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The US Army is currently testing new platoon formations that incorporate robots and other technologies in high-risk combat scenarios at the Maneuver Center of Excellence and the National Training Center.

Gen. James Rainey, head of Army Futures Command, discussed these innovative developments during an event at the Association of the US Army’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Gen. Rainey said, “We’re prototyping platoons. This isn’t PowerPoint; we have our first human-machine integrated formation for light infantry.”


In an urban assault exercise conducted by the MCOE Experimental Company, robotic vehicles led the charge, supported by drones that extended soldiers’ network capabilities and provided crucial intelligence.

Robotic “dogs” equipped with cameras were deployed to scout for hazards and enemy troops, demonstrating the potential of these machines in reducing risks for human soldiers. Capt. Tim Young, the experimental company commander, highlighted the strategic advantages of these integrations in an Army release: “We’re sensing early on in the battlefield, we’re engaging with robots making sure we don’t shed human blood for first contact, and then we’re bringing in troops to finish the fight.”

The ongoing experiments also include a human-machine integrated platoon at Fort Irwin, California, designed to complement mechanized units. While current robotic platforms are being developed to match the speed of these units, Gen. Rainey said he is optimistic about the potential of these technologies.


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