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Dallas - Raytheon Systems Co. is mapping out an ambitious program for building an artificial nervous system (ANS) for the soldier of the future. The ANS will enable autonomous robots to utilize low-power, lightweight, nanotechnology-sized analog computers that communicate using secure digital pulsecodes. The military-funded project seeks to create autonomous robots capable of data fusion, mission planning, real-time learning and innovative responses in novel battlefield situations.
The design will be topped off with the Cog artificial head from MIT-a four-eyed sensor platform ...
Lightweight, super-strong robots will lead human soldiers into battle within 10 years -- at least according to iRobot.
The robots, called small unmanned ground vehicles, or SUGVs, will detect the presence of chemical and biological weapons, identify targets for artillery and infantrymen, and ferret out snipers hiding inside urban buildings. Today, humans mainly perform these tasks, often becoming the first casualties of battle while looking for snipers or explosives.
Who We Are
We provide a versatile family of combat systems that represent the way the Army will fight wars in the future. We will field an integrated system of combat systems in blocks until the full objective capability is realized to meet the goals of Army Transformation. These systems will incorporate the latest technologies for mobility, lethality, sensor platforms, and survivability. Unit of action will represent a technological revolution in combat operations ensuring success on the future battlefield.
Four years after being commissioned by the US military to create a strength-enhancing exoskeleton, researchers are set to showcase a self-powered set of robotic legs.
ROBOT soldiers manufactured to kill enemy troops have been designed for the Pentagon by a tiny Glasgow computer company which is set to make millions from the deal.
Essential Viewing says the technology comes straight from the world of science fiction. Chief executive Simon Hardy said the technology had its nearest equivalent in the Star Wars movie Attack Of The Clones.
DARPA, the agency behind these Buck Rogers weapons systems, has a mixed track record, somewhere between silly and sobering. The mechanical elephant it developed for the Vietnam War was not a keeper, and one doubts that the robot canine for the army, aptly dubbed "Big Dog", will ever get off the drawing boards. But DARPA also gave us stealth technology, such as the M-16 rifle, cruise missiles and the unmanned Predator armed with the deadly Hellfire missile.
It is currently deploying a carbon-dioxide laser to spot snipers in Iraq, as well as a "sonic" weapon that can supposedly disable demonstrators at 274 meters with a 145-decibel blast of sound.
Riccardo Petrella, director of science and technology forecasting for the European Community agrees. His view is that by the mid 21st Century, the “real decision-making powers… will be transnational companies in alliance with city-regional governments.” These Petrella believes, could form a “high-tech archipelago… amid seas of impoverished humanity.”
In the Golem project (Genetically Organized Lifelike Electro Mechanics) we conducted a set of experiments in which simple electro-mechanical systems evolved from scratch to yield physical locomoting machines. Like biological lifeforms whose structure and function exploit the behaviors afforded by their own chemical and mechanical medium, our evolved creatures take advantage of the nature of their own medium - thermoplastic, motors, and artificial neurons. We thus achieve autonomy of design and construction using evolution in a limited universe physical simulation, coupled to off-the-shelf rapid manufacturing technology. This is the first time robots have been robotically designed and robotically fabricated.
A new computer vision system for automated analysis of animal movement -- honey bee activities, in particular -- is expected to accelerate animal behavior research, which also has implications for biologically inspired design of robots and computers.
This homepage provides links to various electroactive polymer (EAP) websites worldwide and it is maintained by the JPL's NDEAA Technologies Lab.
This paper introduces a dynamics simulator designed to aid the development of control algorithms for biologicallyinspired robots. We describe the simulator and a two-tier framework for control code interfacing that allows control code to be written in a standard object-oriented language(C++), but encapsulates such code to produce modular, reusable, distributed controllers with parameterizable input-output transmission properties such as delay, sampling rate, and noise.
Because of their small size (0.025-inch spacing), nano-miniature connectors have been chosen for JTA telemetry applications……Sandia National Laboratory personnel reviewed various connector specifications including MIL-PRF-83513, DESC 94031 and Nanonics specification N10138 to determine appropriate mechanical, electrical, and environmental requirements for nano-connectors in weapon systems. Actual testing was performed by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies (FM&T). Additional fretting corrosion testing was performed by Sandia National Laboratory in conjunction with New Mexico State University.
