Army Developing Robots to Evacuate Wounded Soldiers and Save Medics’ Lives

Published by , September 28, 2015 11:50 am

(Scout) — The Army is working on engineering unmanned systems and tactical robots that can help to evacuate casualties from the battlefield by transporting injured soldiers out of dangerous situations, service officials said. The purpose is to save lives of trained medics who run into high-risk combat situations when soldiers are injured. For example, medical evacuation robots could prevent medics from being exposed to enemy gunfire and shrapnel.

The Army has operated thousands of cave-clearing, improvised explosive device-locating robots in places like Iraq and Afghanistan for more than a decade. The majority of them use sensors such as electro-optical/infrared cameras to detect and destroy roadside bombs and other explosive materials. “We already use robots on the battlefield today to examine IEDs, to detonate them,” Maj. Gen. Steve Jones, commander of the Army Medical Department Center and School and chief of the Medical Corps, said. “With some minor adaptation, we could take that same technology and use it to extract casualties that are under fire. How many medics have we lost, or other soldiers, because they have gone in under fire to retrieve a casualty? We can use a robotics device for that.”

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