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Google Rejects Military Funding in Robotics Competition

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posted on Mar, 26 2014 @ 06:45 PM
I follow this stuff when I see it, and I remember the discussion about Google's research branch (think Kurzweil, and GoogleX; which self-branded as the definitive 'next-gen' think tank.) We had pondered about the acquisition of robot engineering firms such as Schaft, and Boston Dynamics (Big-Dog makers) whether Google would be continuing either company's close relationship with DARPA.

Google bought the robotics firm Schaft that had developed a bipedal robot that won DARPA’s Robotics Challenge. The competition asked companies to develop a robot that could perform disaster response tasks to include navigating debris, climbing ladders and turning off a valve. Schaft earned the highest score in DARPA’s competition.

Turns out the answer about their working with the military is exceedingly obtuse and fuzzy... "yes" and "no":

While they are rejecting the DOD funds to develop technologies now, their 'other' DOD contracts (those not in the area of robotic technology) will still be honored. Just not these two leaders in engineering and design of robotic technologies the US military has notionally incorporated into its operations, at least according to the bean counters at the pentagon.

Why is the internet giant (who may or may not have "cooperated" with the NSA, and other intelligence communities, yeah - those "other contracts" comes to mind) expressly excluding DOD dollars from the ledger?

Could it be a proprietorship issue? Perhaps the freedom to sell to whomever they should feel inclined? Or is it something more insidious, like a lame attempt to remove "the man" "big brother" and so forth, from their midst? I wonder.

While that issue may not interest you, consider this. How is our military going to remain at the apex level of preparedness when the resources they were counting on using for the next twenty years simply never materialize. What happens to a nation whose international standing has been diminished by endless talking heads, as their military dwindles down into obsolescence?

Or is this a good thing? I guess it depends on whether you are asking Google or not.

Google and Schaft are not bailing from the program all together, but the company is moving to the “self-funded Track D of the program,” DARPA officials announced last week.

The theoretical "Military Industrial Complex" (which Ike warned us about) is probably knee-deep in this stuff...

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edit on 27-3-2014 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)

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