LE robots, that's about it.
    The Guardium (which was actually illustrating that story and I saw it on the Eurosatory 2008) isn't that much different than aerial drones which have been expected to fly without RC for decades.

    It's capable of driving along fixed roads - great.
    Next door is a vacuum cleaner that's more free in its navigation, of course.

  5. #5
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    It's capable of driving along fixed roads - great.
    Next door is a vacuum cleaner that's more free in its navigation, of course.
    Hey Fuchs,
    Thanks for the link!

    It almost sounds like you're one of the industrial types pressing for unemployment reform (by replacing robots with people)

    The linked blog spends more time with smoke-laying equipment than describing the obvious uses that most robots perform. The Israeli robot in my link above and at your blog has some practical applications. They center on removing the human element from a potentially dangerous situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The military has caught up with late 80's LE robots, that's about it.
    I won't argue with you there. The military could learn much more from law enforcement.

    There is no doubt that the current hysteria with robots and IEDs is making some folks real rich. I'll just say that our first EOD robot is now a decade old and has paid for itself 100 times over in time spent and lives saved.

    Regards, Stan
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  6. #6
    Council Member IntelTrooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    RC-S, Afghanistan
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Hmmm, check out just what the Israelis actually have and what it does...
    It drives itself? Hmmm... call me when it starts ID-ing and engaging targets on its own. :P
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
    -- Ken White


    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

    "We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen

  7. #7
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    Drones and missiles have steered themselves for ages. The only novelty is that this one is navigating on a road instead of in the air.

    It's a pretty pointless toy in my opinion.

    EOD, smokelaying and some other activities (such as baiting in DEAD) are good applications for robots. Patrolling a perimeter isn't.
    And I'm not particularly in favour of civilian robots either. I like them when they improve the competitiveness of companies against foreign competitors. I dislike them when they're merely replacing low-skilled workers in jobs that are not threatened by foreign workers (such as robots in retail shops for taking back recyclable bottles).

    Their utility in the military should be seen objectively, not with a novelty factor that ain't one. Tech is not an end in itself and robots of all kinds add complexity and comm requirements that need to be justified.

    I'm nevertheless thinking that the drone fashion (air, land and sea) is a fashion and a bubble. We had previous waves of this, including one during the 70's and 80's examples weren't exactly rare and 90's ... it's almost as with rail guns and useful nuclear fusion!

  8. #8
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,187

    Default Some related footage

    Maybe worth following this link to Part 1 of 10 on You Tube on the 'IDF Intel. Corps 869 Unit - Specialist Visual Intelligence, Observation & Surveillance Unit 1/10' :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT0yGIQEwrY

    This video is of a control room, which appears to mainly manned by women and the language used is Hebrew. Looks like an apparently newly posted item , more like a PR release and I've not been able to identify any others in the series.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-13-2010 at 09:02 AM. Reason: Late night posting, now replaced Jewish with Hebrew
    davidbfpo

  9. #9
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NYS
    Posts
    389

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    This video is of a control room, which appears to mainly manned by women and the language used is Jewish.
    They're speaking Hebrew. The "Jewish" language could be many languages. There might be a strong case for Aramaic, but Yiddish would be more likely in the last few centuries.

    Adam L
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-13-2010 at 09:02 AM. Reason: Previous post mistake amended

  10. #10
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    310

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Drones and missiles have steered themselves for ages. The only novelty is that this one is navigating on a road instead of in the air.

    It's a pretty pointless toy in my opinion.
    Unless we consider missiles and drones pointless toys, then we can't just dismiss a disembodied, reusable weapon that can move at a walk's pace, fit on a sidewalk, stand still indefinitely, lay fire well within the best precision of aerial munitions and do all that for pennies on the dollar of the Air Force's effects-based pipe dreams and quarters on the cost of a tank.
    PH Cannady
    Correlate Systems

  11. #11
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    Cost and performance are to some degree related.

    There was an old promise that UAVs would be cheaper than comparable manned aircraft because
    - they would not need high redundancy and quality for flight safety
    - they would not need a cockpit and oxygen system

    It turned out that
    - the payload (sensor) price was so high that many UAVs were built to high flight safety standards nevertheless
    - an elaborate high bandwidth communications suite was more expensive than a cockpit and oxygen system

    Today's drones are cheaper than manned systems because they're less capable; there's no rule that makes them more cost-efficient in general.


    My opinion is therefore that unmanned systems are fine for niches, but not fine for substituting manned systems on a more general base.
    Those niches are
    - extremely long endurance
    - extremely small size
    both of which are impossible for manned systems.


    And in addition missiles (robots not meant to return) have proved to be a better idea than their manned equivalent such as Ohka, of course.

  12. #12
    Council Member Wargames Mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wherever you go, there you are...
    Posts
    54

    Default

    So much of what current threats do is aimed at producing vivid imagery for mass psychological and political effect. For instance, IED attacks on small military elements or against civilian targets does not do much to reduce operational capabilities, but it allows the attacker to:
    • Show off to sympathizers
    • Attack the political will of intervening countries and hasten their departure from the conflict area
    • Attack the perception of host nation government legitimacy by creating the perception of government weakness and inability to provide security

    Against these tactics, an unmanned system deprives the enemy of the opportunity to create the dramatic, emotional news stories and images. For specifically that reason, I think that the development of unmanned systems for land warfare functions, particularly operations in close, complex terrain such as populated places, is of the utmost importance. If a force can get into such terrain and forgo pulling the trigger in self-defense, accept damage or destruction of equipment, and use tactical patience to resolve a problem to that force's advantage (fewer noncombatant casualties), then the ramifications are bigger than tactical - they are at least operational.
    There are three kinds of people in this world:
    Those who can count, and those who can't.

  13. #13
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
    Posts
    3,947

    Default

    Well as the Mid-East Editor of a UV magazine and having seen all the IDF UGVs first hand and close up, I'll merely add that...

    a.) Not much is new in terms of concept
    b.) The "Guardium" UGV is operational NOW, for boarder patrol around Gaza and few "other" places, and apparently is "kicking Tuchas" - but I do remain a bit sceptical. - ask me 3 years from now.
    c.) The Platoon/Coy VIPER UGV is, when it works well extremely useful and the troops love it. Trials versions used during CAST LEAD were kidnapped, in an attempt to hold onto them, and all the Robots returned to the factory, came back with "names" painted on them.

    Certainly in Irregular Warfare, I think UGVs may have a lot of potential, but there are some refinement that need to be made, before they really become mainstream.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  14. #14
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
    Posts
    3,947

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    They're speaking Hebrew. The "Jewish" language could be many languages. There might be a strong case for Aramaic, but Yiddish would be more likely in the last few centuries.
    Yes they are speaking Hebrew... a language I really struggle with...

    Yiddish (along with Ladino) is derided in Israel as the "language of the exiles" -certainly in my family - and historically at least as many Jewish populations spoke Arabic and/or Farsi.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  15. #15
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North Mountain, West Virginia
    Posts
    990

Similar Threads

  1. Brief survey on using robots in a COIN environment
    By MountainRunner in forum RFIs & Members' Projects
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-07-2007, 03:00 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •