Military Capabilities

USMC wants unmanned vehicles to learn, fix themselves autonomously

30 June 2017

The US Marine Corps (USMC) Warfighting Laboratory hopes to develop "small, smart, and cheap" unmanned systems, according to the director of the laboratory's Science, Technology and Experiment Division.

Intended to act in a network, the next-generation of unmanned systems must first be developed to become trusted by human operators, according to Colonel Jim Jenkins. Speaking at the SMi Future Armoured Vehicles Weapon Systems conference in London on 28 June, he said future unmanned systems must be "observable, predictable, and directable" in order to ensure effective manned-unmanned teaming.

An intuitive operating interface and machine learning, including adaption to the individual operator, are key elements of this "humanised autonomy", in addition to a robust security backbone, he said.

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