The military has a ton of ground robots scurrying around Afghanistan. Too bad they’re dumb as puppets, unable to make the slightest move without a human pulling the strings.
But if the U.S. Navy has its way, all that will change. Robots will be able to obey a pointed finger or a verbal command, and then tackle a job without flesh-and-blood micromanagement. Which will free up the hundreds, if not thousands, of troops who today have to spend their time twiddling robot joysticks.
The sea service just issued four contracts to set the plan in action. And there’s already a blue-eyed robot that can register people's visual and verbal cues on display at the showroom floor of the Office of Naval Research’s sci-tech conference in Virginia this week.
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