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Another Robotic Vehicle to Help Soldiers

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the johnny-five-is-alive dept.

154

Roland Piquepaille writes "There are many teams of U.S. scientists working on robots able to find improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq before they can kill American soldiers. Today, let's look at an effort going on at Florida State University (FSU) to build unmanned ground vehicles that could save soldiers' lives. The researchers are creating complex algorithms to control these robots who will have to integrate many different factors such as the type of ground surface or obstacles that might block the vehicle's path. Some of these robots, which also could be used for civilian missions, are currently being tested at FSU. Read more for additional references and pictures of these robots which will have to navigate among dense obstacles."

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First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470151)

Boobies!

TACO YOU ARE SUCH A FAGGOT (1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470280)

This design sucks more balls than you do. And that's a fucking shitload of balls. I mean what, you must suck at least ten filthy cocks a day. That's not even, oh fuck the whitespace. You are such a fucking fag. Fuck.

Anyway, when you get done sucking the jizz out of your transvestite wife's ass, please kill your self. Don't forget to shut of the servers before pulling the trigger.

You fag jizz sucking asshole.

Re:TACO YOU ARE SUCH A FAGGOT (1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470301)

Right justified scores? Why the fuck do I have to look right? All the other info about the post is left. Jesus Christ you fucking faggot, you might have buried the scores up your faggoty ass along with the seven other butt plugs that are already stored there permanently.

I'm sorry, but the only way I can imagine this design winning is because you were under Zonk's desk sucking his cock and you just reached up and mashed the keyboard to pick a winner.

Get that cock out your mouth fag boy and...kill your self.

Thanks.

Pirst Fost! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470153)

Pirst Fost! w00t!

Rolan = New CSS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470154)

Roland Piquepaille is the new CSS of slashdot: Shitty in every way.

-999 Offtopic (1)

Slur (61510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470161)

Ha ha, just kidding. Maybe they'll post a news item about it.

I kinda like the layout. Still, I'm gonna check my preferences to see if I have other options...

Re:-999 Offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470196)

Wow, the new layout is even worse than the old one. Hard to believe.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, "flamebait", "troll", "offtopic". Excuuuse me for having an opinion.

Re:-999 Offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470402)

What layout?

Re:Rolan = New CSS (2, Informative)

ABeowulfCluster (854634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470187)

My eyes! They burn from the strain of reading the small letters.

A new Roland Piquepaille article (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470158)

Gentlement, warm up your keyboards. Ready, set, complain!

Why didn't the soldier cross the road? (1)

plutonium83 (818340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470172)

... beacuse he was run over by an unmanned transport vehicle!

Re:Why didn't the soldier cross the road? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470188)

... beacuse he was run over by an unmanned transport vehicle!

or an armed chicken
       

Re:Why didn't the soldier cross the road? (1)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470297)

I think the answer is "to run over the Iraqi children who were probably going to grow up terrorists anyway".

Re:Why didn't the soldier cross the road? (2, Funny)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470405)

Because there was no oil there

where this is leading (3, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470177)

Hell, just crank up the bandwidth for remote-control vehicles and bots, and outsource the whole damned war. I'm already working on an Abu Graihb torture module.

Re:where this is leading (1)

bombadier_beetle (871107) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470215)

I'm already working on an Abu Graihb torture module.

Me too - it's a PII laptop with 32MB of RAM, a 640x480 screen, and a 14.4K modem, with Windows ME installed. Prisoners will have their choice of a spotty touchpad or a gummed-up trackmarble.

Re:where this is leading (2, Interesting)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470257)

Exactly! What American is going to complain about going to war in some country they never heard if none of our soldiers are dieing? Hippies, that's who!

The economy gets a war boost, the government gets to throw its weight around and the only real cost is the death of a bunch of people that aren't American; everybody wins!

Ok, sarcasm aside I do like the idea of robotizing (it's a real word, look it up!) the army as much as we can. Many a great peace-time inventions started as or were sped up by military investment. Think of what a systematizing of something as complex as the military could do for advancements in public and private robotics, AI, or IT!

