November 3, 2008

Recon Scout Gives Its Life for Our Country

Recon Scout started out as an experimental NASA one axle project that is now being used by SWAT teams and the military. The 7.4", 1.2 lb. bot can survive a 30 foot drop or throw and works like a grenade when you pull its pin. While we are not crazy about the idea that they are building a better mousetrap grenade, we are also amazed at how much of our tax donations go to war. This one comes at a price of $6,000.00, $9,000.00 to get one with night vision.

Via Bot Junkie

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | social bookmarking

September 30, 2008

iRobot Gets Over $5 Million for PackBot Parts

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iRobot has announced that it was given a $5.8 million order from the U.S. Army to deliver spare parts and accessories for their PackBot 510 with FasTac Kit. The bots investigate suspicious objects, identify roadside bombs and other explosive devices, and allow humans to keep a safe distance away. iRobot has already delivered over 1,800 PackBots, and with this latest contract they will be providing them with updated controllers, manipulators and cams.

Via Market Watch

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 23, 2008

Army to Test MULE

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While spending our hard earned tax dollars, at least this time the military is thinking energy efficient. The U.S. Army is about to begin testing its MULE (Multipurpose Logistics Vehicle.) The Unmanned Ground Vehicle senses its environment, cars, people, and weapons. Built by Lockheed Martin, the UGV is controlled by GPS and a mapping system to plan its route. It runs on hybrid electric/diesel power and each of its six wheels contains its own electric hub motor.

Via Robot Magazine

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September 11, 2008

BigDog Hauls for the Army

Take a peek at BigDog, dubbed by its makers as the "alpha male" of robotic animals. About the size of a Great Dane, it can go 4 mph and carry over 300 lbs. The robotic canine was sponsored by the the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Controlled by remote on army bases, he has a computerized brain, a small gas engine, and legs that can reposition. Boston Dynamics claims that it is now working on a faster and stronger robotic pup with eye-like sensors to make "intelligent decisions."

Via Telegraph

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September 9, 2008

Helicopters Learn Stunts by "Watching"

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File this under more autonomous bots. Scientists from Stanford University have developed an artificial intelligence program that teach ordinary toy helicopters to fly. This is accomplished by them "watching" a regular R/C vehicle flown by a human pilot. The copters were recently tested doing such maneuvers as rolls, flips, loops, stall-turns and other difficult feats. The researchers say that future applications could include land mine searching or wildfire spotting.

Via Physorg

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 20, 2008

MOD Urban Warfare Competition Features R/C UFO

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The Ministry of Defence has created a competition for urban warfare equipment. The Mira team's entry is a 3 ft. flying saucer. Team member Chris Mellors says, "The bottom line is, we want our technology to help our Forces."

Sure, until someone freaks and shoots down the little bugger. The winner of the competition gets a trophy and a possible gig at the front line.

Via Times Online

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 15, 2008

UAVs Make Test Run

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In a collaboration between technology firm Qinetiq and Aberystwyth University, the first robot planes recently took test flights over UK farmland. The UAVs (autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles) stayed aloft about an hour on battery power and mapped nitrogen levels in soil to decide if they needed fertilizer. Jonathan Webber of Qinetiq says, "You don't need to put pilots in a vehicle where you are only collecting data, providing you can do it safely."

Hmm. With all the recent turmoil on the planet, why do we think they may be used for other applications?

Via BBC

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 12, 2008

Limbo On, Hexabot!

Partially developed by students at Nanyang Polytechnic Institute, the 6-legged spiderbot can climb stairs, squeeze into narrow places and navigate on harsh terrain. The Hexabot will be able to avoid obstacles and help rescue trapped victims or sweep minefields. When it lifts three legs it can really hustle. The video also shows it doing the limbo, most helpful when taking an exotic island cruise.

Via EE Times

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July 25, 2008

Robo-Fish Take to the Water

Kristi Morgansen, a roboticist at the University of Washington, and her team have developed some robotic fish that group together to track other fish or pollution. So far there are only three that are each controlled by an onboard computer, depth sensor, compass and radio transceiver. While being tested, the robo-fish keep in touch with each other and alter their course when necessary with two pectoral fins and a tail for propulsion.

Morgansen says that by using several at a time there is a better collection of data. "Artificial fish have been on the wish lists of oceanographers and the military for years. It is hoped that mimicking nature's propulsion methods could allow vehicles to be more efficient and maneuverable, and deploying them in shoals would allow more complex missions."

We get it. Our enemies would never guess that instead of submarines we have schools of robotic spies.

Via New Scientist

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 14, 2008

BEAR Will Be Going to War

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The Vecna Technologies Cambridge Research Laboratory near Boston recently revealed its BEAR (Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot.) Funded by Congress for over a million big ones, the bot can lift, carry, and put down humans in dangerous situations. It can also manage other heavy objects up to 500 lbs. over rough terrain and even stairs. The BEAR can travel on its "belly" for miles should the need arise. Vecna is also planning to make versions for healthcare, disaster rescue, and contaminated areas. Check out Robot Magazine for more details.

Via Robot Magazine

Sheila Franklin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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