Band of Brothers and Bots?

Military personnel become so attached to their fighting robots that they actually give them names and mourn their loss.  This phenomenon is documented in the article at  I have written several posts about military robots in RobotNext that may have a dark side, but there is no doubt that they save lives and that the soldiers that fight along side them develop close ties with the machines. In one case, even an inspired father sought to develop a robot in honor of his son.

Real soldiers love their robot brethren
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Real soldiers love their robot brethren –
Thu, 21 May 2009 16:25:40 GMT

F-35 Assembly by Robots

Aircraft manufacturers are moving ahead with the use of robotics in the construction of the newest armed forces jets.  This article from Robotics & Automation details how the new F-35 will use robotics to speed-up the manufacturing process for aircraft.  What follows is some selected quotes from the article.  I think what is especially important is the possibility of drastically reducing the manufacturing times on the aircraft and the movement of these technologies to the commercial aviation field.   Follow the links above or at the bottom of this post to see the entire article and all the photos.

“The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL, Dayton, OH) has been spearheading an effort to use commercial six-axis robots in the F-35 production process.”

Northrop Grumman “…made significant investments in using robotics to speed the flow of center fuselage assembly. Installation of robotic drilling machines during low-rate initial production is expected to reduce drilling times on key assemblies by up to 70 percent.”

“By using articulated robots, we’ll go from a 50-hour manual process to a 15-hour automated process,” says Scott Gillette, a manufacturing technology development engineer who’s working on the project.

“Many observers believe the F-35 applications will eventually trickle down to the commercial aviation sector and spur widespread use of robots. Robotic drilling is a growing area that has major benefits for the entire aerospace industry.”

F-35 Assembly by Robots
Youngester (
Sat, 16 May 2009 13:50:00 GMT