A new report from two experts in robot warfare has concluded that by the year 2020, robots could well account for 30 per cent of the US army.

At the moment, robots are instrumental in missions the army carry out, used for such things as unmanned air craft flights and bomb disposal units. But the use of robotic warfare is to increase dramatically, according to Doug Few and Bill Smart of Washington University.

Fully autonomous systems

Realistically, we are not going to see a wave of Terminator-like fighter just yet, though, with Bill Smart explaining exactly what robot' means: "When the military says 'robot' they mean everything from self-driving trucks up to what you would conventionally think of as a robot," said Smart.

"You would more accurately call them autonomous systems rather than robots."

The pair also go on to say that while robot use will increase, fully autonomous systems would not use weapons: "It's a chain of command thing. You don't want to give autonomy to a weapons delivery system," said Smart

"You want to have a human hit the button," says Smart. "You don't want the robot to make the wrong decision. You want to have a human to make all of the important decisions."