The Small Smart Bomb is a 250 pound weapon that has the same penetration capabilities as a 2000lb BLU-109, but with only 50 pounds of explosive. With the INS/GPS guidance in conjunction with differential GPS (using all 12 channel receivers, instead of only 5) corrections provided by GPS SPO Accuracy Improvement Initiative (AII) and improved Target Location Error (TLE), it can achieve a 5-8m CEP. The submunition, with a smart fuse, has been extensively tested against multi-layered targets by Wright Laboratory under the Hard Target Ordnance Program and Miniature Munitions Technology Program. The length to diameter ratio and nose shape is designed to optimize penetration for a 50lb charge. This weapon is also a potential payload for standoff carrier vehicles such as Tomahawk, JSOW, JASSM, Conventional ICBM, etc.
Classical molecular nanotechnology , 4] envisions nanomachines predominantly composed of carbon-rich diamondoid materials. Other useful nanochemistries might employ aluminum-rich sapphire (Al2O3) materials, boron-rich (BN) or titanium-rich (TiC) materials, and the like. TiC has one the highest possible operating temperatures allowed for commonplace materials (melting point ~3410°K ), and while diamond can scratch TiC, TiC can be used to melt diamond.
However, atoms of Al, Ti and B are far more abundant in the Earth's crust (81,300 ppm, 4400 ppm and 3 ppm, respectively ) than in biomass, e.g., the human body (0.1 ppm, 0 ppm, and 0.03 ppm ), reducing the direct threat of ecophagy by such systems. On the other hand, carbon is a thousand times less abundant in crustal rocks (320 ppm, mostly carbonates) than in the biosphere (~230,000 ppm).
Furthermore, conversion of the lithosphere into nanomachinery is not a primary concern because ordinary rocks typically contain relatively scarce sources of energy. For instance, natural radioactive isotopes present in crustal rocks vary greatly as a function of the geological composition and history of a region, but generally range from 0.15-1.40 mGy/yr , giving a raw power density of 0.28-2.6 ×10-7 W/m3 assuming crustal rocks of approximately mean terrestrial density (5522 kg/m3 ).
This is quite insufficient to power nanorobots capable of significant activities; current nanomachine designs typically require power densities on the order of 105-109 W/m3 to achieve effective results . (Biological systems typically operate at 102-106 W/m3 .) Solar power is not readily available below the surface, and the mean geothermal heat flow is only 0.05 W/m2 at the surface , just a tiny fraction of solar insolation.
Hypothesized crustal abiotic highly-reduced petroleum reserves  probably could not energize significant replicator nanomass growth due to the anoxic environment deep underground, although potentially large geobacterial populations have been described [10-16] and in principle some unusual though highly limited bacterial energy sources could also be tapped by nanorobots.
However, the primary ecophagic concern is that runaway nanorobotic replicators or "replibots" will convert the entire surface biosphere (the ecology of all living things on the surface of the Earth) into alternative or artificial materials of some type--especially, materials like themselves, e.g., more self-replicating nanorobots.
Since advanced nanorobots might be constructed predominantly of carbon-rich diamondoid materials , and since ~12% of all atoms in the human body (representative of biology generally) are carbon atoms , or ~23% by weight, the global biological carbon inventory may support the self-manufacture of a final mass of replicating diamondoid nanorobots on the order of ~0.23 Mbio, where Mbio is the total global biomass.
Unlike almost any other natural material, biomass can serve both as a source of carbon and as a source of power for nanomachine replication. Ecophagic nanorobots would regard living things as environmental carbon accumulators, and biomass as a valuable ore to be mined for carbon and energy. Of course, biosystems from which all carbon has been extracted can no longer be alive but would instead become lifeless chemical sludge.
Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify objects such as products in a store, or equipment used by a company. It also has applications for use within pets as well as people.
The Pentagon's defence scientists want to create an army of cyber-insects that can be remotely controlled to check out explosives and send transmissions.
The idea is to insert micro-systems at the pupa stage, when the insects can integrate them into their body, so they can be remotely controlled later.