Robots to shape wars of the future - 1/3 Unmanned Robots by 2015

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Offline Matt Hatter

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Re: Zeitgeist robots coming soon.
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2008, 10:35:53 AM »
"And robotics company Cyberdyne Inc are set to start making it on a mass scale on Friday."


Holy SHIT! It's the company that makes terminator machines in the movie!

If these guys get a US military contract Im leaving this planet!

TheGoodFight1984

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Re: Zeitgeist robots coming soon.
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008, 10:44:34 AM »
"And robotics company Cyberdyne Inc are set to start making it on a mass scale on Friday."


Holy SHIT! It's the company that makes terminator machines in the movie!

If these guys get a US military contract Im leaving this planet!

That is the scary bit. SkyNet exists too, made by BAE systems,

Offline heavyhebrew

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Re: Zeitgeist robots coming soon.
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2008, 04:06:47 PM »
Mmmmm finally, the life long dream of all basement dwelling, sun fearing, 7chan posting epic fails of lulz will have their sex android.

Oh and what is a zeitgeist robot? A robot telling people to live free, experience unconditional love and reach their full potential while living in abundance?
Yeah, that shit sounds scary. Gimme that good, old time fear! OBEY or go to HELL!
We work jobs we hate to pay for stuff we don't need to impress people we don't like. Am I the crazy one here?

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Zeitgeist robots coming soon.
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2008, 04:28:35 PM »
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1777667.ece

That, combined with the apparent fact that "classified" technology tends to be many years -- if not decades -- ahead of what the general public is allowed to know about, would certainly explain why the global elite are so eager to kill most of us off.

Perhaps they're planning to have programmable "replicants" do all their slave labor for them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lW0F1sccqk

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Offline Letsbereal

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The new war machine
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 09:26:04 PM »
The new war machine
7 March 2009,
by Stephen Cave (The Financial Times)
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/613860da-09dd-11de-add8-0000779fd2ac.html?ftcamp=rss

Androids are slowly taking the place of human soldiers in today’s battlefields. But who will stand at the dock if, while in combat, they commit crimes against humanity?

Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong

By Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen
OUP £15.99 288 pages

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century
By PW Singer
Penguin Press $29.95 512 pages
FT Bookshop price: £15.99

War Bots: How US Military Robots Are Transforming War in Iraq Afghanistan, and the Future

By David Axe
Nimble Books $28.36 88 pages


Trooper Talon doesn’t get tired or hungry. He doesn’t get scared and he doesn’t panic under fire. He fights on even when, all around him, his comrades are falling. He never forgets his orders, never gets distracted, never even blinks. Unfortunately for the rest of his platoon, he has one flaw: after eight hours in the field, his batteries run out.

Talon is a robot. He is the future of warfare and, with more than 12,000 robotic machines already deployed in Iraq, he is also the present. These machines range from the briefcase-sized PackBot that can scope a house for potential enemies, to the 35m wingspan Global Hawk spy-plane that can survey half of Iraq in one flight. They are doing some of the difficult, dull and dangerous jobs that once cost soldiers’ lives. And since 2002, when a Predator drone assassinated al-Qaeda leader Abu Ali al-Harithi, they are also doing the killing.

While our destructive power is launching into this science-fiction future, however, our principles are stuck in the trenches. There is no precedent for an android to stand in the dock for war crimes. And the Geneva Conventions don’t tell us who to blame when an automaton makes a lethal error, such as when US Patriot missile batteries shot down two allied aircraft in Iraq in 2003, killing two Britons and one American.

We are in the midst of a revolution in the way we wage war, as profound as the discovery of gunpowder or the building of the atomic bomb. Yet most of us hardly know it’s happening – and our legal and moral frameworks are entirely unprepared. But a few people have noticed: three fascinating and timely new books detail these developments and the issues they raise.

The American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was the first war in which “many of the forces still rode to battle on horses, and yet robotic drones were flying above,” explains PW Singer, senior fellow at US thinktank the Brookings Institution.

Talon, an all-purpose robot that looks like a dentist’s lamp on caterpillar tracks, was first deployed there for reconnaissance missions – dangerous work that was done by allies within Afghanistan until, as one soldier told Singer: “We began to run out of Afghans.” They were soon also assigned to dispose of the roadside bombs that cost the lives of so many allied soldiers. They proved such a success that by 2008 there were 2,000 in the field, and manufacturer Foster-Miller secured a $400m contract to double that number.

Talon impressed the US Army so much that they cloned him to make his evil twin. Built on the same chassis, Swords can carry a selection of lethal weapons, from assault rifles to grenade launchers. His makers boast that in target practice, “The robot hit the bulls-eye of the target 70 out of 70 tries.” However, though sent to Iraq in 2007, Swords have not been deployed because, writes journalist David Axe in War Bots, “They had a tendency to spin out of control.” But Swords have already been upgraded: expect to see its more stable successor, Maars, in an urban war-zone near you soon.

Axe’s War Bots is a slim, introductory volume. Light on text, its primary virtue is the full-colour pictures showing the droids in action. PW Singer, on the other hand, has written what is likely to be the definitive work on this subject for some time to come. He has a record of drawing out the underlying trends in modern warfare, with previous books on child soldiers and the increasing use of mercenaries. Wired for War will confirm his reputation: it is riveting and comprehensive, encompassing every aspect of the rise of military robotics, from the historical to the ethical.

While writing it, Singer was also co-ordinating the Obama presidential campaign’s defence policy taskforce. So perhaps it is no coincidence that the new US President has already announced his intention to see “greater investment in advanced technology, ranging from the revolutionary, like Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” to “electronic warfare capabilities.” Enormous sums are being invested – $230bn in the US Army’s Future Combat Systems programme alone. Clearly the warbot business will continue to boom.

The logic of moving to unmanned systems is compelling, as Singer makes clear. First, they are saving soldiers’ lives. He describes how the robot-makers’ offices are covered with thank-you letters from soldiers with messages such as: “This little guy saved our butts.” Second, they should also save civilian lives – unlike a hot-headed human trooper, robots don’t panic, don’t get greedy, and don’t set out to avenge their dead buddies. Combined with their accuracy, they promise less collateral damage.

So why is it that the prospect of robot armies makes us nervous? Perhaps we are unduly influenced by a diet of Daleks and Terminator movies. In fact, the use of robotic systems has been growing steadily since the second world war, when the Germans’ V-2 ballistic missile and the Allies’ automated Norden bombsight first took to the skies. The latter was an analogue computer that took over the decision for when to fire and was used to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

In the intervening decades, robots have become vastly more sophisticated – but they accomplish very specific tasks. Overall, Talon, Swords and others are still less bright than the average garden snail. They may take a wrong turn or identify the wrong target, but they won’t take over the world or enslave the human race.

Robots are currently given little autonomy – even the soldiers who use them feel nervous about machine guns with ideas of their own roaming the battlefield. But the pressure is on to give them a longer leash. A robot can react far faster than a human. If a platoon is being sniped at, a robot with infrared vision can instantly see where the shot came from and fire on the attacker before he can even duck. But if a human controller has to sanction every shot, the sniper will be long gone.

There are also personnel savings. At present, every robot plane flying high over Iraq has a flesh-and-blood pilot sitting in a box in Nevada holding the joy-stick; every Talon has a soldier with a remote control. That’s an expensive package – which would be more efficient if robots could get on with their work alone. And soon, human operators simply won’t be able to keep up, explains Singer. The coming robots “will be too fast, too small, too numerous, and will create an environment too complex for humans to direct”. So the machines will have to go solo.

And that is what should worry us. No matter how clever we make them, these robots will make mistakes. As Singer points out, current Artificial Intelligence systems struggle to tell the difference between an apple and a tomato – how could they distinguish between civilian and insurgent? Yet “the law is simply silent”, he writes, on whether autonomous robots can have a licence to kill, and what should happen if they shoot the wrong man. If a human is somewhere in the decision-making loop, legal accountability can be established. When machines go it alone, accountability disappears – and with it the rule of law. Which is why philosophers Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen are asking how we can persuade robots to do the right thing. The result, in their seminal, but stodgy, book Moral Machines, makes clear just how far we have to go.

They start by exploring the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov’s famous Three Laws of Robotics: that a robot must not injure a human; must obey the orders of a human; and must protect its own existence. But Asimov himself, in his short stories on this theme, showed the contradictions and limitations of these laws. What happens, for example, if two humans give opposing orders?

So the authors turn instead to classical moral theory for help, exploring whether, for example, a robot could be programmed to be a good utilitarian and act to maximise happiness and minimise suffering. Once again they are disappointed: any system would be paralysed by the massive, open-ended calculations required – assuming we could even agree how to measure happiness and suffering. Wallach and Allen ruefully conclude that “with respect to computability ... the moral principles proposed by philosophers leave much to be desired”. The best we can do for now, they believe, is try to make sure that any super-tough, gun-toting androids are at least basically friendly.

Singer agrees: one solution, he suggests, would be to allow robots autonomous use of only non-lethal weapons. There are plenty on offer, ranging from incapacitating goo-guns, which immobilise targets, to microwave pain-rays. The robots could also be armed with more destructive weapons but for use only against the enemy’s hardware, not the people, he argues. Only with the authorisation of a flesh-and-blood – and legally accountable – soldier could lethal force be directed against a human.

These are excellent suggestions. But, with robot planes already dropping bombs on built-up areas, this would require a big shift from present-day practice. Current leaders in the field of high-tech weaponry, such as the US, may be reluctant to tie their hands with such restrictions.

But the world’s only superpower should realise that it might not lead for long. China produces three times as many engineering graduates a year as the US. And so-called “first movers” in new technologies pay heavily for initial development – those who come later can piggy-back on their research and learn from their mistakes. Also, many military robot systems are based on commercially available models – the Marcbot, for example, a small reconnaissance robot used widely by the US in Iraq, was developed from a popular remote-controlled toy car. If terrorists want to build their own droid army, they can order the parts from the internet. Regulating the robots therefore, is in the interests of the west as much as the rest of the world.

We have an ignoble history of deploying destructive new technologies before considering the consequences. Frankenstein visions of mechanical killers hunting down the last survivors of the human race are not entirely mad. But the robotics revolution is only just beginning: if we act now to update the laws of war, we can still avoid the worst-case scenarios. And, who knows, we might even dream of a day when wars will be fought entirely by machines – and the killing of a single human being would constitute a war crime.



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Offline Letsbereal

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Science briefing: Wired up for micro-power
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2009, 06:57:43 PM »
Science briefing: Wired up for micro-power
26 March 2009,
By Alan Cane
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cdabdde4-1a1f-11de-9f91-0000779fd2ac.html

A microscopic technology capable of generating electricity from human movement such as walking, waving or even blood flowing has been developed by researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Reminiscent in some ways of UK inventor Trevor Baylis’ electricity-generating shoes (abandoned after terrorists used footwear to conceal explosives), the technology – described as a nanogenerator – depends on the special properties of tiny zinc oxide wires.

When subjected to mechanical stress, these wires, only one five thousandth the width of a human hair, generate an electric current.

According to Zhong Lin Wang, lead researcher, the device could be used to charge gadgets such as iPods and BlackBerrys as well as having a impact on defence technology, environmental monitoring and biomedical sciences. “This technology can be used to generate energy under any circumstances as long as there is movement,” he said.

The nanogenerator would be useful to troops far from energy sources in the field but having to use sensors or communication devices, he said.

The zinc oxide wires could be “grown” on a variety of surfaces including metals, ceramics, polymers, clothing and even tent material, where the wind could create enough movement for power generation.


Mussel poison fished out

Anyone falling ill after eating mussels – thankfully, a comparatively rare occurrence – can now blame a tiny marine alga called Azadinium spinosum.

The role of the alga in cases of shellfish poisoning has been uncovered by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany, who report their findings in the European Journal of Phycology.

The poison that Azadinium produces – azaspiracid – can cause diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and neurotoxicological effects including paralysis and death.

The identification of the culprit should form the basis of an early warning system for mussel farms. The researchers managed to grow the previously unknown alga in culture and identify it as the producer of azaspiracid, one of a group of so-called algal toxins.

Mussels and other shellfish filter large volumes of these micro-organisms from seawater and the toxins are retained and concentrated in their flesh. Now the researchers are working to establish why the alga produces this poison and its environmental significance.


Wound healing uncovered

The mysteries of wound healing have been further clarified by research that has also found an unlikely link between diabetes and eczema. The work may lead to ways to improve wound healing in diabetics.

Carried out by scientists at the University of California, San Diego, and reported in Nature magazine, the research identifies a protein called caspase 8 that is critical to wound healing – at least, in laboratory mice. This protein is produced overabundantly in diabetics – who typically lack a normal wound response and suffer complications from minor cuts and grazes. But it is deficient in people suffering from eczema whose skin, chronically inflamed, cannot carry out its normal protective function.

The San Diego scientists think that after damage to the skin, loss of caspase 8 from surface cells releases a second protein, interleukin 1-alpha, capable of travelling deep into the skin to stimulate stem cells to produce skin cells to fill and eventually heal the wound.

Cokin Jamora, who led the research, said he hoped it would contribute to alleviating the pain and suffering of millions of people with eczema and diabetes.
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Offline Letsbereal

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Japon Çocuk Robot CB2
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009, 05:27:59 PM »
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Offline Letsbereal

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    * Robot Suit HAL" is a cyborg-type robot that can expand and improve physical capability.


    * When a person attempts to move, nerve signals are sent from the brain to the muscles via motoneuron, moving the musculoskeletal system as a consequence. At this moment, very weak biosignals can be detected on the surface of the skin. "HAL" catches these signals through a sensor attached on the skin of the wearer. Based on the signals obtained, the power unit is controlled to move the joint unitedly with the wearer's muscle movement, enabling to support the wearer's daily activities. This is what we call a 'voluntary control system' that provides movement interpreting the wearer's intention from the biosignals in advance of the actual movement. Not only a 'voluntary control system' "HAL" has, but also a 'robotic autonomous control system' that provides human-like movement based on a robotic system which integrally work together with the 'autonomous control system'. "HAL" is the world's first cyborg-type robot controlled by this unique Hybrid System.
    * "HAL" is expected to be applied in various fields such as rehabilitation support and physical training support in medical field, ADL support for disabled people, heavy labour support at factories, and rescue support at disaster sites, as well as in the entertainment field.

HAL-5 Type-B Speficications

Size
wearable robot
Height 1,600mm

Weight
Full Body Type approx. 23kg
(Lower body approx. 15kg)

Power
Battery Drive
Charged battery( AC100V)

Continuous operating time
Approximately 2 hours 40 minutes

Motions
Daily Activities( standing up from a chair, walking, climbing up and down stairs)
Hold and lift heavy objects
and more...

Operation
Hybrid Control System

Working Environment
Indoor and outdoor
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Offline Libertarian Perspective

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This technology could be use in a good way to enable people with disabilities to get back long lost movement and to make a lot of robot factories therefore making human slave wages in third world nations obsolete, but who are we kidding? They will only use this technology to build he meanest baddest robot who is going to bust your home when you get accused of being a "homegrowner".
“Good luck to him. I don’t blame him at all, but I just
wish he had not hit me so hard. I know he had to protect
his property, and I probably would have done the
same thing in his position. This has certainly stopped
me committing any more crime.” - British burglar elaborating robbery

zafada

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Yup.

There's another thread about this also.  The Japanese plan on only selling the finished suits to handicapped civilians.

It's hard to believe they're a Buddhist country when you look at the weird ass, f**ked up porn these people have.  I wouldn't know, but I heard lots of things ;)

Anyway, back to the suits.  These suits are not hard to make at all.  The only thing I don't understand about them is what kind of sensor they use to pick up the electrical impulses from the muscles.

There's another which I assume is the one above that operates by tension.  When it feels pressure on the joints it moves.  When it doesn't feel pressure, it doesn't move.

Believe it or not...the model I'm speaking of is the one that the military tested.  It looks closer to the terminator than the haloesque Japanese version up top.

Offline Letsbereal

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Army Tests Flying Robo-Sniper
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2009, 06:13:56 PM »
Army Tests Flying Robo-Sniper
21 April 2009
, by David Hambling (Wired)
http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/04/army-tests-new.html

Stopping the pirates of Somalia hasn't been easy. But when the navies of the world have repelled or killed the hijackers, it's often involved three elements: helicopters, drones and trained snipers. The U.S. Army is working on a weapon which combines all three.

It's called the Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System. It mounts a powerful rifle onto highly stabilized turret, and fixes the package on board a Vigilante unmanned helicopter. I describe the system in this month's Popular Mechanics.

The system is intended for the urban battlefield — an eye in the sky that can stare down concrete canyons, and blink out targets with extreme precision. Attempting to return fire against the ARSS is liable to be a near-suicidal act: ARSS is described as being able to fire seven to 10 aimed shots per minute, and it's unlikely to miss.

Recent events off Somalia, however, may have suggested other uses for this technology. Last week's standoff between pirates and the U.S. Navy in the Indian Ocean ended famously with three sniper shots, as a drone watched overhead. In 2008, French special forces captured six pirates on land after ransom had been paid. "There were four helicopters involved," The Independent reported at the time. "A sniper [in a Puma helicopter] shot out the motor of the pirates' four-wheel drive vehicle. A second helicopter [a Gazelle] then landed nearby, allowing the six pirates to be arrested" — without any casualties.

The U.S. Coast Guard's Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) uses helicopter-borne snipers to take out drug-running boats. They are accurate enough to knock out engines without harming the crew or damaging fuel tanks. "The driver just threw his hands up," concludes the description of one such action in Men's Vogue, after all three engines were disabled with three shots.

And because the Vigilante is smaller, lighter and cheaper than a manned combat helicopter, it can be supplied in greater numbers, and without the need for those elite, highly-trained snipers.

Sniping from a chopper currently takes tons of skill and training. But ARSS is literally point-and-shoot for the operator on the ground, using a videogame-type controller. The software makes all the necessary corrections, and the system should ensure first-round kills at several hundred yards. The secret is in the control system and stabilized turret (on the right in the picture above), which is currently fitted with a powerful RND Manufacturing Edge 2000 rifle specifically designed for sniping work, using the heavyweight .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge.

The stabilized turret could be fitted to a variety of other vehicles — including a a small blimp, or a fixed-wing unmanned plane, like the Predator. Compared to the Predator's array of Hellfire missiles, the ARSS' lone gun would be much less likely to hit civilians. It would also give a far deeper magazine: dozens of shots instead of a handful of missiles, and at a cost of around $4 per trigger pull rather than about $100,000 for a Hellfire. But the turret doesn't need such a big craft to carry it, as the complete turret assembly weighs less than a single Hellfire.

The name needs changing. But the Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System looks like it may have a big future — maybe on land, or maybe at sea.
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Size10

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Lockheed Martin and Harris to Develop Full-Motion Video Intelligence Tools
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2009, 12:23:39 AM »
HERNDON, Va. and DENVER, April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS) have signed a collaboration agreement to develop next-generation technologies for managing and analyzing full-motion video intelligence. The two companies will use their collective expertise and resources to create new video analysis solutions for defense, intelligence and commercial customers.

"Full-motion video has exceptional potential for intelligence collection and analysis," said Jim Kohlhaas, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of Spatial Solutions. "Thousands of platforms are collecting important video intelligence every day. The challenge is to collect and catalogue that huge volume of footage, and give analysts the tools they need to find, interpret and share the critical intelligence that can be gleaned from that mountain of data. We’re very pleased to be working with Harris on this important initiative."

"Harris is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and developers of commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software for the broadcast industry," said Tim Thorsteinson, president of Harris Broadcast Communications. "With decades of experience providing world-class solutions that continuously exceed the exacting demands of broadcasters worldwide, Harris is uniquely qualified to apply broadcast technology to the challenges facing the defense and intelligence markets. Leveraging Harris’s commercial broadcast technologies and expertise with Lockheed Martin’s strong base of government customers provides an excellent basis to understand and solve video analysis problems."

Lockheed Martin and Harris will pursue full-motion video technology opportunities in the U.S. and international defense and intelligence markets. The companies will also embark on joint research and development into new video technologies, focusing on automation and advanced applications for performing in-depth analysis, both in real-time and on archival footage. The companies will also work on new solutions for cataloguing, storing and securely sharing video intelligence across organizational and geographic boundaries to include bandwidth constrained users.

Both companies have extensive experience in video exploitation and management. In 2007 Harris released its Full-Motion Video Asset Management Engine, or FAME(TM), which integrates video, chat, and audio directly into the video stream. It also integrates a powerful processing and storage engine into a single digital architecture that provides the infrastructure for changing the way video is ingested and streamed to the user community. Lockheed Martin recently debuted Audacity(TM), a video analytics engine that tags, sorts and catalogues digital footage. Audacity includes integrated intelligence tools such as video mosaic creation, facial recognition, object tracking and smart auto-alerts based around geospatial areas of interest.

Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has annual revenue of $5.4 billion and 16,000 employees -- including nearly 7,000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications(R); products, systems, and services. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at www.harris.com.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/200904201540PR_NEWS_USPR_____PH01790.htm

Offline Letsbereal

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Killer robots and a revolution in warfare: Bernd Debusmann
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2009, 02:38:26 AM »
COLUMN-Killer robots and a revolution in warfare: Bernd Debusmann
22 April 2009
, by columnist Bernd Debusmann, Washington (Reuters)
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LM674603.htm

WASHINGTON, April 22 (Reuters) - They have no fear, they never tire, they are not upset when the soldier next to them gets blown to pieces. Their morale doesn't suffer by having to do, again and again, the jobs known in the military as the Three Ds - dull, dirty and dangerous.

They are military robots and their rapidly increasing numbers and growing sophistication may herald the end of thousands of years of human monopoly on fighting war. "Science fiction is moving to the battlefield. The future is upon us," as Brookings scholar Peter Singer put it to a conference of experts at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania this month.

Singer just published Wired For War - the Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, a book that traces the rise of the machines and predicts that in future wars they will not only play greater roles in executing missions but also in planning them.

Numbers reflect the explosive growth of robotic systems. The U.S. forces that stormed into Iraq in 2003 had no robots on the ground. There were none in Afghanistan either. Now those two wars are fought with the help of an estimated 12,000 ground-based robots and 7,000 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the technical term for drone, or robotic aircraft.

Ground-based robots in Iraq have saved hundreds of lives in Iraq, defusing improvised explosive devices, which account for more than 40 percent of U.S. casualties. The first armed robot was deployed in Iraq in 2007 and it is as lethal as its acronym is long: Special Weapons Observation Remote Reconnaissance Direct Action System (SWORDS). Its mounted M249 machinegun can hit a target more than 3,000 feet away with pin-point precision.

From the air, the best-known UAV, the Predator, has killed dozens of insurgent leaders - as well as scores of civilians whose death has prompted protests both from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Predators are flown by operators sitting in front of television monitors in cubicles at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, 8,000 miles from Afghanistan and Taliban sanctuaries on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan. The cubicle pilots in Nevada run no physical risks whatever, a novelty for men engaged in war.


TECHNOLOGY RUNS AHEAD OF ETHICS

Reducing risk, and casualties, is at the heart of the drive for more and better robots. Ultimately, that means "fully autonomous engagement without human intervention," according to an Army communication to robot designers. In other words, computer programs, not a remote human operator, would decide when to open fire. What worries some experts is that technology is running ahead of deliberations of ethical and legal questions.

Robotics research and development in the U.S. received a big push from Congress in 2001, when it set two ambitious goals: by 2010, a third of the country's long-range attack aircraft should be unmanned; and by 2015 one third of America's ground combat vehicles. Neither goal is likely to be met but the deadline pushed non-technological considerations to the sidelines.

A recent study prepared for the Office of Naval Research by a team from the California Polytechnic State University said that robot ethics had not received the attention it deserved because of a "rush to market" mentality and the "common misconception" that robots will do only what they have been programmed to do.

"Unfortunately, such a belief is sorely outdated, harking back to the time when computers were simpler and their programs could be written and understood by a single person," the study says. "Now programs with millions of lines of code are written by teams of programmers, none of whom knows the entire program; hence, no individual can predict the effect of a given command with absolute certainty since portions of programs may interact in unexpected, untested ways."

That's what might have happened during an exercise in South Africa in 2007, when a robot anti-aircraft gun sprayed hundreds of rounds of cannon shell around its position, killing nine soldiers and injuring 14.

Beyond isolated accidents, there are deeper problems that have yet to be solved. How do you get a robot to tell an insurgent from an innocent? Can you program the Laws of War and the Rules of Engagement into a robot? Can you imbue a robot with his country's culture? If something goes wrong, resulting in the death of civilians, who will be held responsible?

The robot's manufacturer? The designers? Software programmers? The commanding officer in whose unit the robot operates? Or the U.S. president who in some cases authorises attacks? (Barack Obama has given the green light to a string of Predator strikes into Pakistan).

While the United States has deployed more military robots - on land, in the air and at sea - than any other country, it is not alone in building them. More than 40 countries, including potential adversaries such as China, are working on robotics technology. Which leaves one to wonder how the ability to send large numbers of robots, and fewer soldiers, to war will affect political decisions on force versus diplomacy.

You need to be an optimist to think that political leaders will opt for negotiation over war once combat casualties come home not in flag-decked coffins but in packing crates destined for the robot repair shop.


(Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. You can contact the author at Debusmann@Reuters.com)
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lovealexjones

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Boston Dynamics Big Dog
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2009, 08:53:38 AM »

Offline Monkeypox

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Re: Boston Dynamics Big Dog
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2009, 08:27:10 PM »
The noise it makes will irritate the enemy to death.

 ;D
War Is Peace - Freedom Is Slavery - Ignorance Is Strength


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lovealexjones

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Re: Boston Dynamics Big Dog
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2009, 08:28:26 PM »
That's right!

xfahctor

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Re: Boston Dynamics Big Dog
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2009, 08:31:27 PM »
 I still say the best way to deal with this thing is a good treesnare, it'll render it hanging completely useless.

Offline Monkeypox

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Re: Boston Dynamics Big Dog
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2009, 10:46:19 PM »
I still say the best way to deal with this thing is a good treesnare, it'll render it hanging completely useless.

"The Empire Strikes Back"  showed us what to do.

 ;D
War Is Peace - Freedom Is Slavery - Ignorance Is Strength


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Offline Letsbereal

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Battlefields: Robots That Kill For America
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2009, 09:17:41 PM »
Battlefields: Robots That Kill For America
14 May 2009
, by Quentin Hardy (Forbes)
http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/14/robots-war-military-technology-personal-tech-robots_print.html

We are surrounded by robots, from automated dogs and vacuum cleaners at home to assistants in operating rooms and on the factory floor. The most influential (and the greatest number) of these robots, however, are in a place few Americans see: the battlefield. More than anything, robots are changing the way war works.

On Saturday, thousands of Americans will go on U.S. military bases to commemorate Armed Forces Day, designated to honor current American servicemen and show off some of our state of the art weaponry. As never before, people may see flying drones, observation craft, bomb disposers, automated machine guns, independently operating submarines, even (if they see experimental devices) war bots that bounce, crawl or burrow. Some deliver sensory data to soldiers, while others carry out instructions to kill.

Robotics in war is the most important change in major human activity dating back at least 5,000 years, according to P.W. Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank and the author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century.

In Pictures: 10 Cool And Scary Robots Of War

"Every mission [that] soldiers go out on in Iraq, there's something (automated) flying over them, maybe an unmanned vehicle scouting ahead of them," Singer says. "When they shoot, the key is what they put their laser on for a drone to fire at. ... The story of the surge is not the additional troops, it's the air strikes (by machines like Predator drones) going up by a huge amount."

The numbers illustrate this: With the U.S. military budget likely to fall, spending on robotic systems is steadily rising, even as--thanks to Moore's Law and plain old engineering--the machines are getting cheaper. In 2003, there were barely any ground-based robots in Iraq, the kind of small, treaded vehicles used to look for insurgents and disarm explosives. Today there are over 12,000.

War in the field is still highly dangerous, of course, but even when soldiers are wounded they may have a close encounter with a machine, in the form of bionic limbs that may even allow them to return to combat. Thanks to robots, however, fewer soldiers face those hazards. The predator drones used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are "flown" by remote control from safe military bases in the U.S.

In their early stages, robots seem like a great addition to the U.S. arsenal, but problems likely will arise as the systems grow more complex. Nor is this strictly a U.S. phenomenon, Singer notes, or even one that limits war to its traditional nation-state owners. "Forty-three other countries besides the U.S. build military robots," he says. "A few weeks ago we shot down an Iranian drone over Iraq." Hezbollah used four drones to attack Israel in its recent conflict and used others as observation craft before that conflict started, Singer says.

Individuals may be next. "I talked to a researcher who told me that for $50,000 worth of robots he could shut down New York for a day. It was pretty convincing. Warfare will go open source."

Even more, it may be harder than ever to say when and where wars begin and end, given the low cost of leaving sensors and material in the field (or protecting New York), in a kind of perpetual deployment that is impossible with people.

Much remains to be worked out, including perhaps the greatest piece of the puzzle: what robots everywhere will mean for war itself. Historically, victory has meant a superiority of economy, tactics, courage or other elements that defined the winning nation's identity. Germany fell decisively in WWII because fascism was seen as hollow.

"With machines, it will be less and less about why we go--they don't need motivation psychology, the shifts that turned many great battles," says Singer. "War meant committing to an act of violence that could put your nation's survival at stake. It may not mean that now."

In Pictures: 10 Cool And Scary Robots Of War

See Also:

Household Robots:
http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/24/robots-home-consumers-tech-personal-cx_cm_ag_1024robots.html

Dear Diary, I Love My Robot
http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/05/14/dear-diary-i-love-my-robot/

In Pictures: Making A Robot:
http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/12/robots-dean-kamen-technology-breathroughs-robots_slide_2.html?thisspeed=25000

Real World Robots:
http://video.forbes.com/fvn/boost/mf_byb121608

Fema's new toy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0aa8__GZNQ
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Offline ChristSavage

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Pentagon Plans New Cyberspace War Command: Report
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2009, 01:16:54 AM »
Pentagon Plans New Cyberspace War Command: Report

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090529/pl_nm/us_security_cyberspace

5 mins ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace, stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare, the New York Times said on Friday.

The military command will complement a civilian effort President Barack Obama plans to announce on Friday that will overhaul the way the United States safeguards its computer networks, the newspaper said on its website.

Citing Obama administration sources, the Times said the president will detail on Friday the creation of a White House office that will coordinate a multi-billion-dollar effort to restrict access to government computers, protect systems that run U.S. stock exchanges, clear global banking transactions and manage the air traffic control system.

The Times said the civilian office would be responsible for coordinating private sector and government defenses against thousands of cyber-attacks mounted every day against the United States, largely by hackers but sometimes by foreign governments.

Administration sources said the president would not discuss the Pentagon plan on Friday. But Obama is expected to sign a classified order in the coming weeks that will create the military cyber-command.

The need for improved U.S. cyber-security was driven home in April when the Wall Street Journal reported that cyber-spies had penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system.

The Times said the United States already has a growing number of computer weapons in its arsenal and must prepare strategies for their use as a deterrent or alongside conventional weapons in a wide variety of possible future conflicts.

Reuters has reported that companies in the cyber-security market range from security-software makers Symantec Corp and McAfee Inc, to traditional defense contractors such as Northrop Grumman Corp and Lockheed Martin Corp, to information technology companies such as CACI International.

The Pentagon had been working on a cyberspace strategy for several months. It was completed weeks ago, but was delayed because of ongoing arguments over the authority of the White House office and budgets for the entire effort, the report said.

(Reporting by World Desk Americas; Editing by Valerie Lee)


Offline Letsbereal

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US University Shows Radio-controlled Live Beetle
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2009, 09:29:25 AM »
US University Shows Radio-controlled Live Beetle
28 Jan 2009
, by Tsuneyuki Miyake (Nikkei Microdevices del.icio.us)
http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20090128/164717/



The flight experiment

The University of California, Berkeley succeeded in the experiment of controlling a live rhinoceros beetle by radio and disclosed the video of the experiment at the MEMS 2009 academic conference taking place in Sorrento, Italy.

Researchers at the university controlled the movement of beetle wings and some other parts using radio signals sent to the six electrodes on its brain and muscles. They equipped the beetle with a module incorporating a circuit to send signals to the electrodes, wireless circuit, microcontroller and battery. The university has so far succeeded in several experiments of electrically controlling insects, but it used a radio control system this time.

The researchers used rhinoceros beetles in this experiment because they can carry a weight of up to 3g. They can fly carrying the module weighing about 1.3g on their backs. And another reason is that they look cool, according to the university.

For military surveillance?

For what purpose does the university conduct such a research? Considering the fact that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the US is funding the research, it may be intended for military purposes.

Commenting on this point, the university said that the technology can be utilized for peaceful purposes as well. In fact, the radio-controlled beetle can be useful in places that are too narrow or dangerous for a human to enter and for many other purposes.

For that use, the university is planning to mount sensors including a camera on a beetle in the future. With the sensors, rhinoceros beetles will be able to work as surveillance robots in place of humans. As they can carry a weight of 3g, 1.7g of sensors, in addition to the 1.3g of the current module, can be mounted.

However, the ultimate goal of this research goes beyond just incorporating sensors. Beetles are already equipped with "sensors," such as their own eyes. In addition, they have a system to derive energy from food. So, the university is aiming to make the most of insects' own sensors while using their energy system as batteries.

Setting aside the question of whether it is morally right or wrong to use a living creature for such a purpose, we must think about the "production efficiency" to create "cyborgs" that are beneficial to mankind. Commenting on this, the university said it can produce the cyborg in a short period of time because the positions of the electrodes worn by a beetle need not be so precise.


US University Shows Radio-controlled Live Beetle http://tinyurl.com/btn77n
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Offline vCFy7W3SFb

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Exo-Skeloton Robots
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2009, 02:04:02 AM »
I can't wait to get one of those exo-skeloton robots like they had in that 'reboot' animated programme though...



http://reboot.wikia.com/wiki/Exoskeleton_Suit

I think I would donate my kidney to have one of these, full size bad-boys

Offline Letsbereal

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Sarah Connor Has Failed — the British Just Built Skynet
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2009, 11:59:27 AM »
Sarah Connor Has Failed — the British Just Built Skynet
13 June 2008
, by Ed Grabianowski (Military Tech)
http://io9.com/5016092/sarah-connor-has-failed-++-the-british-just-built-skynet

With the launch of a new communications satellite, the British military has completed a highly advanced network that will allow robotic military units to be controlled at long range. Sound vaguely familiar? They actually named the thing Skynet. When the T-1000s come knocking, keep an eye out for the "Made in UK" sticker.

Skynet 5 is the latest iteration of a global communications system deployed by the British Armed Forces. The final satellite in the system was launched this week, and will allow high-bandwidth telecommunications between British forces located anywhere in the world. In addition to voice communications, it will allow data transfer and the remote control of robot airplanes, one of which is called "The Reaper." One of the manufacturers was quoted by BBC News as saying:

Photo: So, computers can talk directly to computers

Are you terrified yet? It gets better. The system is actually privately owned and developed - the British Armed Forces are only promised a portion of the bandwidth as part of the contract. The one reassuring aspect is that the company is not called Cyberdyne.
Seriously, what the hell? Is it British humor to name something like this Skynet, or bureaucratic idiocy? Might as well get to work on the self-awareness chip and the "really angry at humans" algorithm. Image by: BBC News.


Final Skynet satellite launched
12 June 2008
, by Jonathan Amos Science reporter (BBC News)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7451867.stm

Video: The rocket carrying the Skynet satellite lifts off

An advanced satellite that will improve greatly the ability of UK military forces to communicate around the globe has been launched into space.

The Skynet 5C platform rode into orbit atop an Ariane 5 rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.

It joins the 5A and 5B satellites lofted successfully last year and which are already handling secure traffic for UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The £3.6bn Skynet project represents the UK's single biggest space venture.

Skynet 5C (Arianespace)

Photo: Skynet 5C during fuelling in Kourou's integration complex

The investment includes replacing and updating control centres, and the major antennas and terminals used by military ships, land vehicles and planes to communicate through the satellites.

The 5C spacecraft - the last in the Skynet series - left the launch pad in Kourou at 1905 local time (2205 GMT).

Skynet 5 allows the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force (RAF) to pass much more data, faster between command centres.

The bandwidth capacity easily surpasses the current satellite constellation, Skynet 4, whose spacecraft are coming to the end of their design lives.

"Skynet 5 is about two-and-a-half-times more capable than the previous system, and it also gives us the ability to use not just voice communication but also data communication," explains Patrick Wood from spacecraft manufacturer EADS Astrium.

"So, computers can talk directly to computers, as well giving us pictures and real-time video images."

See how the Skynet 5 system is being deployed: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7451867.stm#map

This extra capability can already be seen in Afghanistan, where the RAF is using a robot surveillance plane called Reaper to hunt down Taleban forces.

Although flying in the skies over Asia, Reaper is actually controlled by RAF personnel sitting in the US behind a computer screen.

Video: An exclusive look at the reaper control centre in Nevada

Commands are sent over Skynet 5's high-bandwidth connections, directing the robot's every move. This includes firing missiles at enemy targets.

The new Skynet platforms look much like any of the other modern commercial telecommunications spacecraft launched from Kourou, but the 5s incorporate technologies that are specially prepared for military use.

Four steerable antennas give them the ability to focus bandwidth onto particular locations where it is most needed - where British forces are engaged in operations.

The spacecraft have also been "hardened" to withstand any interference - attempts to disable or take control of the satellites - and any efforts to eavesdrop on their sensitive communications.

Classified receive-antenna technology enables the 5s to "go deaf" to signals that try to "jam" them whilst still continuing to listen to operational traffic.

Video: Patrick Wood explains how the UK's latest military satellite works

Security was tight in Kourou in the lead-up to 5C's launch. Sentries had been posted outside the spaceport's giant integration complex during the final phases of the launch campaign. No unofficial photography was permitted.

The new Skynet infrastructure is not owned by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) but rather by a private company called Paradigm Secure Communications.

The firm won a contract to supply satellite services to the military and has obtained City money to help fund the new-build. Its deal with the MoD runs until 2020 and guarantees UK forces a proportion of the satellites' bandwidth.

Paradigm hopes to earn money for itself by selling spare capacity to Nato countries and other "friendly" forces.
A330-200

Photo: The deal with the AirTanker consortium is one of the biggest deals of its kind

"Skynet 5C is actually our self-insurance," said Paradigm Managing Director Malcolm Peto.

"When we committed to this programme we always promised to give the MoD a certain level of capability; and space, as we all know, is a variable environment for this type of technology. So, the importance of our third satellite is that we have an in-orbit spare should anything go wrong."

Skynet 5 is the largest Private Finance Initiative (PFI) yet delivered to the MoD. The procurement model has now been copied for an even bigger project - the £13bn PFI signed with an EADS-led consortium to provide mid-air refuelling services.

This will offer brand new tankers based on the Airbus A330-200, to replace the ageing fleet of VC-10 and Tristar aircraft.

Skynet 5C was launched along with a commercial "co-passenger" - Turksat 3A, which will beam TV and other telecommunication services to Turkey, Europe and Central Asia.


Photo: Skynet 5 system (BBC)

1. Skynet 5 overhauls satellite communications for UK forces
2. The largely autonomous satellites talk to two UK ground stations
3. Skynet 5 supports high-bandwidth applications, such as UAV video
4. Antennas and terminals are upgraded to make best use of Skynet
5. New battlefield networks, such as Cormorant, feed into the system
6. System gives commanders access to more information, faster


Photo: Skynet 5 system (BBC)

1. Improved technologies, including a solar 'sail', lengthen the platforms' operational lives to at least 15 years
2. The satellites are 'hardened' against interference. A special receive antenna can resist attempts at jamming
3. Each spacecraft has four steerable antennas that can concentrate bandwidth onto particular regions
4. The system gives near-global coverage, providing 2.5 times the capacity afforded by the previous system
5. Each spacecraft is a 3x4x4.5m box and weighs just under 5 tonnes; the solar wings once unfurled measure 34m tip to tip
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Offline Letsbereal

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Upcoming Military Robot Could Feed on Dead Bodies
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2009, 02:27:54 PM »
Upcoming Military Robot Could Feed on Dead Bodies
14 July 2009
, (Fox News)
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,532492,00.html

It could be a combination of 19th-century mechanics, 21st-century technology — and a 20th-century horror movie.

A Maryland company under contract to the Pentagon is working on a steam-powered robot that would fuel itself by gobbling up whatever organic material it can find — grass, wood, old furniture, even dead bodies.

Robotic Technology Inc.'s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot — that's right, "EATR" — "can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment (and other organically-based energy sources), as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable," reads the company's Web site.

That "biomass" and "other organically-based energy sources" wouldn't necessarily be limited to plant material — animal and human corpses contain plenty of energy, and they'd be plentiful in a war zone.

EATR will be powered by the Waste Heat Engine developed by Cyclone Power Technology of Pompano Beach, Fla., which uses an "external combustion chamber" burning up fuel to heat up water in a closed loop, generating electricity.

The advantages to the military are that the robot would be extremely flexible in fuel sources and could roam on its own for months, even years, without having to be refueled or serviced.

Upon the EATR platform, the Pentagon could build all sorts of things — a transport, an ambulance, a communications center, even a mobile gunship.

In press materials, Robotic Technology presents EATR as an essentially benign artificial creature that fills its belly through "foraging," despite the obvious military purpose.

• Click here for a brief description of EATR at the Robotic Technology Web site: http://www.robotictechnologyinc.com/index.php/EATR

• Click here for a much longer overview of the project in PDF format: http://www.robotictechnologyinc.com/images/upload/file/Presentation%20EATR%20Brief%20Overview%206%20April%2009.pdf

• Click here to read about the Cyclone Waste Heat Engine: http://www.cyclonepower.com/works.html

• Click here for FOXNews.com's Patents and Innovation Center: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/innovation/


Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR) Project

We originated the concept of the EATR in 2003 and the project was sponsored as a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project by an agency of the Department of Defense..

The purpose of the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR)™ (patent pending) project is to develop and demonstrate an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling, which would otherwise preclude the ability of the robot to perform such missions. The system obtains its energy by foraging – engaging in biologically-inspired, organism-like, energy-harvesting behavior which is the equivalent of eating. It can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment (and other organically-based energy sources), as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable.

This demonstration project can lead to three potential Phase III commercialization projects: (1) the development of prototype and operational EATR™ systems for military and civil applications; (2) new civil and military applications for the autonomous intelligent control system; and (3) development of the hybrid external combustion engine system for civil and military automotive applications, whether for manned or unmanned vehicles.

Please click here for an Overview Presentation of EATR: http://www.robotictechnologyinc.com/images/upload/file/Presentation%20EATR%20Brief%20Overview%206%20April%2009.pdf

Please click here for an EATR Overview: http://www.robotictechnologyinc.com/images/upload/file/Overview%20Of%20EATR%20Project%20Brief%206%20April%2009.pdf


How It Works



The Cyclone Engine is a Rankine Cycle heat regenerative external combustion engine, otherwise known as a “Schoell Cycle” engine.   It creates mechanical energy by heating and cooling water in a closed-loop, piston-based engine system.  The process looks like this:

HEAT PROCESS
1. Fuel is atomized and injected into the patented centrifugal combustion chamber (shown as lifted off the engine block for better viewing), where a spark ignites the fuel-air mixture into a flame that spins around the heat coils. Thermocouples (not pictured) control the duration of combustion to keep the heat in the combustion chamber at a constant temperature.         

2. Water contained in the coils becomes super-heated steam (up to 1200°F)  in as little as 5 seconds from start up which is (a) piped to the cylinders, (b) where it enters through a patent-pending valve system (not pictured).  Note, valve timing mechanisms regulate how much steam enters the cylinders – the longer the cut-off the greater the torque and acceleration.

MECHANICAL PROCESS
3. Steam enters the six radial-configured cylinders under pressures up to 3200 psi to push the pistons down in sequence.  Note, no motor oil is used – water is both the working fluid and engine lubricant. Also, because of the valve design, the engine starts without the need of a starter motor.

4. The rotating action of the pistons connected through a patent-pending spider bearing (not pictured) turns the crank shaft.  Note, because the greatest amount of torque occurs at the first rotation, the shaft can be directly connected to a drive train without a transmission.

COOLING PROCESS
5. Steam escapes the cylinders through exhaust ports and (a) enters the patent-pending condensing unit where it turns back into water, and (b) collects in a sealed pan at the bottom of the condenser. Note, this is a closed-loop system – the water does not need to be replaced or topped-off.

6. Blowers spin fresh air around the condenser to speed the cooling process.

REGENERATIVE PROCESS
7. (a) Air which has been pre-heated from the condensing unit, (b) continues up to a second heat exchanger located in the exhaust port of the combustion chamber, further pre-heating the air used for combustion while also cooling the exhaust fumes (to about 320°F).

8.  A high pressure pump (not pictured) pipes water from the collecting pan to the heat coils (a) via heat exchangers surrounding each of the cylinders (only one pictured), and then (b) to the center of the coils to start the heat cycle again.

For more technical info about the Cyclone Engine, including photos and video, click here: http://www.cyclonepower.com/technical_information.html


Technical Information


Profile cross-section of the Mark V automotive engine


Bottom view of Mark V Engine detailing the pistons, spider bearing, variable speed timing, and blower.


Top view of Mark V Engine also showing valve mechanisms
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Offline Letsbereal

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Dutch Dwarf Drones sniffs out cannabis plantations
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2009, 03:59:51 PM »
Dutch Dwarf Drones sniffs out cannabis plantations
1 May 2009
, by John Sinteur (The Daily Irrelevant)
http://weblog.sinteur.com/category/nederland-is-gek



 Police in the northeastern Achterhoek region have begun using an unmanned miniature helicopter to track down the illegal cultivation of cannabis, which often takes place indoors. The so-called “canna-chopper” is fitted with cameras and a sniffer to take air samples out of ventilator shafts and chimneys. A dedicated gas analyser is able to recognise traces of weed smell in the air samples.

    Police say they are not breaking the law because the samples can be taken without entering the building. The unmanned dwarf helicopter can stay airborne for a maximum of eight hours. It was designed and built by Dutch police engineers.

This is probably confusing to all foreign readers who think cannabis is entirely legal over here. It isn’t. The Dutch have made a decision not to prosecute small time offenders. This means, a blind eye is turned to possession when the amount is very low (personal use amounts). They also grant licenses to owners of ‘coffee-shops’ to sell cannabis with some fairly tight regulations. I believe the idea behind this is that, as has been discovered in basically every other country on earth, people want to smoke a joint from time to time, and it is better they get it from a regulated (and more importantly, taxed!) business, rather than some guy on the street who will almost certainly try to push the more addictive stuff on to the customer for higher (tax free!) profits.

However, what is not tolerated, is massive scale, cannabis farming which is then sold on for huge profits (without tax being paid, are you spotting a theme here?).

Cannabis sniffer Cannachopper - weed - drugs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAlOPGd8WOE

CANNABIS SNIFFER HELICOPTER
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgCqGC6iIhc
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Offline infowarrior_039

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    • Truth Archive
Recently, on last Fridays Alex Jones show, Jason Bermas covered an update to a story first covered in January 2009. The website "Robot Living" carried the first article on the EATR Robot.

http://www.robotliving.com/2009/01/29/eatr-robot-hunts-for-food/

Quote
EATR Robot Hunts For Food

    A new robot called EATR or the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot is being developed by RTI and being funded DARPA.

    The goal of this project is to create a robot for long range missions without the need for conventional refueling.  The robot will be able to get ‘food’ on it’s own.  RTI states the robot will be able to:

    Identify suitable biomass sources of energy and distinguish those sources from unsuitable materials (e.g., wood, grass, or paper from rocks, metal, or glass)
    Spatially locate and manipulate the sources of energy (e.g., cut or shred to size, grasp, lift, and ingest); and
    Convert the biomass to sufficient electrical energy to power power the EATR subsystems .

The robot will have four main systems, with the heart of the robot being  a
biomass engine provided by Cyclone Power.

    1. Robotic mobility platform
    2. Autonomous control system/sensors
    3. Robotic arms and end effectors
    4. External combustion engine

This is the first step to robot autonomy and the inevitable robot uprising.

This article tells us that DARPA (the DoD) is funding a robot that can distinguish, cut to size, and consume organic matter. So far, it seems that this new robot can only eat plant material. Lets move on to the next part of this story.

Two days later, a Renewable Energy blog comments on this story, providing some more information:


http://mattgoesgreen.com/2009/01/new-military-eatr-robot-will-find-harvest-and-ingest-biomass-to-power-itself-welcome-to-skynet/


Quote
New military Autonomous “EATR” robot will SELECT, HARVEST and EAT biological material to power itself. Welcome to Skynet.

Companies developing biomass robot engine
By Anna Austin



Robotic Technologies Inc. has contracted with Cyclone Power
Technologies Inc. to develop a biomass engine system to power the
company’s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot—a vehicle which will
be capable of self-obtaining and ingesting biomass to produce energy to
power itself.


The project is funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a U.S. Department of Defense research organization.

RTI President Robert Finkelstein describes the patent-pending
system as a biologically-inspired, organism-like robotic vehicle which
finds and processes biomass in a manner similar to eating. Therefore,
it will not need conventional refueling, but is capable of running on
convention fuels when needed.

The contract with Cyclone will consist of two phases. In the first
phase, within six months Cyclone will build and deliver an engine
containing a biomass combustion chamber for demonstration purposes. In
phase two, the company will build and deliver the biomass trimmer,
gatherer and feeder system to work with its engine power source.

Through the duration of the project, the EATR will be tested to
demonstrate its ability to identify suitable biomass sources of
energy—such as wood, grass or paper—and distinguish them from
unsuitable materials such as rocks, metal or glass. Its ability to
spatially locate and manipulate sources of energy—cutting, shredding to
size, grasping, lifting and ingesting—will also be tested, as well as
its ability to convert the biomass to sufficient electrical energy.

The EATR will contain an autonomous intelligent control system with
sensors allowing the vehicle to find and recognize energy sources,
manipulate the material with robotic arms which contain and gripper and
a shredder, and divert the biomass into the combustion chamber. The
robot may generate 1 kilowatt hour of electricity for every three to 12
pounds of dry vegetation, which translates to two to eight miles of
driving or more than 80 hours of standby. According to Finkelstein, 150
pounds of vegetation could provide sufficient energy for 100 miles of
driving.


The electricity produced will provide an electric current to a
battery pack, which will power the sensors, processors and controls, as
well as the robotic arm.

“Our contract with DARPA requires an initial demonstration by April
2010,” Finkelstein said. “We expect to have a prototype autonomous
intelligent EATR vehicle by April 2011. An operational system could be
available by 2012
-2013.”

Finkelstein said that in addition to military missions, the EATR
may be applicable to civil applications, such as agricultural vehicles
(robotic or manned) that could use the biomass waste gleaned from the
fields as a source of energy, as well as forestry and homeland security
applications.


BRIEF PROJECT OVERVIEW EATR: ENERGETICALLY AUTONOMOUS TACTICAL ROBOT DARPA Contract W31P4Q-08-C-0292 PURPOSE

The purpose of the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR) ™ project is to develop and demonstrate an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling, which would otherwise preclude the ability of the robot to perform such missions.

The system obtains its energy by foraging – engaging in biologically-inspired, organism-like, energy-harvesting behavior which is the equivalent of eating. It can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment (and other organically-based energy sources), as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable. For example, about 150 lbs of vegetation could provide sufficient energy for 100 miles of driving, depending on circumstances.

The EATR ™ system consists of four main subsystems:

(1) an autonomous intelligent control system and sensors;

(2) a manipulator system consisting of a robotic arm and end effectors;

(3) a hybrid engine system consisting of a biomass combustion chamber, a Stirling (i.e., external combustion) engine, and a multi-cell rechargeable battery; and

(4) a platform system consisting of a robotically-modified High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). The initial proof-of-concept demonstration, a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), will focus on the ability of the EATR to recognize biomass sources of energy from non-energy materials, properly manipulate and ingest the biomass materials into the engine system, and generate electrical power to operate the various subsystems.


This demonstration project can lead to three potential Phase III commercialization projects:

(1) the development of prototype and operational EATR™ systems for military and civil applications;

(2) new civil and military applications for the 4D/RCS autonomous intelligent control system for robotic vehicles and ubiquitous intelligence; and

(3) development of the Stirling engine system for civil and military automotive applications, whether for manned or unmanned vehicles.

BACKGROUND

Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) are being developed to perform long-range, long-endurance missions (such as DARPA’s Vulture Program to develop a UAV capable of remaining on-station uninterrupted for over five years to perform intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and communication missions over an area of interest). Likewise, there is a need for Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to perform long-range, long-endurance missions without manual or conventional refueling (however, unlike for UAVs, solar energy alone is insufficient for most UGV energy requirements). A robotic vehicle’s inherent advantage is its ability to engage in long-endurance, tedious, and hazardous tasks, such as Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) under difficult conditions, without fatigue or stress.

This advantage can be severely reduced by the need for the robotic platform to replenish its fuel supply. Example long-range, long-endurance missions for robotic ground vehicles include: RSTA missions in the mountains and caves of Afghanistan and Pakistan; search missions for nuclear facilities and underground bunkers in rogue nations; special operations and counter-insurgency; patrolling remote borders; homeland security; serving as nodes in distributed and remote command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) networks; and serving as remote, mobile sensor and target tracking platforms in ballistic missile defense systems. Either strategically or tactically, long-range, long-endurance UGVs can work cooperatively with – and complement – long-range, long-endurance UAVs, such as the DARPA Vulture project to develop a heavier-than-air craft that can keep a 1,000-pound payload aloft for five years.

TECHNICAL OBJECTIVES
The initial objective is to develop and demonstrate a proof-of-concept system. Demonstration of a full operational prototype is the objective for a Phase III commercialization project. The project will demonstrate the ability of the EATR™ to:

(1) identify suitable biomass sources of energy and distinguish those sources from unsuitable materials (e.g., wood, grass, or paper from rocks, metal, or glass);

(2) spatially locate and manipulate the sources of energy (e.g., cut or shred to size, grasp, lift, and ingest); and

(3) convert the biomass to sufficient electrical energy to power the EATR™ subsystems. The EATR™ system has four major subsystems: a robotic mobility platform subsystem; an autonomous, intelligent control and sensor subsystem; a robotic arm and end effectors subsystem; and a hybrid external combustion (Stirling-cycle) engine subsystem. Robotic Mobility Platform The autonomous robotic mobility platform may consist of any suitable automotive vehicle, such as a robotically-modified High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), or a purely robotic vehicle. The platform provides mobility for the mission and mission payload, and, for our proof-of-concept purposes, accommodation for the EATR™ subsystems.

The robotic mobility platform is not the focus of this project, nor is it essential for the EATR™ proof-of-concept demonstration. However, it will be included to provide a more realistic system context than a laboratory “breadboard” type demonstration of the EATR™ subsystems. The vehicle may, in fact, be either an autonomous or telerobotic HMMWV, although its movement (including cross-country path planning and obstacle avoidance) will be an optional part of the proof-of-concept demonstration.

The subsystems, for example, might be mounted on a trailer attached to the vehicle. Autonomous Intelligent Control The autonomous intelligent control subsystem will consist of the 4D/RCS (three dimensions of space, one dimension of time, Real-time Control System) architecture, with new software modules which we will create for the EATR™. The 4D/RCS has been under development by the Intelligent Systems Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, for more than three decades with an investment exceeding $125 million. The NIST 4D/RCS has been demonstrated successfully in various autonomous intelligent vehicles, and a variation of the 4D/RCS serves as the Autonomous Navigation System (ANS) mandated for all robotic vehicles in the Army’s Future Combat System (an additional investment of $250 million). NIST is providing assistance in transferring the 4D/RCS technology for the EATR™.

The control subsystem will also include the sensors needed for the demonstration (e.g., optical, ladar, infrared, and acoustic). While the NIST 4D/RCS architecture is capable of autonomous vehicle mobility, it will be used in this project to: control the movement and operation of the sensors, process sensor data to provide situational awareness such that the EATR™ is able to identify and locate suitable biomass for energy production; control the movement and operation of the robotic arm and end effector to manipulate the biomass and ingest it into the combustion chamber; and control the operation of the hybrid Stirling engine to provide suitable power for the required functions. The 4D/RCS is a framework in which sensors, sensor processing, databases, computer models, and machine controls may be linked and operated such that the system behaves as if it were intelligent.

It can provide a system with several types of intelligence (where intelligence is the ability to make an appropriate choice or decision):

(1) Reactive intelligence based on an autonomic sense-act modality which is the ability of the system to make an appropriate choice in response to an immediate environmental stimulus (i.e., a threat or opportunity). Example: the vehicle moves toward a vegetation sensed by optical image processing.
(2) Deliberative intelligence, which includes prediction and learning, which is based on world models, memory, planning, and task decomposition, and includes the ability to make appropriate choices for events that have not yet occurred but which are based on prior events. Example: the vehicle moves downhill in a dry area to search for wetter terrain which would increase the probability of finding biomass for energy. (3) Creative intelligence, which is based on learning and the ability to cognitively model and simulate and it is the ability to make appropriate choices about events which have not yet been experienced. Example: from a chance encounter with a dumpster, the vehicle learns that such entities are repositories of paper, cardboard, and other combustible materials, and develops tactics to exploit them as energy-rich sources of fuel. Robotic Arm and End Effector The robotic arm and end effector will be attached to the robotic mobility platform, either directly or affixed to a platform towed behind the HMMWV. It will have sufficient degrees-of-freedom, extend sufficiently from the platform, and have a sufficient payload to reach and lift appropriate materials in its vicinity. The end effector will consist of a multi-fingered (e.g., three-fingered or two-thumb, one-finger) hand with sufficient degrees-of-freedom to grasp and operate a cutting tool (e.g., a circular saw) to demonstrate an ability to prepare biomass for ingestion, and to grasp and manipulate biomass for ingestion. Hybrid External Combustion Engine The source of power for EATR™: new hybrid external combustion engine system from Cyclone Power Technology Inc. It is integrated with a biomass combustion chamber to provide heat energy for the engine (EATR can also carry supplemental fuel, such as propane). The engine will provide electric current for a rechargeable battery pack, which will power the sensors, processors and controls, and the robotic arm/end effector (a rechargeable battery pack ensures continuous energy output despite intermittent biomass energy intake). The hybrid external combustion engine is very quiet, reliable, efficient, and fuel-flexible compared with the internal combustion engine. The engine will not provide mobility power for vehicle for the proof-of-concept, but it will for the EATR prototype COMMERCIALIZATION Our vision is that this demonstration project will lead to three potential Phase III commercialization projects:

(1) the development of prototype and operational EATR™ systems for military and civil applications;

(2) new civil and military applications for the autonomous intelligent control system; and

(3) development of the Stirling engine system for civil and military automotive applications, whether for manned or unmanned vehicles.

