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Army Tests Autonomous Black Hawk Helicopter

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong? dept.

The Military 125

An anonymous reader writes "A specially equipped Black Hawk was recently used to demonstrate the helicopter's ability to operate on its own. In the first such test of its type, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research's Development and Engineering Center, based at Redstone Arsenal, flew the Black Hawk over Diablo Mountain Range in San Jose, Calif. Pilots were aboard the aircraft for the tests, but all flight maneuvers were conducted autonomously: obstacle field navigation, safe landing area determination, terrain sensing, statistical processing, risk assessment, threat avoidance, trajectory generation and autonomous flight control were performed in real-time. 'This was the first time terrain-aware autonomy has been achieved on a Black Hawk,' said Lt. Col. Carl Ott, chief of the Flight Projects Office at AMRDEC's Aeroflightdynamics Directorate and one of the test's pilots."

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Skynet (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200039)

Skynet. That is all.

Re:Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200129)

Wait 'til RoboCop finds out. Boy will he be jealous.

Re:Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200295)

I'm more worried about KARR.

I heard it got together with Thunderhawk from M.A.S.K. to plot revenge.

Re:Skynet (3, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200543)

Wait 'til RoboCop finds out. Boy will he be jealous.

Don't worry, the Kiwis are preparing to get Snoopy on the case...

"The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has teamed up with Mini Cooper in New Zealand to teach three dogs how to drive." http://mashable.com/2012/12/05/driving-dogs-campaign/ [mashable.com]

Re:Skynet (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | about a year and a half ago | (#42203305)

Wait 'til RoboCop finds out. Boy will he be jealous.

Don't worry, the Kiwis are preparing to get Snoopy on the case...

"The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has teamed up with Mini Cooper in New Zealand to teach three dogs how to drive." http://mashable.com/2012/12/05/driving-dogs-campaign/ [mashable.com]

Finally. When that catches on, it'll be a nice improvement over the people on the road during my commute.

Re:Skynet (0, Troll)

MacDork (560499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200379)

Does it kill fewer innocent children and reporters [collateralmurder.com] than combat pilots?

Re:Skynet (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200595)

I wonder if it will also see the same RPGs, weapons, and related items among a group of insurgents like that, right in the area where armed combat had been happening all day? Or are you wondering if the helicopter will autonomously edit video in order to make the military look bad? I wonder if the helicopter will somehow cause reporters to forget to tell the military where they are, and to hang out - without markings - with armed insurgents in a combat area? Autonomy is tricky! Just like autonomy among reporters who want to hang out with killer insurgents to get material they can sell for more money.

Re:Skynet (2, Insightful)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42202321)

The most critical moment in the linked video is not the reporter (?) being killed, but the passerby in a van with his children inside that is attempting to rescue wounded people lying on the ground. He and his children are killed for his efforts. This is a war crime.

Re:Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42202779)

The children lived.

Re:Skynet (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42202985)

The last I heard on this report was that both children were delivered to an Iraqi hospital, the girl with a severe belly wound, the boy with a severe wound to the head and torso. Their chances of survival sounded slim at best. Maybe you are right and they might actually have survived, I don't have the time to follow up on this at the moment. Even if they did survive, with wounds like that and the father gone, their chances in Iraqi society look dim. Their lives have been destroyed.

Re:Skynet (2, Insightful)

XeLiTuS (2787743) | about a year and a half ago | (#42203703)

Note to self... stay out of a warzone if you don't want to be injured or killed.

Re:Skynet (3, Insightful)

Crosshair84 (2598247) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204171)

Or perhaps you could just stop bombing good Samaritans and rescue workers. Stop blaming the victim for doing what any non-sociopath would do, help a fellow human in need.

Re:Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200629)

I'm guessing it will have better specs on collateral damage then the Fajr-5's and 747's.

Re:Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42201495)

Does it kill fewer innocent children and reporters [collateralmurder.com] than combat pilots?

That depends on where you deploy it, and what your definition of an "innocent" is. Reports are neutral objects, they are to be treated just like a Referee on a Soccer (Football) field. You're not supposed to intentionally target them, but you're also not supposed to worry about hitting them on accident- it's their job to get out of the way.

Re:Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200591)

Send one of those for us to hack. With love, from Tehran!

~AnonymousIranianCoward

Re:Skynet (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200767)

Skynet. That is all.

This story is just a fabrication by Skynet trying to scare us all. Skynet is really a fat nerd sitting in his mom's basement trying to 'score' with 'chicks'.

Re:Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42201075)

I agree, the machines have reached "awareness".

Re:Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42201179)

The test flight of the HK MK.I was a sucsess.

Re:Skynet (1)

grumpy_old_grandpa (2634187) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201745)

Skynet? Am I the only one around here who watched Airwolf? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airwolf [wikipedia.org]

Re:Skynet (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | about a year and a half ago | (#42203415)

I remember watching it, but when I read this story, all I could think was "I for one welcome our new SkyNet overlords".

Re:Skynet (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about a year and a half ago | (#42205061)

Nah, this is but one of a number of necessary steps before SkyNet can actually rule.

All it can do now is launch missiles and such with various warheads.

Work like this and the DARPA stuff with autonomous vehicles, drones, and such are all needed to be completed before SkyNet chooses to reveal its presence, power, and control.

Almost there. Not quite yet, but getting close...