Re:where this is leading (1, Troll)

SaDan (81097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470294)

Oh, I don't know, maybe enslave the human race?

Re:where this is leading (4, Funny)

jbrader (697703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470574)

Seriously do you really think the robots would do worse than any of our current world leaders?

Re:where this is leading (1, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470600)

Part of the war time boost the economy see is directly related to the amount of people displaced in the workforce. CLinton recently demonstrated this when he called reservist to duty for extended periods of time. The efect was taking an already low unemployment rate and making it lower and allowing more people to asume more jobs. Another side effect was more people were making more money because the unemployment was down and business were trying to keep employies or get them in the first place. President bush continued to do this with reservist and we have a pretty strong economy now. Of course the papers won't admit to it unless itis some investor rag who's creditability rest on giving somewhat factual messages.

Robotizing the military will probably continue to have this effect at first. But as we get more efficiant with it and are able to control them from futher away, it will dwindle. We will see less of an argument against going war and probably an increase in war (war like actions). I'm not totaly against that but i fear some leaders might not have sound judgment when considering what will necessitate a war. This just makes the reprecusions and the stakes different. I would say why can't we just have both sides of a ocnflict build robats and let them do battle but that wouldn't work. Imagine having some sort of competition like the olympic to have peace. For some reason (even in video games) Killing a machine doesn't seem as rewarding as taking out the people making the machines. I hope this doesn't turn into the modern day trench warfar with simular results of WW1.

It's already "outsourced". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470290)

Remember, the current war in Iraq has nothing to do with protecting America. It's not being done for the benefit of the average American citizen.

It is purely a war to benefit politicians and their business connections. That was clearly obvious to most non-Americans before it even started, and is now becoming clear to many of those Americans who were initially fooled. But keep in mind that very few of those politicians and businessmen who support the war have any actual involvement in it. They're not over there fighting. Their children aren't over there fighting.

War has already been "outsourced" from those people onto teens and young men/women from the midwest US, onto immigrants, and onto mercenaries. It's likely not a matter of protecting soldiers for the sake of saving their lives, but rather to keep them alive just because they're cheaper killing machines than planes and missles. While a single missile can cost upwards of $200000, a typical soldier will cost $60000 a year, including equipment and nourishment expenses. That soldier can often kill far more enemy troops than a missile.

Re:where this is leading (1)

GaBTGurl (975312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470343)

It could be worse, Cmdr Taco coudl change the layout of SlashDot and F*** us all up, oh wait he just did that... Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! !!!!!!!!!! Even OMG PONIES! was better than THIS!!!

Cool R&D... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470186)

So when will these new robots start appearing in the game [americasarmy.com] ?

(5, Funny) Activists (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470195)

Any moment now I expect robot rights groups to form and start protesting this cruel and unusual treatment of our robot friends. (PETR ?)

Re:(5, Funny) Activists (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470275)

'(PETR ?)'
People for the Eating of Tasty Robots?!? Mmmmm ... 30 weight!

Battlebots (4, Funny)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470198)

Can't we just send over a bunch of people who compete in the Battlebot tournaments? Yeah, the wedge robots would need a little upgrading, but I can imagine that Nightmare (the big blade a'spinnin') would help out. In the British version of Battlebots (Robot Wars?) they're allowed to use flame weapons. Go go gadget killing machine!

new look (0, Offtopic)

Gusano (166423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470201)

I think the new look is pretty cool...

one suggestion tho: move the moderation status and score to the main bulk of text (to the left).
A bit annoying as it is since it's too far to the right...

congrats on an otherwise fresh (and needed) new look :)

Listen up, dude... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470207)

Of topic. OFF FUCKING TOPIC, you jack fucking ass.

Re:Listen up, dude... (2, Funny)

Gusano (166423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470219)

love is in the air...everywhere I look around...

Re:Listen up, dude... (2, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470255)

Maybe if they created a news post about the new layout people wouldn't be foreced to comment off topic in order to talk about it.

Re:GET THE OLD SLASHDOT CSS HERE (2, Insightful)

DigitalHammer (581235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470270)

Sorry about posting offtopic, but theres people who were requesting the old slashdot css, which can be used with a firefox extension (greasemonkey?) to utilize the old look. I've posted all the old css files in my journal for everyone's convenience. Cheers. :)

Re:GET THE OLD SLASHDOT CSS HERE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470311)

Since I don't fucking LIVE HERE, I don't really care one way or the other...

Re:GET THE OLD SLASHDOT CSS HERE (1)

popeyethesailor (325796) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470417)

Does anybody have the "light" CSS too? I didn't think they'd mess up the light CSS; but damn, it looks awful now.

Alternate stysheet perhaps? (1)

cartel (845256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470458)

Or if the only thing that's changed is the CSS, then Slashdot could just put an "alternate stylesheet" link tag in the header.

Re:new look (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470274)

I find the new look a big improvement. It's more readable, a lot less cluttered/busy.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470315)

I agree on the suggestion. ( apologies to all for being offtopic )

Is it possible to use a targetted EMP burst? (5, Interesting)

Rifter13 (773076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470211)

Sorry, I really don't know about EMP bursts, beyond that they fry electronics. Would it be possible to create a targetted, or shaped EMP burst, say in front of vehicles that would fry the circuits on the IEDs, and keep the IEDs from going off?

Re:Is it possible to use a targetted EMP burst? (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470248)

And if the IED doesn't use electronics to detonate?

Mostly detonated remote. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470325)

The way it works mostly now is they are triggered by cellphones or two-way radios. That requires electronics that could be disabled... they aren't generally like mines that sit there passivley and wait for something heavy to drive over.

However then the insurgents may well switch to just simple wires trailing off somewhere that couldn't be disabled by EMP. That means they would have to stay closer, and of course after the device went back you could trace where the wires led to, and perhaps gain further information on who it was there by something they left behind in haste.

Or, they might figure out how to shield it well enough the electronics would survive. I'm not sure what effect that would have on reception of the triggering signal though.

Re:Mostly detonated remote. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470443)

Heck, if they make 'em such that they have to have wires, that could be dealt with via EMP too. BOOM!

Re:Mostly detonated remote. (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470551)

3 ways to detonate a bomb. 1, remote trigger like cellphone and low frequency transmiters or also known as dead man's switch. 2, suicide bombers with any monkey level hand-eye co-ordination skills. 3, hair pin triggers on roadside bomb.

EMP only effectively takes out #1. #2 is what does the most damages due to a monkey driving the car. #3 is somewhat effective, but it's as effective as a mime.

The most important part is effective policing. For instance, eliminate driving during the day except for US military. Civilian awareness and periodical excercise in case of bombing. Less face time with adult civilians and more face time with children, aka protect the children at all cost. I think, this is going to be more affective. Give 10-15 years from now, they won't turn against US.

Re:Mostly detonated remote. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470645)

#3 is somewhat effective, but it's as effective as a mime.

You bastard. Check your typing. Do you KNOW what coke in the sinuses feels like?!

Re:Is it possible to use a targetted EMP burst? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470250)

If it's possible, I'll buy one so I can fry the sound systems of those fucking low-life assholes with a 50MW subwoofer in their car. We don't have to accept these idiots that can be heard for miles and can't be traced by the police and so can't be arrested (low frequencies being omnidirectionnal...)

Whatever happened to the right to peace and quiet in our homes? Your rights stop where mines start.

Oh, and the new Slashdot looks SUCKS - This isn't a "news for nerds" look, it's a "I'm a futuristic designer" look...

Re:Is it possible to use a targetted EMP burst? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470673)

fuck off asshole.

looks great, tastes great.

you still let mommy dress you right?

