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Snakelike Robot To Treat Soldiers During Battle

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the badger-badger dept.

Robotics 130

Al writes "Technology Review has an article about a snake-like robotic arm that could soon be used to treat injured soldiers as they lie on the battlefield. Developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the snakebot attaches to a stretcher and is controlled remotely using a joystick, allowing a doctor to assess a soldier's injuries as the bullets fly by. In future, the robotic arm will be fitted with sensors allowing it to measure vital signs and probe for internal bleeding. Here's a brief video of a prototype arm in action. The arm will become part of the US military's high-tech stretcher, called the Life Support for Trauma and Transport system. This is essentially a portable intensive-care unit, with a ventilator, defibrillator, and other physiological monitors, and it's currently being used in areas of Iraq and Afghanistan."

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130 comments

thats nice. (5, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716555)

between the chair force in Nevada and now the medics with joysticks, everyone but the Infantry can finally be safe!

Re:thats nice. (2, Insightful)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716681)

yea why not replace the infantry with robots and the doctors with mechanics.

Re:thats nice. (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716915)

Working on it. [wikipedia.org]

Re:thats nice. (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717601)

Why don't they teach the arm to fire a gun instead? Seems much easier to let the machines do the killing than the saving...

Re:thats nice. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26717765)

Because Medics are under a different Geneva Convention Category than other soldiers. If the robot fires a weapon in an offensive role, then the robot looses it's protections under the convention. Same reason the Robotic Chaplain doesn't carry a sword.

Re:thats nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26717837)

Yea, and replace the commanders with starcraft players and the soldiers with counter-strike players.

Re:thats nice. (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718883)

In ten years we'll all be speaking Korean.

Re:thats nice. (1)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26719423)

That's what I was getting at...I need work.

It's all in the software (4, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718729)

This snakelike robot is programmed in Python, of course

Re:It's all in the software (5, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26719779)

I managed to get a hold on the actual source code. Here's a sample:

Sss (sss, sssSSS, sS, sSS):
    S.SS = s[S].s SSss * sssss / S(SSs) + sSSSs
    SsS (S s s.sss):
        sS(sss, ssS, Ss)
        SSS.SS.S(sSs.SS)
    SS && ssssssssss(SSSS)

S (sS):
  Sss.SssSSS()
  sSS(SSS)
s

Does anyone here speak python?

Re:thats nice. (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#26719487)

Why not just simulate it on computer? Iran and the US could duke it our in a massive WoW battle.

A little less aspirationally - do you think they'd treat and help wounded enemies on the battlefield with this gear?

Re:thats nice. (1)

DadLeopard (1290796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716721)

Nope! Tankers are still very expensive targets!! They don't have a robotic Abrams Tank yet!

Re:thats nice. (1)

belligerent0001 (966585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717513)

HOOAH! 19E from 88-90 (think M-48a5's M-60A3's), 19K from 90-94(Slick M-1's), and recently I re-enlisted as a 25S SATCOM Operator-Maintainer

Just one question though...why not just equip a bunch of RC bots with mini guns and control them from Ft. Hood? you could even equip them with a highly energetic self termination device...to keep the enemy from getting the assets on the battlefield...or to just create a big crater....RUN FROM THAT JIHADI!!!!

Of course doing so might be what sparks the war between man and machine as I am sure that the machine will reject being enslaved in such a manner....but seriously...why not?

Scary Robot Tank... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26717895)

"They don't have a robotic Abrams Tank yet!"

Oh yes they do!... Ok its not an Abrams, but its still much bigger than SWORDS. Its called Ripsaw MS1, (it lives up to its name!) and while its only a prototype, imagine being in the way of this scary robot!
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=tlcenWPzsUU [youtube.com]

(The tension system on the tracks is amazing to watch closely how much it can take).

Re:thats nice. (5, Funny)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716759)

High latency is really going to get you killed now...

Re:thats nice. (3, Funny)

thewiz (24994) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716797)

Technology Review has an article about a snake-like robotic arm that could soon be used to treat injured soldiers as they lie on the battlefield.

Now all the battlefield proctologists will be able to sit safely in the rear.

