13th of November 2015, my 24th birthday, it was a wonderful day for me. But then late at night I turned on the television. What I saw then, was nothing but sadness. In Paris there had been terrorist attacks and more than 120 people lost their lives. The first thing that I thought after seeing this was war. The last couple of months it’s all over the news; IS, refugees, bombings etc. It makes me think that a war against IS in the Middle-East is not that far away now. But is that what we want? Of course no one wants war but sometimes it’s inevitable. The worst part of war is that it is only going to take much more lives. Or maybe there is a solution that can spare the lives of soldiers and change warfare for good. I think the solution lies within technology. Think about it, it has always been technology that has changed warfare. In WWII for instance they created tanks, submarines and fighterplanes. Of course they still had to be operated by humans but it made warfare totally different than before. But now technology is even further ahead. I was reading about technology within warfare when I saw this picture.
It’s the newest thing regarding modern warfare. It’s a robot as you can see and it’s called the “Big Dog”. I’ve even seen a video of it in action and I can ensure you, it’s impressive! I really think that robotics are going to change warfare for good. This robot dog for instance can be send into warzones to give soldiers support. It can transport bag, ammunition or can even carry a soldier. It’s also possible to attach a weapon on it and send it into gunfights. I think sending these unmanned robots into warzones will save many soldiers’ lives. Of course they still have to be controlled from a distance, but that’s better than sending humans into warzones. It’s just like a drone but this one operates on the ground. It can see all the surroundings by making use of the camera’s on it and it’s very well balanced so it can even go over obstacles like rocks or a stairs easily. In the video it even got kicked hard by a soldier and corrected it’s feet instantly without falling over. But by collaborating with my teachers Jordi and Lorna some interesting downsides to this technology came to mind. What if a soldier creates feelings for this robot? The first think I thought was, that cannot happen, impossible. But actually, it already has happened. A soldier that had worked with this robot dog for months got real emotional after it was destroy in combat. He even gave it a kind of funeral… If things like this are happing, than what is the added value of sending in robots instead of humans? I guess this new technology in warfare has its pros and cons and you can discuss that, everyone has a different opinion about it. But the thing is, it is happening right now. The technology is already here and warfare will be changed by it, rather you like it or not. I do think it will evolve even further within a few years. First we thought these war-making robots were only to be seen in Star Wars movies, but now it’s becoming reality.