The University of Illinois is leading a $25 million initiative to develop an "internet of battlefield things."
Officials say the initiative will connect soldiers with smart technology in armor, radios, weapons and other objects to give troops a better understanding of battlefield situations and help them assess risks.
Experts say future military operations will rely less on human soldiers and more on interconnected technology. They say unmanned systems and machine intelligence advances can be used to improve military capabilities.
Officials say the university will lead the effort to develop the scientific foundations for battlefield analytics and services. The U.S. Army Research Lab will fund the effort for the first five years. The initiative could last 10 years.