As the name indicates, autonomous weapons are military weapons that can attack the target autonomously. The system comprises a combination of sensors, hardware, and special software to execute without human control.

Lethal autonomous weapons (LAWs) can independently search and engage targets based on the provided description. Autonomous weapons have been in use since the 16th century. They have become more advanced and quick over time.

Autonomous weapons of different times include:

1.   Land Mines

Firstly, a land mine is the most primitive type of automatically triggered (autonomous) weapon. Navel mines were an in-thing in the 16th and 17th centuries. However, they became banned in several countries after 1997. Land mines were more defense weapons to prevent insurgence.

2.   Combat Vehicles

GaardTech (an Australian robot-vehicle manufacturing firm) developed an autonomous combat vehicle, i.e., Jaeger-C. The company provided the Australian army with the latest technology of autonomous weaponry in 2022.

Autonomous combat vehicles like Jaeger-C can attack humans and vehicles. The Chariot mode on the vehicle is to target human subjects, while the Goliath mode is for engaging other vehicles.

The Chariot mode mimics the action of a medium machine gun. The robot device has a disclosed weapon that may resemble an unmanned rifle. In the Goliath mode, the vehicle carries out a kamikaze attack (on another vehicle). The Goliath mode is named after the Goliath tacked mines used by the German army in World War 2.

3.   Autonomous Drones

Last but not least, the most prevalent type of robotic autonomous weapons is autonomous drones. The highly advanced weapon system is capable of flying at great speeds. The STM Kargu-2 is a lightweight flying copter (quadcopter) that is fully armed. It is built by STM (a Turkish company).

The autonomous system is very accurate and precise. It moves by the guidance of a GPS and radio waves. Drones like STM Kargu-2 include facial recognition software that accurately traces human faces. The drone can attack in the dark and at night too.

4.   Artificially Intelligent Aeronautical Systems

The US Air force MQ-9 reaper is an American-developed drone with artificial intelligence. The reaper is equipped with AI technology and can fly autonomously. The array of sensors in the device helps it recognize and target objects on the ground.

The high-performance ‘smart’ drone is built around machine learning. This learning ability enables it to make critical decisions. It uses GPS navigation to reach targets. The fast and intelligent drone reduces human hours to devise strategies.

Most countries have incorporated advanced AI defense platforms for better security and protection.

Now that you know all about the different types of autonomous weapons. Which one will you choose?