The Army's plans for robotic wingmen in vehicle formations, a drone on every soldier and robotic mules carrying gear all aim to take the load off the fighter. But how will the two communicate, robot and human?
Voice commands like automated assistants on smartphones are great, but not when the threat of incoming fire means the robot battle buddy needs to decipher a range of priorities that humans might take for granted.
Think more C3PO or R2D2 in the "Star Wars" movies than Hal in "2001: A Space Odyssey" —or better yet, a friendly cyborg from "Terminator" might be the best way to see your robot combatant squad mate of the distant future.
Enter research at the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory.