All Dr. Evil wanted was sharks with frickin’ laser beams on their heads. For now, he will have to settle for helicopters with bad attitudes instead. A group of researchers at the University of Michigan has figured out how to use lasers that can survive the stress of helicopter flight to confuse missiles into not hitting their intended target.
Developed by Air Force engineers in Ohio, the RAPS (Remote Auxiliary Power System) was designed to provide electricity to field operatives by taking power directly from power lines. The hook has a sharp blade that can pierce the insulation of power lines.
A company called Eltics has developed a stealth suite that can cloak “military vehicles, combat helicopters and even entire naval surface ships,” rendering them “invisible to thermal imaging surveillance sensors, targeting systems or missile seeker-employing thermal sensors.”
I’m sure you’ve seen the plethora of ground combat robots that we’ve featured here at technabob, and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned at least a couple of aerial drones. Now, with the conclusion of the frighteningly successful Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Autonomus Underwater Vehicles competition (AUVSI AUV), all our base are really belong to them.
The contest pitted robot submarines developed by competitors from various universities around the world, all of them eager to bring us closer to Armageddon, one torpedo-carrying robot at a time.
iKey’s AK-39 military-grade wearable keyboard is built to operate in “very harsh electromagnetic interference (EMI) environments”, as well as provide an interface that allows for one-armed typing. It also has a backlight that is compatible with night vision technology.
Tonight’s nightmare is brought to you by the US Air Force Research Laboratory and their Playstation 1 – era CG presentation of the Micro Air Vehicles project. Narrated by someone who sounds almost exactly the same as Metal Gear Solid’s Col.
The Office of Naval Research – not to be confused with the Office of Navel Research, a pet project of the previous president – recently awarded defense contractor Raytheon a year-long contract to develop laz0rb33mz. No seriously, the US Navy wants to have a 100-kilowatt Free Electron Laser as a weapon that will be installed on naval warships.
I think the best advantage in sending robots instead of humans to armed conflicts is simply the fact that robots are not human. Robots don’t have feelings or families, so no one gets hurt if a robot goes down, not even its fellow robots.
DARPA‘s Self-Explanation Learning Framework (SELF) program “seeks to construct systems that can participate in their own construction.” Imagine a robot helping build itself. Who or what runs DARPA these days? Are there still humans in there?
iRobot’s new military robot might not have a personality per se, but the moment I saw them they reminded me of the Tachikomas from Ghost in the Shell. The little fella is called Ember, and its being developed as a disposable yet durable networked mobile swarm.
Asimov concocted the Three Laws of Robotics in 1942 and built many of his stories around these rules. While Asimov benefited greatly from those rules as an artistic concept, giving him ideas to explore, in the future our lives may really depend on robot ethics.
(Sub)urban warfare has a new face, and it goes by the name of Paintball Panzer. The pint-sized tank has a turret-mounted paintball gun which lets you fire rounds of paint ammo while keeping you safe and sound from the tomatoes and eggs which may be thrown at you in return.
The Funtrak Mini Paintball Tank is a scaled down version of a real tank, featuring a motorized drive system, and a tread drive that lets you maneuver through the roughest backyard obstacles.
Most video game enthusiasts will tell you that the Xbox 360’s joystick is one of the best designed gaming controllers of all time. Now it appears to have gotten the “thumbs up” from the U.S. Army.
From the looks of these photos taken in article over at ZDNet, at least some of the Army’s remote SUGVs (Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles) are controlled by what sure looks like an Xbox 360 controller to me.
The unmanned ground vehicles are part of the Army’s Future Combat Systems initiative, providing individual troops with improved accessibility to dangerous locations.
For some time now, there’s been buzz about the Military working on a new “crowd control system” which works by blasting people with an invisible, yet highly uncomfortable electromagnetic blast. Well it turns out that they did a little demonstration of the weapon on some members of the press back in January, and here’s a clip of the reaction of one such test subject:
The device, known as the Active Denial System (which probably refers to the fact that the Military will actively deny using it if it ever comes to real world use) hits its victims with a non-lethal blast of EM radiation at a range of up to 500 yards away.
The waves are said to excite water molecules in your skin to a rather uncomfortable temperature of around 55