Re:thats nice. (1)

jaguth (1067484) | more than 5 years ago | (#26719299)

I can seriously see someone abusing this:

Soldier: I'm down, I need medic!
Remote Medic: Ok soldier, calm down, lets have a look
[snake moves around a bit]
RM: Private, i'm going to have to inspect your colon for any hidden terrorists.
Soldier: Wait, What?! Who are
RM: Just relax, we have everything under control *snicker*
Solder: Don't fuck with me! I'm already in a lot of AHHHH ITS RAPING MY ASS!!
RM: The more you relax your muscles the easier this will be *snicker snicker*

Re:thats nice. (2, Insightful)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716839)

Developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the snakebot attaches to a stretcher and is controlled remotely using a joystick, allowing a doctor to assess a soldier's injuries as the bullets fly by.

(a) Clearly I'm insane in the membrane but a more surefire way to enhance the health of soldiers seems to me to AVOID GOING TO WAR EVERY FIVE SECONDS (omg caps)

(b) Of course, presumably this is just another "hey mr and mrs taxpayer, whilst we have your child away from home on a foreign battlefield, we're going to invest your money in an amazing new technology which will help keep him safe. years down the road, no such product appears but lots of 'important people' make billions from spin-off technologies funded by the taxpayer family" - type scenario.

(c) According to Noam Chomsky, America has been involved in one war or another since the Civil War (*) - coupled with (a) and (b) this makes for an excellent business plan in today's modern world for the big-thinker.

* - I forget the actual point in time Chomsky used as a reference point but suffice to say it was over a hundred years ago.

Re:thats nice. (4, Interesting)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716861)

America has been involved in one war or another every year since the Civil War

There, fixed that for myself.

Re:thats nice. (1)

credd144az (1078167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717537)

Along your line of thinking is the movie "Why We Fight" [sonyclassics.com] , a decent documentary about the themes you've mentioned. It offers an interesting perspective about the role of capitalism in our (the US) military infrastructure. I recommend it highly.

Re:thats nice. (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717689)

Thanks... I'll take a look. It's always nice to be fed information which reinforces your world-view (even if you are mistaken :)

Mod parent up-- it's not flamebait (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717879)

None of the conflicts that the US is in are defense wars. A bunch of people got past security in Manchester and Boston and now we're torching up the Middle East.

It's a good policy to use these devices to save soldier's lives now that we're caught in this mess.

An ounce of prevention and disbelief in obvious propaganda would have prevented the pounds, no megatons of cure we've needed subsequently.

Re:thats nice. (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717559)

The infantry are the cheep parts. In fact if they die while on duty it costs less as the army doesn't have to shell out for education costs afterwards.

Re:thats nice. (1)

Facetious (710885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717929)

The infantry are the cheep parts

Is this a dig at the French? I am confused.

Re:thats nice. (1)

NoisySplatter (847631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718921)

That's what you think.

It currently costs over $400k per death considering the insurance and other death benefits. They don't pay nearly that much for post-separation education. Add to that the cost of training a replacement and you can rest assured that it's quite a hit to the pocketbook when someone dies.

I'd place the price tag of losing a soldier somewhere between $600,000-$800,000 depending on rank and job.

Press 1 for gunshot, press 2 for IED.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26716565)

When I've been shot in a combat zone, the first thing I want to see is a nice, reassuring ROBOT SNAKE to tend my wounds.

Re:Press 1 for gunshot, press 2 for IED.. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716941)

The TRAUMASNAKE is a casualty's best friend!

Re:Press 1 for gunshot, press 2 for IED.. (5, Funny)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716957)

Don't worry, the enemy will soon deploy ROBOT clones of Samuel L. Jackson to deal with the snake problem... ;)

Re:Press 1 for gunshot, press 2 for IED.. (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718699)

Sadly they'll only be effective on planes...

Re:Press 1 for gunshot, press 2 for IED.. (2, Insightful)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716959)

When I've been shot in a combat zone, the first thing I want to see is a nice, reassuring ROBOT SNAKE to tend my wounds.

A nice, reassuring, bullet-proof snake, that isn't an easy target about to get shot and land in the same situation as yourself, requiring medical attention and unable to move to safety.

