News

Last updated: 8 february, 2010 - 11:41 GMT

Could robots replace soldiers on the battlefield?

A small vehicle-type robot at a German army base

Ethical rules of engagement for robots are being debated

How far could machines replace humans on the battlefield?

Robotics has already spread rapidly in air warfare, as pilotless drones become a popular weapon in conflicts like Afghanistan.

This has been happening at a time when the pressure is on in ground combat to reduce casualties and use technology more widely.

Stephen Sackur has been investigating what is at stake.

To play this content JavaScript must be turned on and the latest Flash player installed.

Play in either Real OR Windows Media players

First broadcast 08 February 2010

related bbc links

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.