EATR™ In Phase III, EATR™ will be commercialized for long-range, long-endurance military missions, but it also has civil applications as well – wherever vehicles must function in wilderness areas for extended periods of time, such as for forestry, exploration, natural resource monitoring, fire protection, and border patrol. Agriculture, for example, is a particularly promising application, where energy-intensive vehicles such as tractors and harvesters could glean their energy directly from waste biomass in the field. AUTONOMOUS INTELLIGENT CONTROL: 4D/RCS The Phase III commercialization of the 4D/RCS autonomous intelligent control system promises to be the most significant opportunity.

In addition to its potential for achieving a high level of performance – and ultimately cognition – in various kinds of robots, it will serve as the basis for ubiquitous intelligence: the ability to insert intelligence into entities and facilities of all kinds. With sensors and voice interaction, we will be able to converse with our walls without having lost our sanity. The 4D/RCS can serve as the basis as a decision tool for managing complex systems of systems, whether for the military (as for the Future Combat System (FCS) where it could provide an overarching decision framework for ground and air robotic and manned platforms, or civil applications such as for traffic control or management of large organizations. In a corporation, for example, historical and real-time data can flow into the system concerning sales, competition, investors, geopolitics, environmental conditions, etc. (instead of data from sensors for robotic control) and the processed data can flow through the world model and task decomposition modules to provide suggested courses of action to decision makers (or be allowed to act autonomously for some decisions).

Large interactive displays can show the system’s real-time interaction embodying the corporation’s classic SWOT analysis: Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses, and Threats. HYBRID STERLING ENGINE Unlike internal combustion engines, the Cyclone engine, which is a type of Rankine cycle steam engine, uses an external combustion chamber to heat a separate working fluid (de-ionized water) which expands to create mechanical energy by moving pistons or a turbine. Combustion is external so the engine is extremely fuel-flexible and can run on any fuel (solid, liquid, or gaseous), including: biomass, agricultural waste, coal, municipal trash, kerosene, ethanol, diesel, gasoline, heavy fuel, chicken fat, palm oil, cottonseed oil, algae oil, hydrogen, propane, etc. – individually or in combination. A 100 Hp prototype engine for vehicles has been developed.


The Cyclone engine is environmentally friendly because combustion is continuous and more easily regulated for temperature, oxidizers, and fuel amount. Lower combustion temperatures and pressures create less toxic and exotic exhaust gases. A uniquely configured combustion chamber creates a rotating flow that facilitates complete air and fuel mixing, and complete combustion, so there are virtually no emissions. Less waste heat is released (hundreds of degrees lower than internal combustion exhaust). The engine does not need: a catalytic converter, radiator, transmission, oil pump or lubricating oil (because it is water lubricated). The decreased engine size and weight provides increased efficiency and reliability.

This story elaborates on the DoD project. It outlines the goal of having working machines rolled out by 2012. (Hmmm) It also once again highlights how the machine will consume organic material. I will elaborate on the details of the EATR robot shortly, but lets continue the news trail.

On the 9th of July, "The Register". a Brittish news site reported on the EATR Robot:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/09/eatr_beta/

Quote
Robot land-steamers to consume all life on Earth as fuel
Autonom-nom-nom-nomous technology

By Lewis Page
Posted in Science, 9th July 2009 12:06 GMT

News has emerged of a milestone reached on the road towards a potentially world-changing piece of technology. We speak, of course, of US military plans to introduce roving steam-powered robots which would fuel themselves by harvesting everything alive and cramming it into their insatiable blazing furnaces.

The scheme is officially referred to as Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR™) by those behind it. It will come as no surprise to Reg readers that the funding is from DARPA, the famous Pentagon warboffinry bureau. If you're a hammer, all the problems start to look like nails: if you're DARPA, all the solutions start to look like robots.

The idea of EATR is ostensibly that military reconnaissance droids far behind enemy lines would be able to forage for fuel. Robotic Technology Inc, lead contractor on the EATR, puts it thus:

    EATR is an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance military missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling. The patent pending robotic system can find, ingest and extract energy from biomass in the environment, as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, diesel, propane and solar) when suitable.

The machine runs on a "biomass furnace" which powers a steam generator driving a "waste heat engine" from Cyclone Power Technologies. These pieces of kit will now be mated together within 90 days, according to RTI.

The robot steamers are envisaged as being equipped with powerful articulated arms in order to rip trees or bushes out of the earth and stuff them into their glowing maws. By way of a treat, it seems that the machines will also be able to loot or forage more conventional fuel supplies from the petrol tanks of cars, domestic gas cylinders and so on. Cyclone says that their engine can also run happily on old apple cores, banana peel and other kitchen garbage gleaned from bins.

Hapless drivers or householders will be in no position to object to such robotic plundering: military reconnaissance vehicles are typically heavily armed, and doubtless the EATR will be no exception. It might also be fitted with DARPA's SELF tech, enabling it to construct copies of itself and modify its own design.

Even more disturbingly, it seems clear that the EATRs could run on various other kinds of organic matter, for instance bodies. No doubt things would start small, with roving EATRs scooping roadkill, stray cats and such into their fireboxes and reaping fresh energy from their rich, blazing dripping.

From there it would be only a small step to the inevitable harvesting of every living thing on Earth. Trees, crops, garbage, cattle, the very human race itself - all would go to feed the hungry roaring furnaces and drive the clanking, puffing, smoke-belching mechanical locusts onward until the sooty corpse-pall from their engines covered the entire Earth. An Earth which would be home in time to nothing but slowly powering-down EATRs, prowling across endless ashy plains of their own droppings.

There's a more upbeat perspective from RTI here (pdf). ®

Lets see what that attached PDF has to say

http://www.cyclonepower.com/press/07-07-09.pdf

Quote

PRESS RELEASE
 
Cyclone Power Successfully Completes
First Stage of Robotic Technology Project 

 
POMPANO  BEACH,  FL,  July  7,  2009.  Cyclone  Power  Technologies  Inc.  (Pink  Sheets:  CYPW)
announced today that  it has completed the first stage of  its project with Robotic Technology  Inc.
(RTI), of Potomac, MD, to develop a beta biomass engine system used to power RTI’s Energetically
Autonomous  Tactical  Robot  (EATR™).  This  is  a  Phase  II  SBIR  project  sponsored  by  the  Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Defense Sciences Office.

 
In  this  first  stage  Cyclone  successfully  coupled  its  proprietary  steam  generator with  a  compact
biomass  furnace  to be used with  the  prototype  EATR,  and  produced  sufficient  steam  to power
Cyclone’s six-cylinder, 16HP Waste Heat Engine (WHE). With the completion of this stage, RTI has
paid Cyclone a  total of $50,000  in development  fees. Cyclone will now proceed  to attaching  the
WHE to this heat source and commence system performance testing with the goal of delivering a
complete beta system to RTI in the next 90 days.     
 
RTI’s EATR is an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance military
missions  without  the  need  for  manual  or  conventional  re-fueling.  The  patent  pending  robotic
system  can  find,  ingest  and  extract  energy  from  biomass  in  the  environment,  as  well  as  use
conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, diesel, propane and solar) when suitable.
 
“We are excited and encouraged by Cyclone’s progress,” stated Dr. Robert Finkelstein, President
of  RTI.  “Cyclone’s  technology  is  ideal  for  our  robotic  vehicle  to  perform  a wide  range  of  either
military  or  civilian  tasks.  The  potential  commercial  applications  are  enormous  for  biomass-
powered equipment and vehicles.”
 
CORPORATE PROFILE

Cyclone  Power  Technologies  is  the  developer  of  the  award-winning  Cyclone  Engine  –  an  eco-friendly  external
combustion  engine with  the  power  and  versatility  to  run  everything  from  portable  electric  generators  and  garden
equipment  to  cars,  trucks  and  locomotives.  Invented  by  company  founder  and  CEO  Harry  Schoell,  the  patented
Cyclone  Engine  is  a modern  day  steam engine,  ingeniously designed  to  achieve high  thermal  efficiencies  through  a
compact  heat-regenerative  process,  and  to  run  on  virtually  any  fuel  -  including  bio-diesels,  syngas  or  solar  - while
emitting fewer greenhouse gases and irritating pollutants into the air.  Currently in its late stages of development, the
Cyclone Engine was recognized by Popular Science Magazine as the Invention of the Year for 2008, and was presented
with  the  Society  of  Automotive  Engineers’  AEI  Tech  Award  in  2006  and  2008.    Additionally,  Cyclone was  recently
named Environmental Business of the Year by the Broward County Environmental Protection Department.  For more
information, visit www.cyclonepower.com.
 
Media Contact
Will Wellons
407-462-2718
will@wellonscommunications.com 
 
 
Company Contact:
Frankie Fruge
954-943-8721
Frankie@cyclonepower.com
 
Robotic  Technology  Incorporated  (RTI),  a Maryland,  U.S.A.  corporation  chartered  in  1985,  provides  systems  and
services  in  the  fields  of  intelligent  systems,  robotic  vehicles  (including  unmanned  ground,  air,  and  sea  vehicles),
robotics and automation, weapons systems, intelligent control systems, intelligent transportation systems, intelligent
manufacturing,  and  other  advanced  technology  for  government,  industry,  and  not-for-profit  clients.  Please  visit
www.robotictechnologyinc.com for more information.
 
Contact:
Dr. Robert Finkelstein
Robotic Technology Inc.
bobf@robotictechnologyinc.com
301-983-4194

That PDF explains the system in much the same manner as the other two articles.  Now lets catch up with this story. On the 17th, Jason Bermas covers this story on the Alex Jones Friday show. On Tuesday the 21st, London News company "The Gaurdian" posted this article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/jul/20/flesh-eating-robot-vegetarian

Quote
Flesh-eating robots turn vegetarian

It sounded like something pulled straight from a grisly scene in Terminator: an unstoppable military robot that powered itself by devouring everything in its path – including trees, grass and even, according to reports, dead bodies.

But after a string of headlines that labelled the machine a "corpse eater", the robot's creators have gone on a public relations offensive to extinguish the rumour that their invention will feed on human or animal flesh.

The machine's inventors say the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot – known as Eatr for short – does indeed power its "biomass engine" by digesting organic material, but that it is not intended to chomp its way through battlefields of fallen soldiers.

"We completely understand the public's concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission," said Harry Schoell, the chief executive of Cyclone Power Technologies, one of the companies behind the machine.

"We are focused on demonstrating that our engines can create usable, green power from plentiful, renewable plant matter. The commercial applications alone for this earth-friendly energy solution are enormous."

The publicity drive is in reaction to the buzz the project created when it emerged that it was already in the testing phase, thanks to funding from the Pentagon.

The concept was originally put forward in 2003, and has been pushed forward with money from the US military's Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), a successor to the organisation that funded early development of the internet.

US officials hope the steam-powered engine can be used by the military to create a self-sufficient robot that could survive on its own for months at a time.

The early version of Eatr runs on twigs, wood chips and other plant-based material. This is fed into an engine that burns it and uses it to create propulsion.

Another of the robot's inventors, Dr Robert Finkelstein of Robotic Technology Inc (RTI), said that Eatr had built-in systems that would help it determine whether material that it ingested was animal, vegetable or mineral.

"If it's not on the menu, it's not going to eat it," Finkelstein told Fox News.

Eatr can also use more conventional fuels, such as petrol, diesel or cooking oil, to keep going. But the group reiterated that it would be illegal to create a robot that used dead bodies for energy.

This report, however, was only the News followup to this official PDF posted on the EATR website:

http://www.robotictechnologyinc.com/index.php/EATR

pdf: http://www.robotictechnologyinc.com/images/upload/file/Cyclone%20Power%20Press%20Release%20EATR%20Rumors%20Final%2016%20July%2009.pdf

Lets see what that PDF says:

Quote

PRESS RELEASE
 
Cyclone Power Technologies Responds to 
Rumors about “Flesh Eating” Military Robot


POMPANO BEACH, FL, July 16, 2009. In response to rumors circulating the internet on sites such
as  FoxNews.com,  FastCompany.com  and  CNET  News  about  a  “flesh  eating”  robot  project, 
Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. (Pink Sheets: CYPW) and Robotic Technology Inc. (RTI) would
like to set the record straight: This robot is strictly vegetarian.   
 
On  July  7,  Cyclone  announced  that  it  had  completed  the  first  stage  of  development  for  a  beta
biomass engine system used to power RTI’s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR™),
a Phase II SBIR project sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA),
Defense  Sciences Office. RTI’s EATR  is  an  autonomous  robotic  platform  able  to  perform  long-
range, long-endurance missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling. 
 
RTI’s patent pending robotic system will be able to find, ingest and extract energy from biomass in
the environment. Despite the far-reaching reports that this includes “human bodies,” the public can
be assured that the engine Cyclone has developed to power the EATR runs on fuel no scarier than
twigs,  grass  clippings  and  wood  chips  –  small,  plant-based  items  for  which  RTI’s  robotic
technology  is designed  to  forage. Desecration of  the dead  is  a war  crime under Article 15 of  the
Geneva Conventions
, and is certainly not something sanctioned by DARPA, Cyclone or RTI.   
 
“We  completely  understand  the  public’s  concern  about  futuristic  robots  feeding  on  the  human
population, but that is not our mission,” stated Harry Schoell, Cyclone’s CEO. “We are focused on
demonstrating  that  our  engines  can  create  usable,  green  power  from  plentiful,  renewable  plant
matter. The commercial applications alone for this earth-friendly energy solution are enormous.”   
 
CORPORATE PROFILE

Cyclone  Power  Technologies  is  the  developer  of  the  award-winning  Cyclone  Engine  –  an  eco-friendly  external
combustion  engine  with  the  power  and  versatility  to  run  everything  from  portable  electric  generators  and  garden
equipment to cars, trucks and locomotives. Invented by company founder and CEO Harry Schoell, the patented Cyclone
Engine  is  a modern  day  steam  engine,  ingeniously  designed  to  achieve  high  thermal  efficiencies  through  a  compact
heat-regenerative process, and to run on virtually any fuel - including bio-diesels, syngas or solar - while emitting fewer
greenhouse gases and irritating pollutants into the air.   Currently in its late  stages of development, the Cyclone Engine
was  recognized  by  Popular  Science Magazine  as  the  Invention  of  the Year  for  2008,  and was  presented with  the
Society of Automotive Engineers’ AEI Tech Award  in 2006  and 2008.   Additionally, Cyclone was  recently  named
Environmental  Business  of  the  Year  by  the  Broward  County  Environmental  Protection  Department.    For  more
information, visit www.cyclonepower.com.
 
