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U.S. Army Envisions More Robotic Future

The United States Army is studying the possibility of replacing thousands of its personnel with robots.

At the recent Army Aviation Symposium in suburban Washington, the head of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command said the U.S. military is planning to considerably downsize its personnel and adopt more robots.

According to General Robert Cone, by the end of next year the size of a brigade may be reduced from 4,000 to 3,000 soldiers. By 2019, the Army will likely shrink to as few as 420,000 personnel, down from more than half a million.

In order to stay an effective fighting force, the Army plans to replace the lost soldiers with robots, not as combatants but for support. Cone mentioned autonomous vehicles and aircraft, as well as walking robot mules' that can carry equipment and other heavy loads.

He said that automation could improve the Army's maneuverability, deployability and firepower.

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