Drones over Ukraine: fears of Russian ‘killer robots’ have failed to materialise

30 Mar 2022

Dr Brendan Walker-Munro writes for The Conversation

Drones have played a starring role in Ukraine’s defence against the ongoing Russian attack. Before the invasion experts believed Russia’s own fleets of “killer robots” were likely to be a far more potent weapon, but to date they have hardly been seen.

What’s going on? Ukraine’s drone program grew from a crowd-funded group of hobbyists, who appear to know and like their technology – even if it isn’t the cutting edge. Russia, on the other hand, seems to have swarms of next-generation autonomous weapons, but generals may lack faith in the technology.

Teaser image of a prototype Ukranian R18 drone. Олександр Перевозник / Oleksandr Perevoznyk, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons