Title: Legal considerations for the weaponisation of Unmanned Ground Vehicles

Authors: Anthony Finn

Addresses: Department of Defence, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Edinburgh, Australia

Abstract: Advances in technologies such as computing, sensors, sensor processing, and data fusion techniques mean that intelligent decision-making technologies (IDT) will soon have the capacity to control weapons in a manner that includes decisions regarding target identification and engagement. If permitted, this would provide these systems with the ability to decide which targets to prosecute with lethal force, without any operator intervention. This would mark a sea-change in the role of technology in warfare as the human can be removed from the decision-making loop. There are complex technological and legal issues regarding the development, deployment and exploitation of such systems.

Keywords: autonomous vehicles; weaponisation; unmanned vehicles; unmanned ground vehicles; battlefield robotics; armed conflict law; unmanned systems; intelligent decision making; sensor processing; data fusion; target identification; engagement; warfare technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIDSS.2008.020273

International Journal of Intelligent Defence Support Systems, 2008 Vol.1 No.1, pp.43 - 74

Published online: 13 Sep 2008 *

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