A Discussion on the Current Trends Related to Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Aerospace and Defense Market
The integration of artificial intelligence and robotics in aerospace and defense sector has been a game changer. Long stalled ideas like autonomous aircraft, precision drones, “intelligent” surveillance and reconnaissance systems have been realized due to the introduction of AI and robotics in the defense sector. With various countries taking active steps to modernize their defense sectors and growing investments in artificial intelligence and robotics, the artificial intelligence and robotics in aerospace and defense market is poised to grow handsomely in the coming period.
Artificial intelligence has been the buzz word for quite some time now. Along with robotics, artificial intelligence has penetrated almost every sector of production and manufacturing. The impact of artificial intelligence can be gauged from the fact that experts term the revolution brought about by artificial intelligence and robotics as Industrial Revolution 4.0. Thus, along with the wheel, the printing press, the steam engine, and the Internet, artificial intelligence is considered to be among the most crucial innovations that can change the course of mankind. In the last few years, just like many other sectors, aerospace and defense industries have become one of the latest industries to adopt and integrate AI and robotics.
Role of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Aerospace and Defense Market
Aerospace and defense industries have been continuously growing since the second decade of the 20th century due to the Second World War, Cold War, and subsequent regional conflicts. As a result of this, the aerospace and defense sector has always been in a state of flux. The integration of artificial intelligence and robotics in aerospace and defense market has been the newest step in this steady wave of innovations. Artificial intelligence and robotics has been pivotal in the realization of advanced technologies as various defense related projects that were previously stalled have been successfully completed with the help of AI.
Consider the case of autonomous aircrafts; autonomous aircrafts have been contemplated since a long time, but the actual realization was unsuccessful due to three core challenges- building an aircraft that could take off or land without a runway, developing an obstacle recognition technology, and designing an automatic course correction system to deal with unexpected situations. Artificial intelligence with the help of machine learning has been successful in overcoming all these challenges at the software level, while robotics has helped in fulfilling the hardware standards required for making the autonomous aircraft project a success.
As is the case with autonomous aircrafts, artificial intelligence and robotics in aerospace and defense sector has been a game changer as far as weapons technology is concerned. Development of lethal autonomous weapons has become possible solely because of the introduction of artificial intelligence and robotics in aerospace and defense sector. Called as “killer robots”, these lethal autonomous weapons are designed and developed to identify and neutralize human and critical infrastructure targets without human intervention. Made possible with the integration of deep learning technology and robotics, these weapon systems employ state-of-the-art lasers and sensors for advanced tracking and identification. An alarming rate of development of similar systems by the United States of America, Russia, and China has, in fact led experts like Nicholas Thompson and Ian Bremmer coin the term AI Cold War.
Though the birth of unmanned aerial vehicles has been a relatively independent phenomenon, the advancements in these systems can be definitively linked to the pioneering of artificial intelligence and robotics in aerospace and defense industry. The concept of ‘Swarm Drones’, i.e., a group of unmanned aerial drones operating in tandem with ground maneuver military units has been made possible only due to the adoption of artificial intelligence and robotics in aerospace and defense forces. These ‘swarm drones’ are being developed by countries like India to monitor their hostile international boundaries and track enemy activities along the border. Equipped with Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), these drones have been instrumental in bringing down the risk of human casualties and reduction in military mission costs.
The Road Ahead for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Aerospace and Defense Sector
Apart from autonomous aircrafts, lethal autonomous weapons, and precision drones, the growing use of artificial intelligence and robotics in aerospace and defense sector has led to development of “intelligent” surveillance and reconnaissance systems running on acoustic and magnetic signature analysis. Moreover, the spillover effect of integration of AI and defense sector on the economy has been huge. Several defense-related startups have come up in different countries, especially the developing ones, like India, China, and South Korea. These startups have received a lot of support in the form of huge investments from leading technological giants which has, in turn, helped in the growth of the global artificial intelligence and robotics in aerospace and defense market. The road ahead for artificial intelligence and robotics in aerospace and defense sector is, thus, full of exciting possibilities.
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