Re:Is it possible to use a targetted EMP burst? (1)

Ninjaesque One (902204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470283)

You could do that with nuclear weapons. However, if you were a terrorist and had nuclear weapons, you probably wouldn't use them for disabling electronics.

Re:Is it possible to use a targetted EMP burst? (1)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470320)

There's a large number of devices that don't use electronics to set off the payload.

Re:Is it possible to use a targetted EMP burst? (1)

gripen40k (957933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470570)

Unfortunatly, EMP could actually set off the device itself! That is, if it was going to be detonated via electronics to begin with (as opposed to just a fuse, which is pretty low-tech)...

better solution.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470230)

...leave Iraq..

Re:better solution.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470249)

...and stay home...

Re:better solution.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470379)

As far as killing Islamofascists, Iraq is a pretty good strategy. Plus we get to test out all these cool new robots :)

Re:better solution.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470484)

s/Islamofascists/civilians

Re:better solution.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470485)

"As far as killing Islamofascists, Iraq is a pretty good strategy."

When will this stupid meme die. Islamofascist is not a good description of militant Islamists; fascism is about more than just a powerful and brutal state. From the Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] :
Fascism is a radical authoritarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, totalitarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.

Nationalism is a key component of fascism. The Islamist movement was weaned on fighting the Arab Nationalists. Their ideologies, while both repulsing, are fundamentally incompatable.

Re:better solution.. (5, Insightful)

Dh2000 (71834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470487)

I think you meant, "As far as creating lots of new Islamic militants and terrorists, Iraq is a pretty good strategy. Plus we get to test out all these cool new IEDs."

Osama got exactly what he wanted: The removal of Saddam, and a ton of new recruits.

Re:better solution.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470513)

Osama got exactly what he wanted: The removal of Saddam, and a ton of new recruits.
And we're killing those recruits.

In the mean time, what are "moderate" Muslims doing to make their religion less friendly to fanatic Imams and followers?

Re:better solution.. (1)

Dh2000 (71834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470774)

And then their brothers and cousins decide to take revenge... more recruits.

The moderate Muslims will never get much support whilst the "foreign invaders", as they're called, keep attacking and occuping Muslim countries.

Re:better solution.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470790)

To say that fanatical Muslims have any ethical guide as to which countries they bomb is absurd.

To say that "foreign invaders" are the reason Islamists refuse to reform their religion is also absurd.

Re:better solution.. (1)

Lucky Josh (979365) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470714)

folks... have we forgotten the innocent Iraqi Civilians.... i think it's time to build robots that protect Iraqi Civililans from ruthless American Marines. Gayan

Re:better solution.. (1)

Dh2000 (71834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470811)

Very true, normal Iraqis are suffering the most. This is a consequence of Qutbism (Islam VS the world), the general sectarian hatred of the many different militant groups, and the disregard of American/European troops.

Re:better solution.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470795)

(Score:4, Insightful)
What a crock of shit that anyone would even call that "Insightful". More Islamic militants==more terrorism. If this war produces more recruits for their foresaken ideology that's just the opposite of a good strategy in that respect. You want less deaths? Get the militants to drop their arms and rebuild their country instead of wreaking havoc all around. They're the ones making the country so unstable.

Re:better solution..Carpet Bombing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470719)

In the old days, we would level the city, and the inhabitants that survived were more than willing to stop fighting and get on with the reubilding.

In the 1940's, those people that survived managed to turn into an economic power that eventually caused damage to the U.S economy simply becaues they worked harder.

I say we go back to the old days. In 15 years, I would LOVE to buy an Iraqi car. And other products made out of oil. Some people seem to forget that plastic is made out of oil. Thins like food wrapping, or foot ball helmets.

  Anything in order to put some more money into their economy and hopefully help them prosper.

fixing the user interface (1, Offtopic)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470277)

how do i fix slashdot so that it doesn't look like i'm surfing slashdot from inside a Matrix movie?

