March 30, 2009

BigDog and K-Max Go to War

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We have mentioned BigDogs being used by the military and now it seems the Boston Dynamics robots are actually being sent to Afghanistan.

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Also going to war will be unmanned K-Max helicopters that can carry loads of up to 6,000 lbs. During its run, its autonomous flight brain finds the best route and will alter course should it come across a no-fly zone. The more we read about robotics in war situations, the more we think that both sides should send bots to fight and the last BigDog standing wins.

Via Fox News

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February 4, 2009

EATR Forages While Hunting

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Cyclone Power Technologies will be developing RTI's Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot, a talented bot that can go on long range missions and even better, feeds itself by finding, ingesting and extracting energy from its environment. EATR can also live on alternative fuels and smacks of military application. This comes as no surprise as it is one of DARPA's pet projects.

Via Network World

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January 15, 2009

SAM Telescopes Aid Robotic Spies


We weren't quite sure what this was about at first glance. Sometimes we are not the brightest bulbs in the chandeliers. But when we see "military" and "iRobot" in the same article, our curiosity is peaked. It turns out that the Situational Awareness Mast (also known as Zippermast) telescopes from Geosystems can make a cam on a UGV check out the higher heights. This video is proof enough for us.

Via Defense Tech

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December 24, 2008

2009 Warbot Pinup Calendar

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Ya gotta love this 2009 Warbot Pinup Calendar created by QinetiQ. Apparently, it was created from those who employ their various products and then submit photos. We are thinking that maybe we should create our own robotic people friendly calendar, what do you think?

Via Wired

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December 16, 2008

RoboClams Dig Down

MIT, inspired by the razor clam, has made their own. They are hoping that it will not only give insight about the mollusk, but that it can travel along the ocean floor and dig in like a real clam. While this sounds like an exercise in futility, when the project is completed, the team is hoping that the RoboClams would hook up to robotic submarines to measure current, temperature, etc. They could also help detonate underwater mines. Imagine the surprise when a clam digger comes up with this in her/his net.

Via MIT

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December 11, 2008

Ripsaw MS1 + Gun Joins the Army

The Ripsaw MS1 was designed for the U.S. Army UGV Application by Howe and Howe back in January. Now they have added a humongous gun. The robotic tank is considered to be one of the most capable ground vehicles created. We just know that if we see one coming towards us, we would surrender instantly.

Via Howe and Howe Technologies

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December 9, 2008

Dragon Runner Joins TALON Military Team

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A new SUGV has joined the military. The Dragon Runner is a lightweight, portable machine that can be used for reconnaissance and IED (improvised explosive device) disarmament. With camera and motion/sound detectors, the bot can climb stairs, go over doorways and seek out the evil enemy. At a mere 20 lbs, it can be carried in a soldier's standard-issue pack. The DR is an extension of the TALON military group. There are over 2,000 of them already in use by the military.

Via gizmag

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December 5, 2008

Dawid Michalczyk Militant Robot Art

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While wandering through the Net this week, we came across an artist who creates some truly awesome work. Dawid Michalczyk does space art, some of which were featured in a BBC documentary, sci-fi, fantasy, abstract, and concept pieces which include this version of military robots. His framed art, as well as posters and calendars featuring it, are for sale on his online gallery, Eon Works. He also has free wallpaper and screensavers. Head over to his site and be as impressed as we were. We're sure he would love a donation.

Via Eon Works

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December 3, 2008

Robotic Soldiers to Eventually Become More Lethal

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Dr. Ronald C. Arkin, who designs software for the Army for its current robotic warriors, believes that military robots can act more ethically in battle than their human counterparts. He also says that it is only a matter of time before lethal autonomous bots will be taking over wartime duties. In a report he wrote in late 2006, Arkin says that since they do not have the emotions of anger or recklessness, they will be invulnerable to "the psychological problem of 'scenario fulfillment'" which causes people to absorb new information more easily if it agrees with their pre-existing ideas.

He added that because they have no instinct for self-preservation, they would not be quick to go for the jugular as many humans would. Apparently, both South Korea and Israel already deploy armed robotic border guards. Although a world without war would be a wondrous thing, it will probably never happen. We think it would be a fine idea if all wars were fought with robotic pawns. Read the full report and be afraid, be very afraid.

Via NY Times

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November 25, 2008

Big Plans for BigDog

Darpa's BigDog is about to go through a robotic hormonic step up. While he can already carry more than 300 lbs. for about 13 miles, the organization wants to eventually allow the drone to be able to carry 1250 lbs. at 10 mph and operate by GPS, as opposed to its current remote. The project has been dubbed "Legged Squad Support." They would also like the 4-legged L3 bot to be quieter while sneaking up on the evil enemy. We suspect that's not going to happen anytime soon.

Via Legged Squad Support

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