Army makes progress with weaponized robotic vehicles (PHOTOS)
By Chris Eger
A Robotic Wingman vehicle maneuvers semi-autonomously through a course at Fort Benning, Georgia, in late 2017. The vehicle can mount either an M134 Gatling-style minigun or an M240B machine gun. (Photo: U.S. Army)
“Everyone could use a wingman. Ours just happens to be a self-driving Humvee with a machine gun,” says the Army about its first armed and unmanned ground vehicle.
In a program that has its roots back in 2014, the Army’s began working on Wingman, a concept that married a remote weapon system to a robotic vehicle and later blended an autonomous target acquisition and tracking system being developed by the Navy to produce a gun-toting vehicle capable of operating without a driver.
Currently mounted to a Hummer, the weapon system can mount either an M134 Gatling-style minigun or an M240B machine gun and uses a series of cameras and sensors for driving and “object classification.”
The vehicle can either be autonomously driven using waypoints or manually controlled via remote. However, the Army says this is not the beginning of Skynet, armed robots ready to kill automatically without humanity.
“You’re not going to have these systems go out there like in ‘The Terminator,’” said Thomas B. Udvare, deputy chief of the program. “For