Re:fixing the user interface (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470289)

Took the wrong pill this morning, eh?

Re:fixing the user interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470347)

You know, just follow the white rabbit and try again;-)

Re:fixing the user interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470400)

> how do i fix slashdot so that it doesn't look like i'm surfing slashdot from inside a Matrix movie?

Actually, dude, you're onto something.

The problem with the sucky CSS isn't the sans-serif vs. the serif font (although I prefer the old serif font).

The problem is with the huge vertical whitespace in between each line of the sans-serif font in question.

And when you described it as "the Matrix", it's the weird gridlike spacing between lines and characters that's exactly what makes it less like reading text, and more like looking at a huge wall of random characters scattered throughout the screen.

The new CSS resdesign was done by a bunch of people who wanted to make a name for themselves by making the front page look pretty, but the real content of Slashdot is the comments, not the articles. If I wanted a bunch of articles, I'd go to Digg. I'm here for the discussion about the articles, and as it stands, until we get back to the old CSS, the discussions are unreadable.

Yeah, I know you were going for (+5, Funny) with this, and you deserve it, but if I had mod points, you'd get an "Informative" from me.

Re:fixing the user interface (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470507)

No, I'm being totally serious - this new interface sucks for old time users, and I want the option to browse the same way I have been for the last 9 years. I litterally grew up with the old interface (found /. in 8th grade, graduated university this may) and my brain is well trained to scan through the discussions and mentally highlight discussions of interest inside of an article's main discussion. If I wanted a wonky interface that looks B&W to me and is difficult to read, I'll go to kuro5hin.org - but I come to slashdot because it's a much higher volume site with great discussion (once you filter out the noise, which took me about three years of tweaking in the preferences).
 
Yeah, I'm bitching because I don't like change, but I'd at least like the hidden option to use the old school interface and allow myself to continue using the brain training from the last near-decade.

Re:fixing the user interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470573)

Jeez, at least give your brain more than a day or two to adapt, you impatient clod. :-p

Re:fixing the user interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470653)

Bad readability is something you don't want your brain gettin gused to.

Look where the score is located, as you look down the "river" of copy. See how it jumps back and forth? That's bad.

See the little horizonatal line letting you know where a highlighted post ends? That's also bad because it stops your eyes unecessarily.

Those are the first two biggies I've noticed so far.

Re:fixing the user interface (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470864)

The problem is with the huge vertical whitespace in between each line of the sans-serif font in question.

IMHO, the problem is the unreadably tiny size of the font. Looking through the new stylesheets, the font seems to be specified as 82%/150% ie: 82% of the font height that the user has carefully chosen to be easily readable (I know most users don't change the browsers defaults, but this is slashdot, and "most users" don't hang out here), with 150% of the line spacing that the font designer carefully chose to look good with that font.

Re:fixing the user interface (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#15471017)

IMHO, the problem is the unreadably tiny size of the font

No, the AC had it right, nail on the head. Its actually easier to read slashdot now if you make font size smaller. It compresses the text somewhat. Bizarre. I also hate the high contrast in discussions. This is what happens when print artists try to design for the web. High contrast on a page, boys and girls, low contrast on luminous surfaces like monitors. FWIW the most readable test is dark grey on light grey. Most relaxing.

Re:fixing the user interface (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470522)

Use Lynx.

Heh? How does that help? (3, Interesting)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470291)

So 2 feet midget robot car driving around trying to stop IEDs with suicidial nutbag driving right into target? Better yet, how does that help everyone trying to not get blown to pieces while shopping for food or trying to go to school or trying to go from point A to point B?

Oh wait, here is an idea. EM bomb. No ignition, No Boom.

EMP bomb=Really idiotic idea (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470963)

Does anyone tend to think before posting ideas? An EMP device will set the bomb off not stop it from igniting. The whole concept of an EMP device is to disable the electronics by inducing a massive current. Massive currents will still set the bomb off. Also, what if the stupid thing is inside a faraday cage (read car). The Emp device is useless. Not to mention not all bombs use fancy electronics which can be fried. I doubt the level of technology some of these terrorists use is applicable to being able to be blown up by an EMP device.

