The United States military is a major driving force in the research and development of new technologies. But, the men and women who are actually on the front lines rarely have a hand in that. Now, a new boot camp training program is teaching Marines to use low-cost, readily-available tech like Arduino and 3D printing to improvise in the field.
Our enemies, like ISIS, are already doing just that for guerrilla warfare. Terrorist groups often use off-the-shelf technology and repurpose it for surveillance or to create weapons. This new training program is designed to teach Marines how to do the same thing. As the CBS This Morning report explores, the Marines are able to take advantage of inexpensive technology to build what they need for a specific situation in a field.
For example, one Marine, a bomb disposal specialist, used an Arduino to build a small robot that can be driven into tight quarters to scout a potentially dangerous room before a human enters. Another Marine used a Lulzbot TAZ 3D printer to fabricate a specialized wrench that would have taken months to get in the field through the normal military supply chain. But, the point isn’t that they can create those specific items, but rather that they can improvise and create whatever they need.
The boot camp also runs a training scenario to test those skills. In the scenario, the Marines are tasked with finding and helping injured people after a mock earthquake. To do that, they first used a Raspberry Pi robot to search a building and find people who need medical attention. Then, they used small commercial drones to deliver supplies to them. Those kinds of skills will be indispensable in a modern military.