Category Archives: Robots

Robot Rebellion Put Down by US Military …. This time…

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The Robots have been very quiet lately, have you noticed?This is probably because they have been chagrined by recent events only now being made public.Kevin Fahey, US Army program executive officer for ground forces … said there had been chilling incidents in which the [Combat Robots] had … attempted to train … 5.56mm M249 light machine-gun on its human comrades.”The gun started moving when it was not intended to move,” he said.Apparently, alert American troops managed to quell the traitorous would-be droid assassins before the inevitable orgy of mechanised slaughter began. Fahey didn’t say just how, but conceivably the rogue robots may have been suppressed with help from more trustworthy airborne kill machines, or perhaps prototype electropulse zap bombs.No humans were hurt, but it seems that the struggle was sufficiently terrifying that it may be some time before American troops are ready to fight alongside robots again.As Fahey pointed out, “once you’ve done something that’s really bad, it can take 10 or 20 years to try it again”. That said, it seems he expects to deploy a new and more trustworthy armed ground automaton within a year – perhaps the MAARS, an upgraded SWORDS (Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Direct-action System) packing a heavier 7.62mm machine-gun and featuring improved safety features.MAARS is also said by its makers to have “Transformer-like” abilities akin to those of Optimus Prime. Rather than being able to disguise itself as, say, a mobility scooter or a dessert trolley, the MAARS is actually only able to transform – with help from human allies – into a slightly different robot.[source]

Johnny Lee is TechnoMan (The world’s newest super hero).

You’ve already seen Johnny’s Wii Remote Hacks … and if you have not go and look. This is not about Wii, or video game, or anything like that. This is about transforming the relationship between technology and society. So if you missed Johnny Lee: Wii Remote hacks please go have a look. It is the TED Talk with a record number of interruptions and the largest standing ovation.Then, com back here and have a look at this other video from my new hero, Johnny Lee:Tracking Your Fingers with the Wiimote Continue reading Johnny Lee is TechnoMan (The world’s newest super hero).

Robots Advance in Cognitive Domain

New breed of cognitive robot… a puppy? from PhysOrg.com
Designers of artificial cognitive systems have tended to adopt one of two approaches to building robots that can think for themselves: classical rule-based artificial intelligence or artificial neural networks. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and combining the two offers the best of both worlds, say a team of European researchers who have developed a new breed of cognitive, learning robot that goes beyond the state of the art.[]

Robots Plan To Take Over Moon

NASA Robots are planning a takeover of the Moon.

NASA has selected 24 scientists to initiate new investigations and assist with planned measurements to be conducted by the agency’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Scheduled for launch later this year, LRO represents NASA’s first step toward returning humans to the moon.The orbiter will conduct a one-year primary mission exploring the moon, taking measurements to identify future robotic and human landing sites. In addition, it will study lunar resources and how the moon’s environment will affect humans. The mission also will involve a spacecraft called the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), which will impact the lunar south pole to search for evidence of polar water frost.”LRO is a phenomenal mission for NASA. It has dual use, both for exploration and for science,” said Alan Stern, associate administrator, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. “With the selection of these new investigators the LRO science team is bulked up and ready for flight, and interest in lunar science is building again at a rapid pace.”

More here.

Bat-Like Spy Robot Under Development

i-b57ce981b2fbd57e760ed763db1db0ed-COM-BAT.jpgKnown as COM-BAT, This is a tiny flying robot, about six inches long, that would fly like a bat, gathering information primarily, it is claimed, in urban combat zones. Among other things, it will be able to detect sights, sounds, and smells.

Low-power miniaturized radar and a very sensitive navigation system would help the bat find its way at night. Energy scavenging from solar, wind, vibration and other sources would recharge the bat’s lithium battery. The aircraft would use radio to send signals back to troops.”These are all concepts, and many of them are the next generation of devices we have already developed. We’re trying to push the edge of our technologies to achieve functionality that was not possible before,” said Kamal Sarabandi, the COM-BAT director and a professor in the U-M Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.COM-BAT also involves the University of California at Berkeley and the University of New Mexico. It is one of four centers the Army launched as a collaborative effort among industry, academia and the Army Research Laboratory to work toward this vision of a small, robotic aircraft that could sense and communicate. Each of the four centers is charged with developing a different subsystem of the bat, a self-directed sensor inspired by the real thing.

Robot Trouble in Space

Spacewalk on Despite Robot Trouble … NASA pressed ahead with the first spacewalk of shuttle Endeavour’s space station mission Thursday night despite a problem getting power to a giant robot that needs to be assembled by astronauts. The trouble cropped up earlier in the day and had engineers scrambling for a solution. “

You can bet they’re scrambling if they are being troubled by a Giant Robot!

LeRoy Cain, chairman of the mission management team, said Thursday night’s spacewalk would go off as planned and stressed that the power loss would not affect astronauts’ work to attach the robot’s hands to its 11-foot arms.It’s too soon to know whether the second spacewalk, also dedicated to robot assembly, will be impacted if the problem persists, Cain said. Power is needed to heat the joints, limbs and all the electronics of the Canadian robot, Dextre, which could be damaged if left cold for days. It’s also needed to check out Dextre and get it moving.”We don’t have our hair on fire and need to do something in the next couple of hours, but we’re working it,” Cain said at a late-afternoon news conference.NASA’s space station program manager, Mike Suffredini, said he was confident the problem was understood and could be resolved fairly quickly.

[Source]

Robots Poised To Take Over Transportation Industry

i-68fd37653ec5658f953609a75c66cfdb-robot_cab.jpgAccording to recent reports, it is possible that Robots will take over personal human transport operations.

The RobuCab, an autonomous vehicle about the size of a golf cart, trundles at 10kph along a quiet French street. Alarmingly, it looks like it is driving itself. Surprisingly, that is more or less true.The RobuCab is following the line of the kerb. One embedded system trains a camera on the path edge, another tracks the angle and direction of the kerb, while others control the gearing and acceleration. Combined, they enable the RobuCab to drive along the road.It is an astonishing demonstration of just how sophisticated embedded systems, and the software that controls them, can become. But there are some serious problems to surmount before this level of sophistication becomes common.[source]