OMG! (0, Offtopic)

GaBTGurl (975312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470298)

I WISH that I COULD go RTFA but right now my eyes are bleeding from the strain of the new layout! This is worse than OMG PONIES!!!

Tag (0, Offtopic)

dj245 (732906) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470312)

Tag: R'o'land Piquepaille

This has already been done -- better (4, Informative)

SSHGuru (887709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470319)

IOTN - Ionatron has already developed something called a JIN that is a remote vehicle that shoots current into the ground detonating all IED's within a certain range.

Scott

SSHGuru.com

HAL? Is that you? (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470321)

Just wait a decade or two, robots such as these are only the front line. No scientist like Einstein stands out today simply because there are too many scientists who would deserve to be mentioned. Future shock [wikipedia.org] is now real or in modern day terms, a singularity, is that much closer. Japanese culture is where I almost expect intelligent machines to emerge from. We fear Skynet, the typical Japanese adult cut their teeth on Astroboy [wikipedia.org] and intelligent machines are viewed as "our robot friends" in their culture. Overly simplified maybe, but the generalities remain that here we are fearful of machine intelligence while there they are hopeful of it. Throw in the fact that Japan's elderly population will outnumber the youth of it's population in about 20 years is creating a need to have autonomous machines to simply help those future people to get out of bed and into the bath.

I for one... (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470330)

...welcome our new Robotic Overlords.

Hey, it's a classic. You don't have to laugh. The Meme Monster made me do it.

To help soldiers do what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470322)

Robots to help soldiers occupy and terrorize another country without getting killed or maimed so badly? Yeah, that's an honorable application of technology - to make it more efficient for the power brokers to force their will upon entire populations. What the people who control the US government and the US military these days are doing is heinous. George Orwell was very precisely prescient. To protect a soldier so that he can live to kill another day is not a worthy goal of any scientific endeavor. To refine technology to keep a soldier safe so he can kill more innocent people tomorrow, next month, next year should be nobody's job.

Great new way to save soldiers lives: (0, Offtopic)

reklusband (862215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470336)

DON'T SEND THEM TO WAR FOR OIL! Seriously, though, in a time when soldiers have to choose between using homebought armor that actually works (but will cost them their pension) or losing their lives from lack of protection by their employer, the only real way to make sure the government stops killing our Guys and Gals is to pull them out of this useless war.

Ratings on the right? (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470371)

If I want to scan by message title and then rating, my eyes go left/right/left/right...

This is prettier, but I think I liked the old /. more. Kinda like a Linux box with Fluxbox...not the prettiest but by far the most efficient.

Me Luv You Long Time (1)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470383)

The robots I'm thinking of would:
  • Put an end to loneliness.
  • Put an end to STDs.
  • Put an end to unwanted pregnancies.


Whether artificial or not, let's send a bit of what the Bush Administration has done to the American people over to our heroic men and women stationed in Iraq.

Saves Lives? Takes lives? (2, Insightful)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470393)

From the article

"...envisions the creation of an unmanned ground vehicle that could patrol large areas without putting U.S. soldiers in harm's way." "We're already using drones (unmanned airplanes) for surveillance in the skies over Iraq,"

So how long before they save lives by taking lives?

It may be pedantic and out of date but I would prefer if there was a disincentive for military action (like counter invasion or the loss of life) rather than an all out search for ways to carry out military action on the cheap.

Although who wants to see dead soldiers and civilians (of any nationality) - This is good for robotics, it may be bad for warfare - but then sadly technology with any military application usually does end up killing people,- lets all get back to clubs with nails in, the body count may be lower.

Disincentive (1)

Descalzo (898339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470506)

Since when do disincentives for war ever work?