This technology is a good thing, I don't want my doctor drawing fire from the enemy, or getting injured and unable to save my life. Yes I know it's illegal to shoot at a medic, but it's a lot easier having a virtually indestructible robot snake than asking the enemy to play fair.

Re:Press 1 for gunshot, press 2 for IED.. Hmmm (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717665)

Well, I can see a proactive enemy doing several things:

-- jamming (or attempting jamming) of the snakes

-- using canisters to launch fake (or real) snakes toward the wounded so that conscious wounded will be terrified as hell and may resort to shooting at the expensive devices and venemous or scary real ones

-- launching fraggers into the field to make pointless the use of snakes.

Re:Press 1 for gunshot, press 2 for IED.. (1)

Blublu (647618) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718965)

I like how you use the words "play fair" about a real-life fight to the death.

Re:Press 1 for gunshot, press 2 for IED.. (1)

Blublu (647618) | more than 5 years ago | (#26719001)

What I mean is, it's strange to me how you imply that it's somehow more "wrong" to kill a medic than anyone else. I never understood this phenomenon.

Re:Press 1 for gunshot, press 2 for IED.. (1)

NoisySplatter (847631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26719321)

It's just one of the crazy rules of war. You're not supposed to shoot anyone who is incapacitated or tending to the wounded. In the same line of conduct medics are not supposed to fire at the enemy. Of course this isn't always followed, but it's sort of a courtesy thing.

After all, medical personnel are supposed to attend to both friendly and enemy wounded. I've seen it in practice and I must say I respect them highly for it.

Re:Press 1 for gunshot, press 2 for IED.. (1)

sskagent (1170913) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717771)

John connor, we've lost!

Re:Press 1 for gunshot, press 2 for IED.. (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718775)

Why couldn't they build the sensors into the blanket or whatever the poor guy is placed on top of. I'd imagine if the guy was delirious, he would probably be restrained to stop him falling out, but seeing something like that would still increase his blood pressure anyway.

anime... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26716661)

...tentacle rape FTW.

Re:anime... (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716881)

I was actually thinking more along the lines of stargate SG-1 and the gould (guauld?) snake things, they crawl down your mouth and heal you. Added bonus: knowledge of ancient alien technology and a new megalomaniac personality.

Re:anime... (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716939)

They could be Tok'ra, not Goa'uld. They you be able to retain your own personality.

Re:anime... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716893)

Hopefully I'm not going to regret googling 'tentacle rape' :S

I for one welcome... (0)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716675)

etc

Re:I for one welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26716921)

...our new Goa'uld overlords. Heal me, Lord Slinky...

Didn't read the article, but... (1)

Tuberous (1325699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716685)

Badger-Badger! Now I can't get that song out of my head.

Re:Didn't read the article, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26717271)

Ohhh it's a snaaake

A prototype you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26716717)

Here's a brief video of a prototype arm in action.

That brief video of a snake-like object [houseoftheferret.com] checking out a skeleton looked a lot to me like stop-motion animation.

Almost good (1)

bencoder (1197139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716727)

This looked awesome until I watched the video, then it looked pretty shoddy. There've been some much better snake robots [youtube.com] .

An Army of NONE: +1, Informative (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26716747)

Keep sending your troops to Afghanistan, losers, instead of spending on U.S. economy.

Nice robot, good robot, take this [youtube.com] you stinking piece of wires and metal.

Cordially,
Kilgore Trout

Wait for it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26716763)

Cue the Metal Gear Solid 3 jokes

Snake robot kills soldier! (4, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716769)

If you actually WTFV (watch the video) you can see that after giving the soldier a thorough checking over, the snake-bot PLUNGES THROUGH HIS STOMACH AND UP UNDER HIS RIB-CAGE! Is THAT the kind of behavior we want from our snake-bots?!
Who is running this thing? Skynet?

Re:Snake robot kills soldier! (2, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717231)

Oh no, not again...

Re:Snake robot kills soldier! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26718739)

fixit4me@gov.mil

Even Worse (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26719347)

Snake robot hacked to perform colon exam. I'm just saying...

