South Korea is developing military surveillance robots based on adaptations found in nature, so they can be deployed in a wide range of environments. The robots are expected to enter service as early as 2024.
According to a report by Yonhap News, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) revealed that the use of biomimicry in military hardware will form part of the country’s future weapons systems and help its soldiers in battle. Inspiration will be drawn from birds, snakes, and marine life to design robots that will augment South Korea’s surveillance and combat capabilities via land, sea, and air.
Park Jeong-eun, Spokesman for DAPA, said, “Biometric robots will be a game-changer in future warfare and related technologies are expected to bring about great ripple effects throughout the defence industry.”
The South Korean military plans to work closely with domestic technology companies, many of which are conducting frontier research and development into artificial intelligence.
The robotics initiative comes as the country faces a potential shortage of military personnel. In addition to the falling birth rates, there is growing resistance among men to the country’s compulsory military service. The South Korean government has also recently made it easier for some to avoid serving, such as by invoking conscientious objection based on religious beliefs.
Nearly 600,000 men are currently serving in the South Korean military, with a further 3.1 million in its reserves. North Korea, meanwhile, has an estimated 945,000 active personnel and an additional 7.6 million men and women in reserve.
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