Let robots help to solve the long-term dilemma of Taiwan's all-volunteer military now!

After nearly three decades of American military disarmament policy, recently US army is studying replacing thousands of humans with robots, such as unmanned aviation, unmanned vehicles, mine clearance, detection, and medical care, etc., which not only meet the development trend of high-tech industry, but also help to solve social issues. 

Professor Ren C. Luo, Director of NTU - International Center of Excellence in Intelligent Robotics and Automation Research (NTU-iCeiRA), pointed out that "The U.S. Congress in 2006 required the White House to robotize one-third of U.S. Army in personnel and military equipment by the end of 2015. Even more, President Obama in September 2011 announced to inject a lot of money in the development of intelligence robot to strengthen this plan implementation. In addition to assisting the military needs and related technologies, it could apply and benefit private manufacturing and service industries. "

U.S. Robotics developments not only reduce the personnel needs of the army, but also complement home health care problems. Such as in 2008, the development of remote medical robot can provide two-way data communication, so that the patient can see and hear the remote doctor speak simultaneously, and vice versa. When in 2011, the robot can be further carried into private family care to perform social welfare and other remote home health services.

The introduction of all-volunteer military in Taiwan in 2014 has been postponed for two years! Taiwan’s military service system is planning to transform from conscription to all-volunteer, however, the number of demand is much greater than recruit. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) statistics, by the end of November 2013, the recruitment reached only 30 percent of the target. Based on the military assessment, in order to successfully promote volunteer force, personnel costs with related measures would spend additional 60 billion TWD annually.

In the transition of conscription towards the all-volunteer military, Taiwan is facing the situation of lack of financial resources and troops. If the military personnel budget could be partially appropriated for the development of the intelligent robots, the robot would be used not only to assist in manpower, solve on recruiting shortage, and reduce military personnel expenditure, but also to perform military tasks. For example, the development of unmanned vehicles could reduce the manpower needs of the military transportation and reconnaissance; the development of remote medical robotic system could implement the remote diagnosis and emergency care, to achieve "break the constraints of time and distance" and "resource sharing and cost savings" these two purposes. Further, the robot research experience could be applied to the manpower needs in health care generated by aging and declining birthrate.

Professor Ren C. Luo, Director of NTU-iCeiRA, also pointed out that "The developments of intelligent robots have become an important indicator of the advanced countries in Europe, America and Japan. Such as Google recently acquired eight robotics companies in 6 months, including Boston Dynamics, who had long-term huge financial support from the U.S. military. In the future, technology applications of military and livelihood of the people (dual-use) will be far-reaching and most vividly. "

Information Source: NTU - iCeiRA 

This news has already been republished on CNA website!(http://www.cna.com.tw/postwrite/Detail/141567.aspx)