Re:Snake robot kills soldier! (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26720161)

"If you actually WTFV (watch the video) you can see that after giving the soldier a thorough checking over, the snake-bot PLUNGES THROUGH HIS STOMACH AND UP UNDER HIS RIB-CAGE! Is THAT the kind of behavior we want from our snake-bots?!"

It was a BETA version. Quit kvetching!

"Who is running this thing? Skynet?"

Some company called Infinium Labs. I hear they used to make game consoles.

War is good for technology (3, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716785)

I foresee this technology currently being developed by the military leading in the near future to great advances in the field of teledildonics!

Re:War is good for technology (1)

Muhammar (659468) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717189)

There is no need to barricade yourself at night against the remotely-controlled surgical snake bot. In unrelated news, a kidney was successfully harvested through vagina from the living donor:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7867837.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:War is good for technology (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717711)

They should just send the snake bot into battle and station the humans behind the lines to repair them.

Assessment only. (1)

Pinckney (1098477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716799)

IANAS, however, this seems to me like a very limited and expensive toy. It's not able to recover wounded by itself, rather it allows them to be monitored even before they can be extracted from the battlefield. Yet extraction is the critical step---it's not going to be able to save anyone who can't get medical help. Furthermore, I doubt it can gather a whole lot of useful information: if someone is shot, it will be reasonably obvious where. It's only purpose seems to be to pinpoint who is alive and who is dead, so that medics can focus their efforts properly. But it seems like this could be done more easily with miniature "dogtags" which wirelessly signal whether their wearer has a pulse or not.

Re:Assessment only. (1)

glueball (232492) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717039)

Most important is not extraction. It's stopping the immediate bleeding. Extraction is still very important but a stupid extraction will injure more people and even if successful, an extraction will not be the live-or-die step in saving the wounded.

As you state, injuries are usually obvious. What is not obvious is who will survive their injuries without fully depleting the resources of a forward hospital.

Re:Assessment only. (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717095)

> It's not able to recover wounded by itself...

Big Dog will take care of that.

Re:Assessment only. (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717127)

The note under the video said that, in addition to assessment (done by a remote doctor while a grunt does the actual extraction), the snake can do things like provide oxygen. It means that, while the grunt is pushing as fast as he can so as not to get shot, the patient is getting an initial assessment & the real work can start as soon as they get to a doctor. So yes, it's a limited and expensive toy, which may save lives in certain military zones.

Re:Assessment only. (1)

tylerni7 (944579) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717747)

IANAS

Does the S stand for soldier, scientist, or snake? Or something else I'm missing entirely.

Has to be said... (5, Funny)

rwalker429 (1452827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716813)

"Pleassssse ssstate the nature of the medical emergency."

Re:Has to be said... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26717147)

"Be very sssstill ssssoldier, while I sssstich you up."

War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq (4, Informative)

glueball (232492) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716837)

I'm a subcontractor biophysicist on a battlefield medicine project.

Looking at the injuries sustained on the battlefield, http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/04/america/wounded.php [iht.com] one should conclude they require massive repairs. As my colleague (one of the authors of the book) has stated, the single most important item to have to survive an injury in a battle is a tourniquet.

Most people go out past the wire with a tourniquet pre-applied (but not tightened) on each limb. When I was there, it was a strong suggestion and may now be a requirement.

Now, I'm not on a snake-like project. If it is more complex (and costs a lot more) than a tourniquet, I'd say it is not going to have the promised outcome any greater than a tourniquet.

Re:War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26717561)

Hey, great reference. Really was enlightening about how medical understanding can improve when in unfortunate situations like that. How has the non-military medical profession responded to the book? Are there similar non-medical experience/lessons learned publications about Iraq?

Re:War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717701)

New uniforms do have built in toriquits. It is one of the design features.

The foot soldier may get bottom of the barrel stuff but it is one heck of a barrel to begin with.

Re:War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq (1)

AnthropomorphicRobot (1460839) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718271)

Wouldn't making the robot able to recognize and tighten a tourniquet on a victim be potentially life saving then?

