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Robots in the ranks: Army integrating robots in two platoons

Soldiers at both the Maneuver Center of Excellence and the National Training Center are testing out new platoon formations that integrate robots and other technology into dangerous combat scenarios.

Gen. James Rainey, head of Army Futures Command, described a recent scenario conducted by a light infantry platoon at Fort Moore, Georgia, during remarks at the Association of the U.S. Army periodic featured speakers event at the organization’s Arlington, Virginia headquarters.

“We’re prototyping platoons,” Rainey said. “This isn’t Power Point; we have our first human-machine integrated formation for light infantry.”

MCOE Experimental Company, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, 316th conducted an urban assault. But instead of human soldiers rushing across open areas and bursting into buildings, robots took the lead.

Rainey said 20 soldiers with four robotic vehicles were able to cross the open terrain to reach the building. But first robots with smoke generators created a screen.

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