Author’s note: I’ve been hired to write marketing material for software developer Ubisoft for their new game Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
For millennia, man’s best friend has accompanied soldiers into combat. Combat-trained dogs attack and defend, sniff for enemy infiltrators and explosives, and even help find wounded allies trapped under debris. In the years to come, circuits and machinery could replace fur, fangs, and muscle on the front lines. Tiny intelligent robots are the future warrior’s new best friends.
The first ground robots from World War II were bulky, “dumb” machines the size of refrigerators, connected to their human operators by lengthy cables and were steered using heavy, unwieldy controllers. In the early years of the 21st century, radio signals replaced the wires and handheld smartphones and tablets replaced the controllers. Meanwhile, combat ground robots got smaller and smaller, with better sensors and more intelligent computer brains capable of making many tactical decisions on their own.
The most advanced soldier-bots fit in the palm of your hand and can be hurled like baseballs over walls, down alleyways, and into windows. They roll around and stream live video back to their operators, giving their human comrades a preview of the obstacles and enemies up ahead.