There might be better methods, but a robot which can tighten tourniquets might add valuable seconds/minutes to allow extraction, right?

Re:War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq (3, Insightful)

wufpak (204617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718357)

When I received Red Cross first aid training, I was taught that applying a tourniquet is a decision to "sacrifice a limb to save a life." Having to pre-apply one of those things to each of your limbs before going into combat has got to be immensely sobering.

For an 18-year-old kid, the theoretical possibility of getting killed in combat probably doesn't hold as much dread as the very real possibilities of traumatic amputation symbolized by those tourniquets.

I hope that they built Hell large enough to contain all those national leaders who enter "wars of choice," as well as all military recruiters who play up the "money for college" aspects without mentioning the "wear four tourniquets to work" bit.

--
"A rational army would run away." -- Montesquieu

Re:War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq (2, Insightful)

NoisySplatter (847631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26719011)

I've been there, and we didn't pre-apply them. We did each carry one in our cargo pocket though. You're partially right about the "sacrifice a limb..." thing, but if properly monitored a tourniquet isn't necessarily the end of your limb. It is, however, a last resort.

I can assure you that the general state of mind is not quite as somber as you would assume. Perhaps it's repression of the situation or just plain brain washed insanity, but we were always quite jovial until the shit started flying.

what i want to see is... (4, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716879)

a robot snake swallow whole an injured soldier, and poop out the same soldier completely healed :D

Re:what i want to see is... (1)

patro (104336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717145)

swallow whole an injured soldier, and poop out the same soldier completely healed

You mean like this [youtube.com] ?

Re:what i want to see is... (2, Funny)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717303)

what a horrific way to go; death by low-budget effects :S

Re:what i want to see is... (1)

patro (104336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717383)

Do not underestimate this scene. It was a major source of nightmares for those of us who saw it as children in the 70s/80s. Just check the comments on Youtube.

Re:what i want to see is... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717795)

a robot snake swallow whole an injured soldier, and poop out the same soldier completely healed :D

Or it can just come back out the way it went in [dailymail.co.uk] .

Better Idea (2, Insightful)

Nethead (1563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716945)

How about not sending troops to where they get shot at?

You know you're too late when... (4, Funny)

LunarEffect (1309467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716947)

...there's only a skeleton left lying there.

Re:You know you're too late when... (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718931)

I figured the same thing... if the robot snake can peer at my missing heart through the bottom of my open rib cage, then I don't think the snake will help me much.

Soldier: It's just a flesh wound.
Snake Doctor: Your bloody skin's off, your organs are gone!
Soldier: I've hurt worse.

Good lord, WTF (1)

jimbudncl (1263912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716955)

So, at first, I was intrigued by this innocent technological advancement in the name of medicine.
That was before I watched the video.
Now, re-reading the /. summary, my mind is performing regex:

s/(\w+?(ator))/vibr$3/g

I don't think so (1)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26716991)

Snakes on Irak? Nah, that place is scary enough

And what happens... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26717001)

when the enemy deploys robotic mongooses?

This researcher knows where the funding is (3, Insightful)

hey (83763) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717005)

There is tons of money for war-related tech so this researcher has just aimed his thing that way.
Its cool but it really has nothing to do with war.

Talk about a misread (2, Funny)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717009)

I thought it read,

"Technology Review has an article about a snake-like robotic arm that could soon be used to treat injured soldiers as they die on the battlefield."

Seemed kinda pointless to me.

"Autodoc' (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717063)

...is the word you're looking for.

Re:"Autodoc' (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26719507)

I was thinking "Doctor Octopus".

A proctologist's dream come true. (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717179)

No. Really. That's the only practical use of this, coz i'm sure the dying solder on the battlefield couldn't care less if a doctor hundreds of mines looks through his rib cage.

Why not go on the offensive instead? (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717191)

Arm that robot snake with a chainsaw and a shotgun, and program him to babble like a neurotic "Evil Dead" Bruce Campbell.

Let a bunch of them loose on your enemy, and you won't have to worry about any casualties on your side.

Soldiers are mentally prepared to face other soldiers in combat situations. They are not mentally prepared to face chainsaw and shotgun wielding robot snakes.