Robotic Technology  Incorporated  (RTI),  a Maryland, U.S.A.  corporation  chartered  in 1985, provides  systems  and
services  in  the  fields  of  intelligent  systems,  robotic  vehicles  (including  unmanned  ground,  air,  and  sea  vehicles),
robotics  and  automation,  weapons  systems,  intelligent  control  systems,  intelligent  transportation  systems,  intelligent
manufacturing,  and  other  advanced  technology  for  government,  industry,  and  not-for-profit  clients.  Please  visit
www.robotictechnologyinc.com for more information.
 
Media Contact
Will Wellons: 407-462-2718
will@wellonscommunications.com
 
Cyclone Contact:
Frankie Fruge: 954-943-8721
Frankie@cyclonepower.com
 
 
RTI Contact:
Dr. Robert Finkelstein: 301-983-4194
bobf@robotictechnologyinc.com

Now, to continue on this news story, we will have to go back up to our first story, where this comment was made on the 20th of July:

Quote
Comment by F Govers:
Monday, July 20th 2009 at 9:47 pm |

Hi! I’m one of the engineers working on EATR, and just wanted to let you know that EATR has no ability to deal with protiens – meat – at all. It can only “digest” or process plant material, and it prefers dried out leaves, twigs, and branches-in other words, dead plants. We don’t have any way to convert animal parts into energy. You can see more at my blog, http://mrrobot0.blogspot.com. We do appreciate that you found our project interesting.

Lets see what he posted on his blog

http://mrrobot0.blogspot.com/

Quote
/19/2009
The Truth about EATR

It is always gratifying when something I'm involved in gets a wide reception around the Internet. In the case of EATR (see post, below) there has been a lot of speculation and just wild rumors about what we are trying to do with the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot. For example

Bot Junkie: Robot runs on Soylent Green
The Register: Robot to consume all life on earth as fuel
DARPA Funds Flesh Eating Robot

Which stories basically took the concept of a robot that finds its own food, and then wildly speculated on what that food might be, because in the press releases we just said "biomass" without specifying what that might include.

I'm one of the principles involved in EATR, as my company is one of the commercial investors in this project.

THE TRUTH ABOUT EATR

EATR was always conceived as identifying, selecting, and consuming vegetable matter (leaves, twigs, branches, grass) as its energy source. In particular, the easiest vegetable matter to grab from the robot's perspective, is what is already lying on the ground - dead leaves, dropped branches, etc. That material is gathered up and then ground into small bits that can be easily dropped into the burner. EATR IS A VEGETARIAN.

This employee is also putting forth the official line about EATR.


Now; Lets overview the story from a logical and reasonable point of reality:

The DoD (under DARPA) is part of the MILLITARY. They are funding a robot that can convert biomass as fuel, as explained above.
Their company that they contract to build and design the robot endorses the MILLITARY and civilian uses of the EATR robot.
Then that company says its ONLY a VEGITARIAN, its for the EARTH and it is Sooooo loving. (and sooo Liberal)

Clearly this robot can cut, grind, and consume anything that is within its capabilites. Are we to REALLY believe this robot can not be programmed to ignore a set of EAT THIS and DONT EAT THIS as software limitations for MILITARY use? Im not buying it. And yes, of course anything public and civilian will use a Firmware that has a set of eating limitiations, but we know what happens then... (3 laws of Robotics and IROBOT - which, is a real company that makes robots for your house, and for the ARMY)

so this DoD MILLITARY funded robot called the EAT-eR can consume BIOMASS as it SEES FIT and it is only going to be LOVING and FOR THE EARTH !  I am not buying your LIES DARPA! And of course the DoD can hide behind these public corpartions to build and design these robots, cause theses public corporations would never do anything evil. All you employees building these robots... DO YOU REALLY THINK THE DoD COULDNT MAKE THIS THEMSELVES IF THEY WANTED TO? DO YOU REALLY THINK THE DoD DOESNT HAVE THEIR OWN EXPERTS AND GENISUES WHO COULD MODIFY THIS ROBOT AS THEY SEE FIT IN THE FUTURE.

Well. I forsee DoD EATR robots cleaning up the bodies and remains of WWIII in 2012, at this rate. 


IF THE PUBLIC HAS ANY SENSE, THEY SHOULD FORCE THE DoD TO TESTIFY UNDER LAW THAT THEY WOULD NEVER MODIFY THIS TECHNOLOGY FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSES TO BYPASS ETHICAL LIMITATIONS.

Needless to say, I am sure the Millitary Industrial Complex has technology far beyond this project, but if they dont have a robot like this, are you as the public not going to take the Millitary Industrial Complex and the DoD to task and have them testify to never commit WAR CRIMES ?!

Becasue seriously, if this technology goes unrestrained or is put in the wrong hands, we better watch out.





Offline infowarrior_039

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As Alex has said before, this also ties into The Matrix storyline and a Pentagon plan to have everyone in a tank by a certain date. if anyone can provide some good info on that, that would be great.

I actually found the article:

http://www.prisonplanet.com/jones_report_052303_matrix.html

Quote
The Matrix Reloaded: Revelation of the Method

Alex Jones May 23 2003

The first "Matrix" was obviously new age in its overall presentation: that you've got to believe in yourself and then you can change the
parameters of reality from within. And it had the overall message that there is another reality, that we are in a false reality. It covered and explained denial, how some people want to remain inside the lie and don't want to know the truth, don't want to remember the truth, want to be reinserted into the fraud at the cost of their sovereignty, their liberty, their freedom, their creativity.

And it had, of course, a lot of violence in it but it was a fight against machines so it wasn't real human beings that were dying. And there were a lot of young people who were affected by the powerful and dark overtones of the film - and were obviously already unstable. Whether it was because of government programming or the general culture and (they) went out and shot people inside of the film.

And so I was ambiguous. I am certainly a Christian and didn't follow the New Age, Hindu or Buddhist line but I was still overall not sure if the film was a production of the globalists. Well, now I am sure that The Matrix I and The Matrix II: "Matrix Reloaded," are in the most pure sense Illuminati productions.

The film begins obviously with a group of trailers and there is a wide screen shot that has been squeezed down and distorted as an authority figure-type man in black sits behind a table with flickering subliminals being splashed on the screen, talking about power-aid. This is before the film begins. And he talks down to you and says you are not even going to understand what I'm saying to you - you pathetic mindless, hive-minded units. You are units that power the Matrix. Drink your power-aid. Do as you are ordered to do.

So that's how the film begins. And then it launches into the world of the Matrix - that is the real physical world of the underground base of Zion. Yes, Zion. And you have the marauding forces that surface through the wrecked cities above and transmit the minds or the souls in a type of digital, astral projection into the machine world or the Matrix. And you are told that both of these are reality because perception is reality. And the whole film is basically Illuminati characters - dark masonic overtones with a dark occult leader. And he says that we are the occult, we're the vampires, we're the werewolves, we're the demons, telling them that ... And, of course, he called them Merovingian or the Merovingian bloodline. This is what the Satanists, based in France, believe that they are descendants of Jesus and his brothers, with Satan. This is deep occult, Illuminati stuff. And he tells them how pathetic and little they are and how they are controlled by their instincts, how he manipulates those. It's kind of like the speech you see Al Pacino give in "Devil's Advocate" and how they can't control these impulses. And how they really need the Illuminati. And he, of course, stays in a French castle.

By the way, our royal leaders just met in a French castle in the very countryside they represent in the movie. Of course, the Merovingian is French. And, again, I'm just telling you about small tidbits of this. I've got to go back and take notes, which I will do. I've never seen a more powerful, overtly soul-twisting, mind-control film.

There is lesbian and homosexual scenes in the film - mass orgies, similar to what the Greeks engaged in. There also is - everyone has chip implants and chip plug-ins - and this is a good thing. They have a little speech in there where if the machines aren't bad, we can fight them with all of this. So it is making the new fashion statement. Probably one of the strongest cultural movements we've seen in modern history is "The Matrix." The video games and the cartoons now and the bunch of spin-off cartoons for the big screen and DVD. They are conditioning the children that it's normal to have plug-ins into your mind - wireheads, as they were called decades ago. It's fashionable to have in-plant points all over your body.

Also, it gets into the Satanic view of 'Do as thou wilt.' You have people within the Matrix, different programs, fighting with each other for control and domination but at the end of it, you are face-to-face with the architect. And again, this is the masonic, 33 degree and above view that they are shaping our world and even if the Matrix is defeated, it still wins because it replicates itself. It is in time and space. It can go back in time and restart itself.

And the architect is old man Sigmund Freud, Obe Won Kenobe- archtype who sits there and tells Neo that they have allowed people to leave the Matrix. That they discovered that suppressing an exodus from the Matrix actually causes a shutdown and a degradation of the 99% that remain inside their exoluthal (sp) tanks as human batteries for the power grid. And, again, you find out that basically the computers are disembodied spirits or angels or devils and have all the same carnal desires as humans but with an added viciousness, like Greek Gods.

It is an Illuminati film through and through. They tell you we are the Illuminati, we are throwing this in your face. They look right at you on the screen and say we are taking over. There is no way to defeat us. We are going to dominate you. We are going to bring you into the evermind - the hive mind.

And it's not just Wired Magazine and Silicon Weekly and many other publications, including Salon Today, that are warning you of the takeover. Last year a new Army War College report, in 2000, came out and said within 25 years we will all be in a hive mind, that the Pentagon will oversee the insertion of the public into a control grid. That we will all be mounted in our homes, wired into a global government mind-control computer. It actually said this. The Sunday Morning Herald got the federal document. We called the head(garbled). The head scientist, a woman, said how did you learn of this, and freaked out and hung the phone up. These idiots, of course, release this stuff and don't even know what they are up to - or perhaps that was an act, we're not sure.

Three years ago in 2000, the Army War College said the army's main job will be, through peer pressure, convincing the public to take brain chips by 2024, the same year number in the new report last year. They are preparing you for your journey into the real matrix.

Now if you are shocked by this, I've been warning you long before "The Matrix" came out that this was their plan. The elite, of course, will not be implanted. And most of you are going to be killed after they release mass plagues. This is if they get you herded into the larger cities. And yesterday, I read from Wired News, out of the newest DARPA document where they say everything you do will be tracked and traced and you will be plugged into that system. I'm sure you saw all the newscasts in same exact words, in the same order, showing implantation of members of the public. I have promotionals where the family that took the chips is called "wonderous, genius, cool", "everybody wants it." "Everybody is going to get it." As the Pentagon says, they are going to use hype to drive and push this.

This is real. Truth is stranger than fiction. And to have the Illuminati shout at me for two hours was very, very painful. I was nauseated during the first 30 minutes of the film. I will have to, of course, when it's on DVD get a copy and try to free frame it. There was a continual flickering through the screen which they admit is for hypnosis. There are subliminals in the film both overtly in the tapestry in the buildings, in the background in what the people say. And, also just like with the "The Exorcist," which they now admit was written by the former deputy director of the CIA, they put flash frames, a primitive form of subliminal, in that film, which is now admitted - blood and guts and then Satan. There were other subliminals here. I'm not sure exactly what the covert sublimanals were but they were definitely there in the front of the film at higher levels and then saturated in emotional scenes when your conscious mind is diverted. In the primitive combat function, mammalian activity structure. So this is what we are facing.

I recommend that you do not see the film. I know with the reverse psychology, you will probably see it. Curiosity killed the cat. I felt like walking out of the film. It was the most gripping experience of overt mind control I have ever experienced. You can see what the new science of film is going to be.

So this is a warning to everyone. Definitely do not let your children see it. It is a preparation to go into the literal matrix being built by the Pentagon. In fact, just in case you are doubting me, let me re-read from Wired News yesterday, "A Spy Machine of DARPA's Dreams." This is not a spy machine. This is a cashless society control grid. Once you are buying and selling on the system, they will then launch attacks that are one-thousand times larger than 9/11, at least. You will then be herded into cities, tracked and traced with cameras in your homes. Your children, who have already been conditioned, the Washington Post admitted, to body modification and piercing, to condition them to accept implantation. The films that are flooding out are conditioning them as well. The children's shows in Canada, like Spy TV, and the movies here, like Spy Kids, are all part of this preparation. It will be made a status symbol to be implanted and this is what the Pentagon says.

So this is a tracking matrix grid that's being built by Sun Microsystems and Oracle and others. Oracle, got to go see the oracle. Yes, the Delphi technique.

"A Spy Machine of DARPA's Dreams - http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,58909,00.html:  "It's a memory aid! A robotic assistant! An epidemic detector! An all-seeing, ultra-intrusive spying program!"

"The Pentagon is about to embark on a stunningly ambitious research project"

Okay, DARPA had microphones in Austin by the hundreds, five years ago. They announced it after it was already in place.

"The Pentagon is about to embark on a stunningly ambitious research project designed to gather every conceivable bit of information about a person's life, index" it and "and make it searchable"

"What national security experts and civil libertarians want to know is, why would the Defense Department want to do such a thing?"

"The embryonic LifeLog program would dump everything an individual does into a giant database: every e-mail sent or received, every picture taken, every Web page surfed, every phone call made, every TV show watched, every magazine read."

"All of this -- and more -- would combine with information gleaned from a variety of sources: a GPS transmitter to keep tabs on where that person went, audio-visual sensors to capture what he or she sees or says, and biomedical monitors to keep track of the individual's health."

"This gigantic amalgamation of personal information could then be used to "trace the 'threads' of an individual's life," to see exactly how a relationship or events developed, according to a briefing from the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, LifeLog's sponsor."

That's total information awareness now changed to LifeLog. And they meant to call it LifeLog all along, my friends. They already have these systems set up. Bill Clinton gave speeches about homeland security in 1993. I've seen policy papers from twenty years ago calling it homeland security. Lifelog is a life log of everything you've done in your life, a recording of it and a digital psychological algorithm to be set up to tailor advertising the brainwashing systems.

It's very serious. This is the end of the species if Satan wins. We must resist. But just be informed that "The Matrix" is a military industrial complex production in every way and as you go deeper down the rabbit hole, each trip until you are in a brain-scrambled position, not even able to resist the New World Order. Of course, the Tavistock Institute and other mind-control facilities have published studies and we have talked about them on air, where if you terrorize a mammal for a certain period, it will become docile and accepting. And they tell you in the film and explain the matrix to you and the New World Order and the Illuminati, so you can be more accepting of it. That you need that choice. That it is something they've got to do due to the rules of God's programming that they are converting and manipulating with their counterfeits.

The oldest form of mind control is superstition. The witch doctor knew when the solar or lunar eclipse was coming and he was generally part of a hereditary guild, or kind of your first masonic lodge. And he didn't know why there was an eclipse but he knew when it was coming. And it happened so infrequently that people would forget about it. And he would use that knowledge to shock and amaze members of the tribe - and then get special favors: the best hut, the best women, the best food. And then later, you've got strong men over larger tribes that settled in agrarian societies, that is farming societies. The kings would learn how to have top witch doctors to manipulate and control the public. And
that's what you have happening.