And is war really the worst thing out there? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Do we still believe this or not? The sad, tragic truth is that there will always be people who are willing to throw others' lives away, and sometimes the only way to stop such people is to wage war.

Now that I think about it, perhaps there is a way to make a disincentive to war. Perhaps the only way to end a war without annihilating the enemy is to make it so hard on them that they clearly see that they face annihilation (see bombing raids over Japan (especially atomic), General Sherman's march across Georgia, etc.).

Is it possible that the only reason we are still fighting in Iraq is because we are unwilling to take the steps necessary to truly end it? That's not a rhetorical question, I really want to know what people think, because I don't know.

Re:Disincentive (1)

Profound (50789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470763)

Since when do disincentives for war ever work?

Vietnam, which ended due to unpopularity at home due to the large number of deaths. Not the 3+ million vietnamese civilians, but rather 58,000 US soldiers.

If robots had fought that war instead of US soldiers, you would have saved 58,000 people but at the cost of a few million more civilians.

there will always be people who are willing to throw others' lives away, and sometimes the only way to stop such people is to wage war.

Sometimes. But more often there are people who are willing to throw others' lives away while waging war.

The dark side of human nature says that when one side suffers prolonged civilian casualties, they begin to demand payback, eg WW2 bombers over Germany in retaliation for the Blitz.

If the west can wage war with no or lopsided casualties then this will cause resentment in those countries. People will see their homes and families killed and wish to take the war back to the homes and families of their attackers, inflicting civilian casualties of their own. This is how aeroplanes end up flying into the sides of skyscrapers.

Re:Saves Lives? Takes lives? (1, Flamebait)

Shihar (153932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470595)

No, robotics is good for warfare and humanity in general. Most of the bad things that happen in war happen because humans really don't like to die. If you are marching along as a soldier in Iraq, and suddenly you start taking fire from a building, how do you handle it? Right now you call in heavy fire support and simply flatten the building or riddle it full of holes. If you had robots, you might one day be able to send a robot in that goes into the building and incapacitates every armed person in the building without flattening the entire building and killing civilians. Instead of soldiers going nuts from being constantly shot at and lining up civilians to be shot, soldiers can work inside a well protected building with A/C controlling robots.

There WILL be war now and in the future. The question is what we can do about it. The Western world sat by and watched the genocide in Rwanda without acting because war is hard. No one wanted to go in guns blazing into an African nation. Hell, the last time we tried that was Somalia in a vain attempt to deliver food aid. We probably killed more people in self defense in Somalia then we saved by delivering food.

Imagine if we didn't have to put up with this shit. Imagine if stopping a genocide was as simple sending in a robot army that has no concern for its own safety that captures violent people and brings them to prison. Imagine a robot army whose overriding priority is to not kill civilians. Imagine the good that could be done if someone could drop an army in Somalia that captured anyone who tried to initiate violence? So long as we give a damn about what happens to people outside of our safe and cozy democracies, there are going to be wars. Even if we decide we don't want any part of the wars, that isn't going to stop countless coos, rebellions, and corrupt governments from initiating violence against their own people.

The danger in sending US troops is not the US troops. The US can flatten any non-nuclear nation with minimal losses. The problem with minimal losses is that minimal US losses means catastrophic civilian losses. A MOAB might very well get rid of all the insurgence in a city, but it also gets rid of all the civilians. What you see today is not the US army using all of its force and failing. What you see is an army desperately struggling with the balance between using enough force to protect their own and using as little force as possible in an attempt to not kill civilians. If "protecting your own" wasn't an issue, you wouldn't have Marines flattening buildings or bombs landing in cities.

War is a fact of life. If we are not fighting in one, someone else is. The only question is when war comes, do we want to get involved, and how humanly can we fight.

Re:Saves Lives? Takes lives? (1)

Profound (50789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470800)

That sounds good, but it all relies on the people who control the robots being compassionate, intelligent and only waging war when it is necessary. Think about that, then consider who currently runs the US government.

