When a soldier is wounded in battle, one of their comrades must risk their own life in order to save the life of the soldier. But in the near future, that might not be the case as the army is working to develop robots designed to rescue fallen soldiers.
Major General from the United States Army, Steve Jones, said, “We have lost medics throughout the years because they have the courage to go forward and rescue their comrades under fire. With the newer technology, with the robotic vehicles we are using even today to examine and to detonate IEDs [improvised explosive devices], those same vehicles can go forward and retrieve casualties."
Jones added that the unmanned vehicles that would be used to recover wounded soldiers could also be armored in order to protect them on the way back to their base. Also, the vehicles could provide support to the soldiers that are still engaging in combat. For instance, the vehicles could be used to deliver supplies to soldiers.
The Army is also developing wearable sensors that would be used to monitor the vital signs of soldiers in battle. This would enable medics to detect injuries from afar. The sensors would supposedly be similar to “Fit Bit”, a watch-like device that is used to measure things like a person’s heart rate.
The sensors could also be triggered to send recovery robots upon sensing injuries. Additionally, they would be able to prioritize, sending help to the wounded soldiers with the worst vital signs first.
"If you see a casualty whose heart rate is way up, whose respiratory rate is way up, that may be an indication they lost a lot of blood, and need treatment now, as opposed to a casualty whose vital signs are stable and you wouldn't have to treat as quickly," Jones stated.
The technology is also expected to be applied to unmanned drones.
The Army is no stranger to using the latest technology. Recently, the military branch has been using GoPro cameras on soldiers in order to document injuries and their corresponding treatment methods. The video is able to be transmitted live to physicians so that they can better prepare for an incoming patient. The recordings are also used to provide medics with valuable feedback.
While the Army cannot prevent injuries from occurring in the first place, they are doing the next best thing by adopting new methods in order to ensure that wounded soldiers receive the best treatment possible, while also keeping those treating the soldiers safe.