They fight the insurgents in Afghanistan and on the edges of Pakistan. They watch, they bomb, and they kill. Sometimes their vehicles crash, but the pilots  always go home in the morning. They are remote control warriors.

The current campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan are the world’s first Robotic War. From almost zero when it invaded Iraq, the US fleet has grown to 7,000 robots in the air and 12,000 on the ground. Forty three other countries are now using robots in combat.

Today’s drones and robot tanks are “the first horseless carriage” compared to the next generations already being developed. Robot warriors will soon move beyond taking directions and will be acting independently.

But robots only have the ethics that they are programmed with, and human/robot wars raise many ethical questions. Does the ability to kill anyone, anywhere with a robot amount to lawlessness?  What about when robots decide who to kill?  Would the military send out an autonomous swarm of micro-robots  to kill an enemy?  Will having no casualties make going to war too easy?

A captured drone can be replicated in months. Very soon all sides will have access to remote control weapons. Will robots be the suicide bombers of the future?

Robotic war is here. From today’s CIA drone strikes to the next generation of armed autonomous robot swarms, killer robots are about to change our world. The question is how this shift will affect warfare, and mankind.

Remote Control War is a one hour documentary by Zoot Pictures Inc. in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.