PS the word is "coup" as in "coup d'état" (unless there was a change of spelling for the reasons behind freedom fries & freedom kisses)

OH FOR CRAP SAKE (1)

THEUBERGEEK (891151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470409)

I have a wild idea, how about we all comment on TFA instead of complaining about the new /. layout. As for TFA... anything that can prevent the death of a soldier in combat is something I will support.

CSS (0, Offtopic)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470457)

Give me my Slashdot back!

It was a joke! SCO didn't patent the old CSS!

Off Topic, I hate this new CSS, Bring back the old (1)

voxel (70407) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470470)

This is really bad.

I had to hunt for the "read more" link on each story, and it just feels too blocky and non-flowing.

I really don't like this CSS at all... I don't know if everyone else agrees with me or not.

Could you at least give me a option to pick the old one?

Cooler Robot Video (1)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470491)

On the weekend I noticed a rather cool looking robot video posted to stileproject here http://www.stilemedia.com/?v=heexe1.wmv [stilemedia.com] Probably not a good idea to grab it from work though as people (like my boss) don't believe you when you say it's a science and anatomy site.

American Soldiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470571)

Sure there is funding to be had for this. But I don't care about "American soldiers" as such, since "American soldiers" are responsible for spreading radio-active materials all over Iraq. Sorry. More misguided research.

Re:American Soldiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470688)

Tell you what, don't do anythinng that might make us WANT/NEED us to come into your neighborhood and shoot you with tanks. What do you think about that?

I tested one of those robots. (1, Insightful)

Ivan Matveitch (748164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470623)

For some reason, it kept trying to torture me and murder my family.

The robot i would like to see, (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470652)

The robot i would like to see is a 8 wheeled behemoth with a 4 foot thick armored plate surounding the control area and engine compartment about 6-8 feet wide and maybe 5 foot long that that blasts water jets into the ground directly underneath it to dismantly and land mines it rolls over while doing 50 MPH. Then four robotic armes (2 arms like the booms on a backhoe and 2 arms that function like regular arms capatble of grasping things). EMP generators that only effect maybe a ten foot area and can either disable IED's and road side bombs or set them off. Radio jamming equiptment that can also stop remote detonations. An aray of input sensores that can locate human object and relay thier actions or placment (snypers) and maybe even target them for some other smart weapon to take out. 50 cal snyper riffles and a machine gun, maybe a small 25 or 30 mm auto loading cannon for troop support.

Make this controlable by a couple of nitendo/xbox style controlers with a sighting relay and let it escort every convoy they run in hostile teritory. All the other vehicles need to do is stay back and follow the wet areas. If it does detonate something, it can push it aside, pick it up with the arms and move it or even do a quicky repair to the road to let the other vehilces pass. Give it a UAV for extended sensor information gathering.

Re:The robot i would like to see, (1)

jac89 (979421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470997)

Yes and it should have a frikkin laser attached to its head

I for one welcome our new interface overlords (1)

cheese-cube (910830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470669)

Article? What Article?

The US is so worried about saving soldiers lives (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470822)

I've got a better idea than robotic vehicles. What about not being at war all the time?

Just get rid of the cell phones. (1)

micrometer2003 (715068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470830)

What do they need them for besides triggering IED's?

Good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15470899)

Now if only they could make a robot that protects Iraqi civilians from U.S marines who can't aim.

The billion dollar cork (2, Interesting)

Nuffsaid (855987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15470958)

Anything that helps to prevent human losses is welcome. That said, some methods are more efficient than others. Sending sophisticated robots to defuse explosive traps aimed at American soldiers looks way less efficient than keeping those soldiers at home, preventing both the loss of their lives and that of uncounted civilians, the destruction of a country and the wave of terrorism that is spawned by such violence. This kind of "solution" makes me think of a billion-dollar electronic, intelligent cork put into the hole (opened at a price of a billion dollar) into a billion dollar dam that shouldn't have been built in the first place. Weird analogy, I know, but American politics is no less weird.
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