The globalists know that you are waking up to the fact that there is a New World Order. So they are playing up the psychics and the new age and all these other religions - the establishment Christians, as well. All putting out their propaganda. All putting out their false doctrines. And when you see a society in decline, the empires always use superstition and gladiatorial diversions to divert and distract them. And that is exactly what I saw in "The Matrix." And overall, the globalists in your face submitting its revelation of the method, Illuminati terms, homosexual orgies, and much, much more. This is a corrupting film. And if you tell your kids they can't go because they are too young or the
movie is too cool for them, you ought to explain to them that it is something that can degradate them and to suck them into fad system and to control them. It is, my friends, overtly a mind control film. I can authoritatively say that to you here today. And that's all I'm going to say about it.

You see we can defeat the New World Order on the basis of the information, on the basis of hard facts with God's help and direction. If they get us off into la-la land and get us off into delusional stuff, we are never going anywhere, my friends.


Offline infowarrior_039

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This is baisically the article Alex mentioned yesterday that he said was pulled from the internet, allthough I think the one Alex was reading was from Fox News, however its essentially the same article:

On the 9th of July, "The Register". a Brittish news site reported on the EATR Robot:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/09/eatr_beta/

Quote
Robot land-steamers to consume all life on Earth as fuel
Autonom-nom-nom-nomous technology

By Lewis Page
Posted in Science, 9th July 2009 12:06 GMT

News has emerged of a milestone reached on the road towards a potentially world-changing piece of technology. We speak, of course, of US military plans to introduce roving steam-powered robots which would fuel themselves by harvesting everything alive and cramming it into their insatiable blazing furnaces.

The scheme is officially referred to as Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR™) by those behind it. It will come as no surprise to Reg readers that the funding is from DARPA, the famous Pentagon warboffinry bureau. If you're a hammer, all the problems start to look like nails: if you're DARPA, all the solutions start to look like robots.

The idea of EATR is ostensibly that military reconnaissance droids far behind enemy lines would be able to forage for fuel. Robotic Technology Inc, lead contractor on the EATR, puts it thus:

    EATR is an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance military missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling. The patent pending robotic system can find, ingest and extract energy from biomass in the environment, as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, diesel, propane and solar) when suitable.

The machine runs on a "biomass furnace" which powers a steam generator driving a "waste heat engine" from Cyclone Power Technologies. These pieces of kit will now be mated together within 90 days, according to RTI.

The robot steamers are envisaged as being equipped with powerful articulated arms in order to rip trees or bushes out of the earth and stuff them into their glowing maws. By way of a treat, it seems that the machines will also be able to loot or forage more conventional fuel supplies from the petrol tanks of cars, domestic gas cylinders and so on. Cyclone says that their engine can also run happily on old apple cores, banana peel and other kitchen garbage gleaned from bins.

Hapless drivers or householders will be in no position to object to such robotic plundering: military reconnaissance vehicles are typically heavily armed, and doubtless the EATR will be no exception. It might also be fitted with DARPA's SELF tech, enabling it to construct copies of itself and modify its own design.

Even more disturbingly, it seems clear that the EATRs could run on various other kinds of organic matter, for instance bodies. No doubt things would start small, with roving EATRs scooping roadkill, stray cats and such into their fireboxes and reaping fresh energy from their rich, blazing dripping.

From there it would be only a small step to the inevitable harvesting of every living thing on Earth. Trees, crops, garbage, cattle, the very human race itself - all would go to feed the hungry roaring furnaces and drive the clanking, puffing, smoke-belching mechanical locusts onward until the sooty corpse-pall from their engines covered the entire Earth. An Earth which would be home in time to nothing but slowly powering-down EATRs, prowling across endless ashy plains of their own droppings.

There's a more upbeat perspective from RTI here (pdf). ®

The question is, what would stop this robot from eating flesh? The only thing that would prevent this is the firmware that the robot uses. It is is physically capable of consuming ANYTHING. It cuts it up, and puts in its internal furnace engine. Do they think were stupid to tell us this machine cant handle protien? The furncace biomass converter will convert ANY matter that it can cut up.

Offline Letsbereal

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Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2009, 09:18:36 PM »
Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man
26 July 2009
, by John Markoff (The New York Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/science/26robot.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

A robot that can open doors and find electrical outlets to recharge itself. Computer viruses that no one can stop. Predator drones http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/u/unmanned_aerial_vehicles/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier , which, though still controlled remotely by humans, come close to a machine that can kill

Impressed and alarmed by advances in artificial intelligence, a group of computer scientists is debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control over computer-based systems that carry a growing share of society’s workload, from waging war to chatting with customers on the phone.

Their concern is that further advances could create profound social disruptions and even have dangerous consequences.

As examples, the scientists pointed to a number of technologies as diverse as experimental medical systems that interact with patients to simulate empathy, and computer worms and viruses that defy extermination and could thus be said to have reached a “cockroach” stage of machine intelligence.

While the computer scientists agreed that we are a long way from Hal, the computer that took over the spaceship in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” they said there was legitimate concern that technological progress would transform the work force by destroying a widening range of jobs, as well as force humans to learn to live with machines that increasingly copy human behaviors.

The researchers — leading computer scientists, artificial intelligence researchers and roboticists who met at the Asilomar Conference Grounds on Monterey Bay in California — generally discounted the possibility of highly centralized superintelligences and the idea that intelligence might spring spontaneously from the Internet. But they agreed that robots that can kill autonomously are either already here or will be soon.

They focused particular attention on the specter that criminals could exploit artificial intelligence systems as soon as they were developed. What could a criminal do with a speech synthesis system that could masquerade as a human being? What happens if artificial intelligence technology is used to mine personal information from smart phones?

The researchers also discussed possible threats to human jobs, like self-driving cars, software-based personal assistants and service robots in the home. Just last month, a service robot developed by Willow Garage in Silicon Valley proved it could navigate the real world http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/science/09robot.html?_r=1 .

A report from the conference, which took place in private on Feb. 25, is to be issued later this year http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/horvitz/AAAI_Presidential_Panel_2008-2009.htm . Some attendees discussed the meeting for the first time with other scientists this month and in interviews.

The conference was organized by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence http://www.aaai.org/AITopics/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/AITopics/Ethics , and in choosing Asilomar for the discussions, the group purposefully evoked a landmark event in the history of science. In 1975, the world’s leading biologists also met at Asilomar http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/CD/Views/Exhibit/narrative/dna.html  to discuss the new ability to reshape life by swapping genetic material among organisms. Concerned about possible biohazards and ethical questions, scientists had halted certain experiments. The conference led to guidelines for recombinant DNA research, enabling experimentation to continue.

The meeting on the future of artificial intelligence was organized by Eric Horvitz, a Microsoft researcher who is now president of the association.

Dr. Horvitz said he believed computer scientists must respond to the notions of superintelligent machines and artificial intelligence systems run amok.

The idea of an “intelligence explosion” in which smart machines would design even more intelligent machines was proposed by the mathematician I. J. Good in 1965. Later, in lectures and science fiction novels, the computer scientist Vernor Vinge popularized the notion of a moment when humans will create smarter-than-human machines, causing such rapid change that the “human era will be ended.” He called this shift the Singularity http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge/misc/singularity.html .

This vision, embraced in movies and literature, is seen as plausible and unnerving by some scientists like William Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/sun_microsystems_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org . Other technologists, notably Raymond Kurzweil, have extolled the coming of ultrasmart machines, saying they will offer huge advances in life extension and wealth creation.

“Something new has taken place in the past five to eight years,” Dr. Horvitz said. “Technologists are replacing religion, and their ideas are resonating in some ways with the same idea of the Rapture.”

The Kurzweil version of technological utopia has captured imaginations in Silicon Valley. This summer an organization called the Singularity University began offering courses to prepare a “cadre” to shape the advances and help society cope with the ramifications.

“My sense was that sooner or later we would have to make some sort of statement or assessment, given the rising voice of the technorati and people very concerned about the rise of intelligent machines,” Dr. Horvitz said.

The A.A.A.I. report will try to assess the possibility of “the loss of human control of computer-based intelligences.” It will also grapple, Dr. Horvitz said, with socioeconomic, legal and ethical issues, as well as probable changes in human-computer relationships. How would it be, for example, to relate to a machine that is as intelligent as your spouse?

Dr. Horvitz said the panel was looking for ways to guide research so that technology improved society rather than moved it toward a technological catastrophe. Some research might, for instance, be conducted in a high-security laboratory.

The meeting on artificial intelligence could be pivotal to the future of the field. Paul Berg, who was the organizer of the 1975 Asilomar meeting and received a Nobel Prize http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/nobel_prizes/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier for chemistry in 1980, said it was important for scientific communities to engage the public before alarm and opposition becomes unshakable.

“If you wait too long and the sides become entrenched like with G.M.O.,” he said, referring to genetically modified foods, “then it is very difficult. It’s too complex, and people talk right past each other.”

Tom Mitchell, a professor of artificial intelligence and machine learning at Carnegie Mellon University http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/carnegie_mellon_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org , said the February meeting had changed his thinking. “I went in very optimistic about the future of A.I. and thinking that Bill Joy and Ray Kurzweil were far off in their predictions,” he said. But, he added, “The meeting made me want to be more outspoken about these issues and in particular be outspoken about the vast amounts of data collected about our personal lives.”

Despite his concerns, Dr. Horvitz said he was hopeful that artificial intelligence research would benefit humans, and perhaps even compensate for human failings. He recently demonstrated a voice-based system http://research.microsoft.com/~horvitz/Medical_Bayesian_Kiosk.wmv  that he designed to ask patients about their symptoms and to respond with empathy. When a mother said her child was having diarrhea, the face on the screen said, “Oh no, sorry to hear that.”

A physician told him afterward that it was wonderful that the system responded to human emotion. “That’s a great idea,” Dr. Horvitz said he was told. “I have no time for that.”


Ken Conley/Willow Garage

For all aditional photos and Links: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/science/26robot.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man - The New York Times  http://tinyurl.com/n67ftl
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Offline Letsbereal

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Robot attacked Swedish factory worker
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2009, 10:56:38 PM »
Robot attacked Swedish factory worker
28 April 2009
, (The Local - Swedens News in English)
http://www.thelocal.se/19120/20090428/

A Swedish company has been fined 25,000 kronor ($3,000) after a malfunctioning robot attacked and almost killed one of its workers at a factory north of Stockholm.

Public prosecutor Leif Johansson mulled pressing charges against the firm but eventually opted to settle for a fine.

"I've never heard of a robot attacking somebody like this," he told news agency TT.

The incident took place in June 2007 at a factory in Bålsta, north of Stockholm, when the industrial worker was trying to carry out maintenance on a defective machine generally used to lift heavy rocks. Thinking he had cut off the power supply, the man approached the robot with no sense of trepidation.

But the robot suddenly came to life and grabbed a tight hold of the victim's head. The man succeeded in defending himself but not before suffering serious injuries.

"The man was very lucky. He broke four ribs and came close to losing his life," said Leif Johansson.

The matter was subject to an investigation by both the Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) and the police.

Prosecutor Johansson chastised the company for its inadequate safety procedures but he also placed part of the blame on the injured worker.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se/08 656 6518)
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Offline Letsbereal

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Expert Warns Of 'Terminator' Robot Threat
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2009, 09:35:12 PM »
Expert Warns Of 'Terminator' Robot Threat
4 August 2009
,  (SkyNews)
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/5/20090804/twl-expert-warns-of-terminator-robot-thr-3fd0ae9.html

Wars will be fought more often and civilians face extreme danger if the development of killer robots goes unchecked, a British expert has warned.

Professor Noel Sharkey said the technology to create Terminator-style machines already exists and international discussion about its military applications is desperately needed.

The University of Sheffield's professor of artificial intelligence and robotics said action must be taken to limit the development of robots that think for themselves.

"The nub of it is that robots do not have the necessary discriminatory ability. They can't distinguish between combatants and civilians," he said.

"People talk about programming the 'laws of war' into a computer to give robots a conscience, so that if the target is a civilian you don't shoot.

"But for a robot to recognise a civilian you need an exact specification, and one of the problems is there's no specific definition of a civilian.

"Soldiers have to rely on common sense."

Robot weapons, such as the Predator and Reaper drones, have already been used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The pilotless aircrafts armed with bombs and missiles are used against insurgents - but civilians are often also among those killed.

These machines are controlled by humans, but Prof Sharkey said the rapid progress of "autonomous" robots is concerning.

"The military have a strange view of artificial intelligence based on science fiction," he said.

"The next thing that's coming, and this is what really scares me, are armed autonomous robots. The robot will do the killing itself.

"This will make decision-making faster and allow one person to control many robots.

"A single soldier could initiate a large scale attack from the air and the ground."

While Prof Sharkey suggested that scenario was still a long way off, he said robot arms control was an important debate that needed attention.
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Offline Letsbereal

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First steps into the robotics boom
« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2009, 03:32:57 PM »
First steps into the robotics boom
9 August 2009
, by Robin Harding in Tokyo (The Financial Times)
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/67702488-8502-11de-9a64-00144feabdc0.html



An hour’s drive east of Tokyo, in a cavernous new building in Tsukuba Science City, a company called Cyberdyne is working on a robot called Hal.

Rest easy. Cyberdyne Systems may have been the fictional corporation responsible for the Terminator, a cyborg assassin in the film, and HAL-9000 the computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the goal of Yoshiyuki Sankai, the company’s science-fiction-loving founder, is to make robots that help people rather than exterminate them.

In its work on “assistance robots”, Cyberdyne is at the forefront of what Japan’s government hopes will be a vast new industry and a way to address health and economic issues raised by the dramatic ageing of Japan’s population.

Rather than accept economic decline or allow large-scale immigration to supplement the decreasing population, Japan imagines an army of robot workers.

The strategy is spelt out in a science and technology white paper published by the government this year.

“By 2025, over 30 per cent of Japan’s population is expected to be over 65 . . . At the same time, the number of children will continue to fall, leading to shortages in labour to care for elderly and disabled people, and an increased burden on each care worker,” the white paper says.

It concludes: “In this environment, robots that support people’s independence and cars that are easy to use . . . will be essential.”

This potential has led many of Japan’s largest companies to invest in robotics.

Toyota and Honda have well-funded programmes to build humanoid assistance robots. Trading company Sumitomo and Fuji Heavy Industries, which makes cars under the Subaru brand, are trying to sell cleaning robots.

And Panasonic is launching a robotic drug dispensary in Japan this year and sees robotics as an attractive future market.

“The development of robots as a business is going to make considerable progress,” said Fumio Ohtsubo, president of Panasonic, in a recent interview with the Financial Times.

“The characteristic precision and attention to detail of Japanese people and companies will be well suited to developing safe robots.”

