The Lawfare Podcast

Lawfare Podcast Episode #5: Missy Cummings on Drones, Drones, Drones

By Ritika Singh
Saturday, March 3, 2012, 8:21 AM

Missy Cummings, Director of the Humans and Automation Laboratory and  a professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, sat down with me for the fifth episode of the Lawfare podcast to talk about robots on our battlefields.

Cummings is a bit of a force of nature. In addition to designing unmanned weapons systems, she was one of the Navy's first female fighter pilots--an experience she chronicles in her book Hornet's Nest. I met her at a recent conference on the future of weapons put together by the Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security, where she dazzled the room with her thoughtful comments and detailed technical knowledge.

There are currently around 20,000 robots deployed in U.S. theaters of operation. These robots, which are getting cheaper and easier to make, are characterized by increasing capability and increasing miniaturization. Please join Missy and me as we discuss the many issues to which these developments give rise, as well as where the science and engineering in weapons systems is likely to go in the future.