Re:Why not go on the offensive instead? (1)

virtue3 (888450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718061)

robot snakes with lasers on their heads...

If it can do that last move on you (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717415)

you are boned.

"You will experience some minor pressure as the robotic snake rams itself up into your rib cage."

Cool stuff.

Anyone else thinking (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717555)

Goa'uld! If their eyes start glowing after "treatment" you know it's bad. Don't forget, the head shot is the only true stopper.

Re:Anyone else thinking (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717965)

Goa'uld!

He said robot snake [wired.com] .
http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2009/01/terminator-dire.html

A snake bite me... (2, Funny)

Noxn (1458105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717641)

...with some morphium. Much better.

This will be useful in war.
But, how will it work?
Checking the heartbeat with a sensor mounted on a moving stick controlled by a joystick could be hard.

Missing sensor? (1)

martindp (540152) | more than 5 years ago | (#26717785)

By the looks of it, it seems they have a small problem. The system should at least be able to quickly determine that the subject is a SKELETON!! Maybe they should add a camera? :)

Conclusion: Dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26717869)

As the robotic snake meticulously examines the skeleton in the video, the human controller must be thinking to himself "yeah, he's pretty fucking dead."

Course (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26718307)

Of course, the obvious thing is...if you can make a robot arm good enough to let a doctor do an exam, why don't you instead build a robot arm that SHOOTS BACK and reduces the total number of infantry you need???! I mean, what kind of idiots put money into this? For the same cost to develop the robotics and telepresence tech and to get it engineered for this medical purpose, you could build a combat robot that would soak up the bullets!

Oh man (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 5 years ago | (#26719185)

Please tell me this isn't going to be a robotic Dr. Watson!

War is still War (4, Insightful)

fxPPC (1079383) | more than 5 years ago | (#26719291)

Rather than wasting huge sums of money on making war more acceptable to the public (by reducing the rate of casualties), we should be spending huge amounts to END war. The day that war becomes a safe occupation for the aggressor is the day that we'll see more of it, and this project is another small step towards that.I am an American, and it scares me to see my country launch unprovoked wars of aggression. The US spends more on the military than the next 4 biggest-spending countries... COMBINED. Anybody that works to make war easier, works toward making more war. These researchers are guilty of conspiracy to commit murder by helping to enable more efficient killing forces. Human being have to stop killing human beings, end of story!

Re:War is still War (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26720071)

"Human being have to stop killing human beings, end of story!"

Wake me when guns don't trump everything else.

What a waste of time and money (1)

PingXao (153057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26720275)

I know slashdot frowns on really short comments, but what the fuck? I'd rather see the .gov money in this go to any one of a dozen different techology efforts.

Joystick? (1)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 5 years ago | (#26720411)

The article says that the snakelike robotic arm is controlled with a joystick. This sounds like it would require a lot of skill to operate. It seems to me it would require much less training if the robot were simply duplicated locally, and the operator manipulated it with the manipulations replicated at the remote end. The local robot could replicate any resistance encountered on the remote end. The remote and local robots could be exactly the same, since both presumably have motors, position sensors, and stress sensors in each joint. The software would translate stress on the remote end to resistance on the local end, etc.

The article: "Because it's impossible for a person to simultaneously control all the joints on the snake, the team developed software to enable precise control of the robot's movements via a joystick." Well yes, if you're trying to do everything via a joystick/computer screen. But if you can just grab onto the physical local robot and move it the way you want, like a gooseneck lamp, that seems pretty natural, and the operator can focus on doing the job instead of futzing with computer cursors and program options. Since this is an emergency, you want it to be usable by any MD or technician with minimal additional training and practice. The computer simulation would then just be a luxury since it doesn't tell you any more than what you can already see (and feel) on the local robot, and possibly even an unnecesary distraction; you mainly just need to hold the local robot and watch the video camera for feedback.

It could even be bidirectional: if someone moved it on the remote end to help position it, those movements would be replicated on the local end, and the local and remote personnel could easily cooperate. Maybe restrict the maximum movement speed for safety so one end doesn't wop the other (either accidentally or just fooling around for fun).

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