Context: An Israeli defence contractor unveiled a remote-controlled armed robot it says can patrol battle zones, track infiltrators and open fire. 

About the robot system REX MKII

  • The unmanned vehicle is the latest addition to the world of drone technology, which is rapidly reshaping the modern battlefield.
  • Proponents say such semi-autonomous machines allow armies to protect their soldiers, while critics fear this marks another dangerous step toward robots making life-or-death decisions.
  • The four-wheel-drive robot presented was developed by the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries’ “REX MKII.”
  • It is operated by an electronic tablet and can be equipped with two machine guns, cameras and sensors.
  • The robot can gather intelligence for ground troops, carry injured soldiers and supplies in and out of battle, and strike nearby targets.
  • It is the most advanced of more than half a dozen unmanned vehicles developed by Aerospace Industries’ subsidiary, ELTA Systems, over the past 15 years.
  • The Israeli military is currently using a smaller but similar vehicle, called the Jaguar, to patrol the border with the Gaza Strip.

Related Facts

Indian Military Robot

  • Daksh is a battery-operated remote-controlled robot on wheels and its primary role is to recover bombs. 
  • Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, it is fully automated. 
  • It has a shotgun, which can break open locked doors, and it can scan cars for explosives.

Robotics and Machine Ethics

  • Roboethics is concerned with the behaviour of humans, how humans design, construct, use and treat robots and other artificially intelligent beings, whereas machine ethics is concerned with the behaviour of robots themselves, whether or not they are considered artificial moral agents.
  • As robots have become more advanced and sophisticated, experts and academics have increasingly explored the questions of what ethics might govern robot's behaviour, and whether robots might be able to claim any kind of social, cultural, ethical or legal rights.

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