Robotic Pursuit Squads are a Forgone Conclusion

October 28 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Technology   Year: 2013   Rating: 2

How likely is it that 5 years from now, sometime in 2013, the U.S. government will employ a pack of search robots to track human fugitives, enemy combatants or other persons of interest?

Though such an endeavor would mark a serious increase in up-front and maintenance cost, it could also make operations safer for pursuing officers or soldiers and gradually increase the capture success rate. At the same time such a scenario would also thoroughly freak-out an American population increasingly on edge about government intrusion and technological capabilities.

Here’s an example of what such a future might look like, drawn by MemeBox illustrator Lars Olson:

As it turns out, just a few days ago the U.S. Army put out this call for bids on exactly such a project. Their desired outcome is for some smart folks to:

Develop a software and sensor package to enable a team of robots to search for and detect human presence in an indoor environment. [and] Develop a software/hardware suit that would enable a multi-robot team, together with a human operator, to search for and detect a non-cooperative human subject.

If in fact you doubt the near-term likelihood of such a technology suite and program, then look no further than nascent functional technologies such as the surprisingly agile and stable Big Dog robot and already marketed aerial microdrone cameras.

A quick look at these prototype vids should quickly get you on the path to belief:

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US Military Fights Toxic Weapon Labs with Incendiary Fireballs

November 13 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Security   Year: 2010   Rating: 3

The Pentagon is being very hush-hush about it, but a secret weapon we posses in the US military is a solid rocket-fuel incendiary fireball. Meant to take out chemical weapons labs or underground bunkers, these fireballs burn up anything located inside the structure without blowing it up. “These are hollow spheres, made of rubberized rocket fuel; when ignited, they propel themselves around at random at high speed, bouncing off the walls and breaking through doors, turning the entire building into an inferno.” If there’s one thing that could ruin a persons day, it’s a bunch of solid rocket-fuel fireballs bouncing around in a small area.

Due to the secretive nature of the new weapon, not much is being said, but Wired, who initially reported the story, says that it’s quite possible the fireballs (named “CrashPAD” and “Shredder”) have been put into some sort of low-rate production. One wonders if this was the secret military weapon Bob Woodward was talking about a few months ago.

Does this have a future in the US Military?

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Using Veins as Identification Protects Your Identity No Matter What

November 17 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2009   Rating: 2

If there’s one thing movies have shown us, it’s that identifying people through biometrics can be flawed. Blood can be faked (GATTACA), eyes can be removed for retinal scans (Demolition Man), voices can be recorded (Sneakers) and fingerprints can be used from the guard you just used the Vulcan neck-pinch on (Spaceballs).

But have you ever thought of using your veins as an identification device?

The Hitachi Vein ID bounces Infrared Light from multiple angles which is “partially absorbed by hemoglobin in the veins and the pattern is captured by a camera as a unique 3D finger vein profile.” Veins are believed to be even more unique than fingerprints — even twins have different vein patterns.

Are veins the answer to biometric data theft concerns?

The great thing about veins is that, since they are located within the body and are invisible to the naked eye, they are incredibly hard to forge. One would have to have a scan of your vein structure and build a replica, something even crazy evil scientists might have a problem with. On top of this, if someone were to chop off your finger to access your data, the blood would drain out of your finger making vein identification useless (no blood, skinny veins).

What can we expect in the future?

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Chinese Armored Brigade Runs Into Technical Glitch, Loses Fake Battle

November 19 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2008   Rating: 2

In a recent mock battle between two armored brigades (“Red” and “Blue”) in the Chinese Army, the Red Army was the victim of a virus attack which erased all their orders for re-supply.

“During the exercise, the Red Army basic command post, command and control station, received information from the main attack force that 3/4 of their ammunition had been depleted. A resupply order was immediately sent to the rear command post. However, after transmission, the order form appeared blank.”

Follow-up requests for ammunition were answered with the response that the request had been processed. The Red Army eventually lost the exercise once their ammunition ran out. It makes one wonder if all the money we’re pouring into the latest military gadgets could be compromised by a programmer working on a virus that would cost a few thousand.

It’s crazy to think that an army could be waylaid by a computer virus, but with our increasing reliance on technology for better and more efficient armies is was only a matter of time. You may have heard about how when Russia invaded Northern Georgia they preceded the attack by hacking Georgian systems as well as flooding Georgian government sites, shutting them down. There’s no doubt that cyber attacks are now a part of a nations battle-chest. This is the future of war.

via The Dark Visitor

Robotic Tank Built by Two Guys In Maine For Only $1 Million

December 05 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: 2010   Rating: 2

What you're looking at is a robotic tank that is capapble of ruining your world.  Built by twin brothers in Maine, the Ripsaw MS1 is capable of speeds up to 60mph, can perform maneuvers that would leave a crew bruised and battered, and can be outfitted with a remotely operated machine gun.  On top of this, it's extremely rugged, easy to fix, and can caarry a payload of up to 2,000 pounds.  This is one mean machine.

The crazy thing is that this was built by two guys in Maine for about $1 million dollars.

via HackaDay

Hovering Multiple Kill Vehicle Will Scare You To Death

December 09 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Security   Year: 2011   Rating: 3

If there's one thing that is guaranteed to make people crap their pants, it's a hovering hunk of machinery that shoots stuff.  Introducing the MKV-L by Lockheed Martin.

Luckily for bad guys this isn't for hovering into bunkers and obliterating everything in the house, but for knocking out incoming projectiles.

"The MKV-L mission is to destroy medium through intercontinental-range ballistic missiles equipped with multiple warheads or countermeasures by using a single interceptor missile. During an actual hostile ballistic missile attack, the carrier vehicle with its cargo of small kill vehicles will maneuver into the path of an enemy missile. Using tracking data from the Ballistic Missile Defense System and its own seeker, the carrier vehicle will dispense and guide the kill vehicles to destroy any warheads or countermeasures."

During the following test the MKV-L was able to hover under its own power, adjust to the target it was tracking, and transmitted video and flight path information to computers on the ground.

Not much to say on this, just 'holy crap' really.

With Rejection of Cluster Bomb Treaty, U.S. Continues Global Slide

December 19 2008 / by DSMason / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Security   Year: 2008   Rating: 1

Cross-Posted from The End of the American Century

AC_Book_Cover_edited-1.jpg

An important element of the loss of U.S. global prestige and influence has been this country’s snubbing and flouting of international law and conventions.  The latest example of this is the Cluster Munitions Treaty, which was signed  in Oslo, Norway earlier this month by 94 countries, not including the United States.  One of the 94 signatories was Afghanistan, which agreed to the treaty at the last minute in the face of intense pressure from Washington.

 

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