Cyberdyne differs in that it is building not a free-standing robot but an exoskeleton, which attaches to and amplifies the human body.

Hal – which at Cyberdyne stands for hybrid assisted limb – is a series of white plastic plates, with a motor at each joint such as the hip and elbow, which strap on to the outside of the arms and legs to provide additional power.

“Basically, you can pick up something weighing 40kg like this,” says Mitsuhiro Sakamoto, Cyberdyne’s chief operating officer, taking his pen from the desk.

That is only the physical part of the HAL, however. “Our core technology is to detect bioelectric signals and then co-ordinate that with the movement of the suit,” Mr Sakamoto says.

Through sensors attached to the skin, Hal detects and interprets electrical signals from the brain telling the arm or leg to move, and activates the exoskeleton simultaneously.

Cyberdyne is aiming for three main areas of application, Mr Sakamoto says. First, in rehabilitation, where a Hal suit or limb can help someone who is recovering after an accident to walk.

Second, in helping those who cannot walk to do so, including the possibility of completely artificial limbs that detect weak electrical signals from elsewhere in the body.

The third application is in support for heavy work, such as moving patients between beds in a nursing home.

Mr Sakamoto showed video of elderly patients using Hal to walk – somewhat jerkily – and the FT was able to move a robot forearm by means of a sensor attached to the skin.

Hal went into commercial use last month, although the technology is still far from perfect.

The average price is Y170,000 ($1,750) a month for a five-year rental. A single limb costs Y150,000, while a full “passenger suit” is Y220,000. Hal is being used in three hospitals in Japan, Mr Sakamoto says, and Cyberdyne is working with a partner in Denmark to bring the product to Europe.

If the company turns a profit next year, as Mr Sakamoto hopes, that will have been made possible by the extensive research and development grants it receives from the Japanese government.

Four rounds of venture capital have raised Y4bn to fund commercial development. Daiwa House has been the biggest external investor.

Prof Sankai retains 90 per cent voting control, however, because of his determination to see that Hal is never used in its obvious military applications.

If Hal fulfils its promise, Japan will be a nation of pensioners in powered suits hurling boulders like snowballs. Let us hope they never hear the words of Hal in 2001, when they go to open the front door: “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”


First steps into the robotics boom: In its work on "assistance robots", Cyberdyne is at the forefront of what Ja.. http://bit.ly/T3Hfi
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Offline Letsbereal

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Robots Trained To Fire On People
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2009, 01:35:36 PM »
Robots Trained To Fire On People
By David Mantey, Editor, PD&D
http://www.pddnet.com/column-robots-trained-to-fire-on-people-081209/

It’s a Star Wars dream or nightmare depending on whom you side with. Personally, I’m going to have to side against anything proihuman annihilation. But it seems like the dark side always has the more advanced weaponry.

Among the many *calls for action by the panel of industry experts August 5 at NIWeek in Austin, TX, a few tidbits of info caught my attention and caused spastic Terminator-esque doomsday scenarios in my mind.
*calls for action http://www.pddnet.com/column-the-great-american-lie-081109/

I can’t be held responsible, the panel brought up the subject. Apparently, one question that Dr. David Barrett, director of the Senior Capstone Program in Engineering (SCOPE) at Olin College often fields, relates to human vs. droid futuristic scenarios that don’t stray far from the basic plot behind the Terminator franchise.

The subject sprang up as a result of a question from the audience that boiled down to the ethical debate in innovation. How do we know if/when we’ve gone too far? Would we know or would it be too late?

Essentially, the panelists stated that technology is a tool, and like any tool, it comes with great responsibility. Hearing the Yoda bubble to the top? Luckily, the panel brought it back down to earth by adding … but don’t be naïve.

As long as we have innovators striving towards the utopian greater good, we cannot refute the fact that others are working just as hard – if not harder – to counteract any good we try and add to this planet in our 80-odd years on board.

The crowd was coming to terms with the current cloud lurking over our sunshine and lollipop naivety when Ellen Purdy, enterprise director of joint ground robotics for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), appropriately added that the autonomous weapon is coming.

While Purdy stated that the DoD didn’t have a hand in financing or developing the project, she was aware of “robots trained [programmed] to fire on people.” Suddenly, I don’t feel nearly as qualified to battle a droid army as I did when my brothers and I pushed a battalion back into my father’s field and successfully defended the Eagle’s Nest with canes, bats and two sticks tied to the ends of a broken swing that served as a custom nunchuck.

The implications of the evil genius. I suppose that if we’re equipping kids with programming software along with their LEGO sets, it’s not too far of a reach to discuss a hobbyist who builds a robotic guard dog that snipes trespassers.

Specifics weren’t given, but the sometimes grim undeniable candor from the panel was chilling. Then again, are we not just as foolish when we turn a blind eye? When new ground in robotics, or any new technology, is broken, it’s ludicrous to sit back and say, “You know what? I have a good feeling about this vision system – I’m sure nobody would try to program it to recognize and annihilate a human.”

We have a divide when it comes to thinking whether or not we should when we’re gripped with the excitement of challenging ourselves to see whether or not we could.

When asked her opinion on the subject, Jeanne Dietsch, CEO and cofounder of MobileRobots, was concise. “Do we have anything to worry about?” The question echoed through the ballroom as we awaited her reply. She answered, “Yes.”   
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Offline Letsbereal

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US military embraces robot 'revolution'
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2009, 12:26:57 PM »
US military embraces robot 'revolution'
13 August 2009
, by Dan De Luce
http://www.physorg.com/news169378206.html



A prototype of the X-47B Navy Unmannded Combat Air System (UCAS) sits
on diplay at Naval Air Station Pax River Webster Field Annex in St. Inigoes,
Maryland, on August 10. The X-47B, made by Northrop Grumman
Corporation, is to demonstrate the first-ever carrier-based autonomous
launches and recoveries.


Robots in the sky and on the ground are transforming warfare, and the US military is rushing to recruit the new warriors that never sleep and never bleed.

The latest robotics were on display at an industry show this week at a naval airfield in Maryland, with a pilotless helicopter buzzing overhead and a "Wall-E" look-alike robot on the ground craning its neck to peer into a window.

The chopper, the MQ-8B Fire Scout, is no tentative experiment and later this year will be operating from a naval frigate, the USS McInerney, to help track drug traffickers in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Navy officers said.

The rugged little robot searching an enemy building is called a Pakbot, which can climb over rocks with tank treads, pick up an explosive with its mechanical arm and dismantle it while a soldier directs the machine from a safe distance.

There are already 2,500 of them on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a lighter version weighing six kilograms (14 pounds) has arrived that can be carried in a backpack, according to iRobot, the same company that sells a robot vaccum to civilians, the Roomba.

Monday's demonstration of robotic wonders was organized by defense contractors and the US Navy, which says it wants to lead the American military into a new age where tedious or high-risk jobs are handed over to robots.

"I think we're at the beginning of an unmanned revolution," Gary Kessler, who oversees unmanned aviation programs for the US Navy and Marines, told AFP.

"We're spending billions of dollars on unmanned systems."

Kessler and other Pentagon officials compare the robots to the introduction of the aircraft or the tank, a new technology that dramatically changes strategy and tactics.

Robots or "unmanned systems" are now deployed by the thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan, spying from the sky for hours on end, searching for booby-traps and firing lethal missiles without putting US soldiers at risk.

The use of robotics in the military has exploded in the past several years as technology has advanced while Washington faced a new kind of enemy that required patient, precise surveillance.

In 2003, the US military had almost no robots in its arsenal but now has 7,000 unmanned aircraft and at least 10,000 ground vehicles.

The US Air Force, which initially resisted the idea of pilotless planes, said it trains more operators for unmanned aircraft than pilots for its fighter jets and bombers.

Peter Singer, author of "Wired for War," writes that future wars may see tens of thousands of unmanned vehicles in action, possibly facing off against fleets of enemy robots.

Unlike expensive weapons from the Cold War-era, robotic vehicles are not off-limits to countries with modest defense budgets and dozens of governments are investing in unmanned programs.

At the trade show, military officers from the United States, Chile, Australia, Saudi Arabia and India listened to defense contractors promote their robotic vehicles, including a tiny helicopter about two-feet long and L3's Mobius -- a nimble medium-sized drone that reaches speeds of up to 215 knots.

The technology may sometimes resemble something out of "Star Wars" or a toy shop, but the robots determine matters of life and death on the battlefront.

In the fight against Al-Qaeda, drones are Washington's favored weapon.

Predator and Reaper aircraft, armed with precision-guided bombs and Hellfire missiles, regularly carry out strikes in Pakistan's northwest tribal area, causing an unknown number of civilian casualties.

Last week, a drone strike is believed to have have killed the Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.

The unmanned aircraft in the US military's inventory range from small Ravens, that can be tossed into the air to see over the next hill, to the giant Global Hawk, a 44-foot-long spy plane that can fly at high altitude for up to 35 hours.

The drones and ground vehicles are often operated using joysticks or consoles familiar to a younger generation raised on video games.

"Soldiers these days have a lot of experience playing video games when they're growing up, and they're really familiar with these controls. So this really reduces the training time on these types of unmanned vehicles," said Charlie Vaida of iRobot, which makes a game console for the Pakbot.

Amid plans for unmanned bomber jets for aircraft carriers, the onslaught of drones could eventually render fighter aces a relic of history.

Military officers insist the robots are a complement and not a substitute for traditional aircraft, and pose no threat to the careers of their fellow pilots.

"I think they understand we're not going to replace them," said Captain Tim Dunnigan, a navy chopper pilot. "This is going to augment them."
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Offline nustada

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Re: US military embraces robot 'revolution'
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2009, 12:36:29 PM »
There is a military base and training range near where I live.

The other day I was driving some back roads, and I saw a "jet" fly by. However it looked way smaller than a conventional fighter, and had no discernible cockpit, it looked like a giant toy.

However I do not think it was someones model plane, due to its high speed (I was going about 70 mph, and it was easily going 5x as fast as me) due to the proximity of the training range, and the fact that it went over a steep high cliff one that think a normal radio controlled model would loose a connection, and it did a barrel roll about 15ft from the ground as it crossed the top of the hill , I do not think it was someone model plane.

I am pretty certain I saw a fighter "robot".

Offline Letsbereal

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iRobot Corp. receives $35.3M US Army contract
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2009, 03:12:16 PM »
iRobot Corp. receives $35.3M US Army contract
1 September 2009
, (The Associated Press)
http://www.pddnet.com/news-ap-irobot-corp-receives-353m-us-army-contract-090109/

BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — iRobot Corp. said Tuesday that it has received a $35.3 million order from the U.S. Army to deliver robots designed for military combat situations.

The U.S. Army TACOM Contracting Center in Warren, Mich. ordered 486 iRobot PackBot 510 with FasTac Kit robots — machines that sport long mechanical arms and run on treads — for delivery before March 31.

These 53-pound robots are used to assess dangerous situations and clear a path for soldiers. For instance, it is used in Iraq and Afghanistan to investigate suspicious-looking packages by the road side that might be improvised bombs.

The robots can run as fast as 5.8 miles per hour and last four hours per charge. They are controlled by a laptop with a game-style controller.

The current order is the largest received as yet from the Army's $286 million Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity xBot, or IDIQ, contract with iRobot, which was announced in December 2007. The Army can order up to that amount but there's no guarantee, the company said.

Thus far, iRobot has received $125 million in orders under the IDIQ contract. It has shipped more than 2,500 PackBot robots under this and other contracts.

Shares of Bedford, Mass.-based iRobot fell 45 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $11.02 in midday trading on Tuesday.


iRobot receives a $35.3 mill order from the US Army to deliver robots designed for military combat situations http://bit.ly/3iwCu
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Offline Unintelligable Name

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PETMAN Prototype (From the makers of BigDog
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2009, 09:37:30 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67CUudkjEG4

BigDog if you haven't seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-AGWq0k_Mo

They'll call us Neo-Luddites...  but that doesn't change the fact that some idiot watched Terminator and said "Damn, that's a good idea."

Offline kermitthefrayer

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Re: PETMAN Prototype (From the makers of BigDog
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2009, 10:09:16 PM »
f**king!!!!n Creepy the terminators are coming for sure!
"Specialization is for insects."

- Time Enough For Love, by Robert Heinlein

Offline Monkeypox

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Robots to shape wars of the future
« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2009, 10:36:51 PM »
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2009-12-28-robot-weapons-guilt_N.htm?csp=YahooModule_Tech

By Kathleen Curthoys and Matthew Cox, Army Times

Robots may one day be more effective than human soldiers on the battlefield and they may have a sense of ethics — even a sense of guilt, says a robotics expert who has done a study with the support of the Army's research office.

Ethical robots that can use lethal force on the battlefield would adhere to international law and rules of engagement, Ronald C. Arkin told Army Times on Dec. 15. Arkin describes how this could work in his 2009 book "Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots." He is with the Mobile Robot Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Here's what the future of robots may hold: Human soldiers eventually may not be up to speed compared to "humane-oids" in the battle space, Arkin says. Future developments may lead to robotic sensors better equipped than soldiers to maintain situational awareness and process information quickly about situations in which lethal force might be used.

Mr. Spock can relate to certain advantages of having robots in the combat zone: They are free of human emotion, which can distort judgment, and they don't express anger or frustration. But Arkin envisions robots designed with some capabilities — if not exactly feelings — that would be constructive: Remorse, compassion, and yes, guilt.

Robots designed to have guilt operate this way, according to a research paper co-written by Arkin and colleague Patrick Ulam: The robots would be designed with an "ethical adaptor," while each weapon system they carry would be grouped according to its destructive power and each group of weapons associated with a specific guilt threshold.

Highly destructive weapons would have lower thresholds for guilt than less destructive weapons. When the guilt level exceeds the threshold for a weapon, the weapon system is deactivated, with the intent to reduce collateral damage. Arkin's example: An unmanned aerial vehicle has three systems: GBU precision-guided bombs, Hellfire missiles and a chain gun. The UAV engages the enemy with the GBU and finds the attack resulted in civilian casualties.

Then the ethical adaptor determines the guilt level should be raised and the GBU is deactivated. Next, the UAV uses a Hellfire, and there is more collateral damage so the guilt level is raised again. This time, the resulting level of guilt reaches the maximum allowed and all weapons systems are deactivated, according to the paper. There is a loophole — the operator can override the guilt sub-system.

Robots in combat might even snitch on soldiers. When working on a team with humans, the robots may have the potential to objectively monitor "ethical behavior in the battlefield by all parties" and report infractions, Arkin said.

The technology may be ready for ethical, autonomous robots to be fielded for certain types of combat operations within 10 to 20 years, provided there is sufficient study and funding, Arkin said. Further study is needed on the ethical component and the capability of discriminating between the enemy and noncombatants, he said. The Army hasn't announced whether it plans to use such robots.

War Is Peace - Freedom Is Slavery - Ignorance Is Strength


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