One afternoon last fall at Fort Benning, Ga., two model-size
planes took off, climbed to 800 and 1,000 feet, and began criss-crossing
the military base in search of an orange, green and blue tarp.
The automated, unpiloted planes worked on their own, with no human guidance, no hand on any control.
After 20 minutes, one of the aircraft, carrying a computer that
processed images from an onboard camera, zeroed in on the tarp and
contacted the second plane, which flew nearby and used its own sensors
to examine the colorful object. Then one of the aircraft signaled to an
unmanned car on the ground so it could take a final, close-up look.Target confirmed.
successful exercise in autonomous robotics could presage the future of
the American way of war: a day when drones hunt, identify and kill the
enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made b
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