Re:Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42201897)

WOPR

First Post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200043)

First post and this sounds like Skynet is here now in helicopters!

Great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200063)

Great.

CAPTCHA: bloodied

Great! (5, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200097)

That means that when the US government sends them out on domestic civilian pacification/suppression/reconnaissance missions, the people can shoot them down without feeling bad about killing people. It's too bad the government does not share such reluctance.

Strat

Re:Great! (1, Insightful)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200107)

That means that when the US government sends them out on domestic civilian pacification/suppression/reconnaissance missions, the people can shoot them down without feeling bad about killing people

You mean other than the people that the downed chopper crashes on?

Re:Great! (2, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200217)

That means that when the US government sends them out on domestic civilian pacification/suppression/reconnaissance missions, the people can shoot them down without feeling bad about killing people

You mean other than the people that the downed chopper crashes on?

Oh, right. Better to let the chopper go ahead to it's heavily-populated target unmolested with that fuel-air bomb than risk the chopper crashing.

My bad.

Strat

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42201749)

Interesting view of how a domestic suppression mission would work in US - FAE for best ROI.

Re:Great! (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42207803)

Interesting view of how a domestic suppression mission would work in US - FAE for best ROI.

When the SHTF I don't expect the government will adhere to Marcus of Queensbury rules, Geneva Convention rules, or any rules at all, actually. Might be a good idea to also stock up on protective gear for chemical attacks, too.

Unfortunately, not much besides crawling into a very deep, very reinforced and sealed hole in the ground will protect from a nuclear blast. And yes, if those in government think they may be losing the fight and are able, I fully expect they'd launch nukes at domestic targets and damn the consequences. Those currently in power are "dogs in the manger". If they can't be in charge of everything/everyone, they'll destroy everything/everyone first before that happens.

Strat

Re:Great! (3, Interesting)

wmac1 (2478314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201313)

Or it can be an Apache helicopter shooting at civilian people and no one can be criticized of killing them. The copter has malfunctioned.

Re:Great! (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201333)

How exactly do you plan on shooting down a black hawk helicopter? I mean, what weapon will you use? Bird shot's not going to do it.

Re:Great! (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201805)

And this is why automatic weapons are illegal. All you need is some intake hits.

The best way to take down a helicopter? A quadcopter trailing steel cable with a weight on the end. You will lose the quadcopter, which is a small price to pay really.

Re:Great! (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204945)

lol I'm not sure either of those would work, unless the automatic weapon is large enough caliber. The reason automatic weapons are illegal is because city slickers are afraid of them.

Re:Great! (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42207359)

How exactly do you plan on shooting down a black hawk helicopter

Well, even one of these would make life very stressful indeed for a hostile Blackhawk, especially if you can secure some AP ammo. With several fighters equipped with these, that Blackhawk may quickly be doing a Mogadishu re-enactment.

http://www.gunsinternational.com/Browning-BAR-Grade-II-69-Belgium-30-06-Blond-Wood.cfm?gun_id=100304244 [gunsinternational.com]

My father carried the full-auto military version in WW2. He told me it would punch holes in German light-armor like half-tracks, armored cars, etc. Even with standard FMJ ammo it penetrates walls, tees, bricks, and concrete extremely well. It was also one of the favored weapons of Bonnie & Clyde and the Barrows gang.

Of course, one of these could punch *big* holes in a Blackhawk or Apache and ruin their entire day.

http://www.barrett.net/firearms/m107a1 [barrett.net]

And it's legal to purchase and own in the US. And I know for a fact that .50BMG-AP rounds are readily available, even to the point they're not *that* much more expensive on the black market than legally-available surplus FMJ. Seems that since the US military has had so many different theaters of combat going lately that a lot of military weapons, ammo, and material has produced a bit of an overabundance of supply in the black markets around the world, including domestically in the US.

But heck, even without AP ammo, if one were to put a .50BMG round through both the side-doors, passing through without actually striking anything, the shockwave alone from the .50BMG round would likely kill or incapacitate anyone within a few feet of the rounds' path.

If a bunch of Jihadis in a 6th-century region can take out helos, depend on US citizens being able to take them down, even without Stingers or RPGs.

Strat

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42201629)

This also means that the U.S. can go murder people (terr'ists) around the world without the fear of the american public screaming about the loss of american (the only ones worth something apparently) lives in case it gets shot down.

Re:Great! (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#42202095)

Well, there's another point of view to this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mogadishu_(1993) [wikipedia.org]

Extract:

"During the operation, two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters were shot down by RPGs and three others were damaged. Some of the wounded survivors were able to evacuate to the compound, but others remained near the crash sites and were isolated."

Remember, this operation was UN-mandated, after civil war had led to an estimated 500 000 deaths.
I don't agree with everything the US does, but in this was NOT the same as Iraq.

Now, whether or not this new tech would have made the helicopters more or less vulnerable to unsophisticated weapons in an urban context, that's an interesting discussion point. At least less lives would have been put at risk.

Re:Great! (2)

tibman (623933) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204607)

hahah. Domestic pacification in the United States isn't a robot helicopter with weapons. It's television!

Meh (4, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200101)

I saw these at a kiosk at the Mall the other day.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200195)

You must have missed the man behind the curtain controlling it.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200291)

I saw these at a kiosk at the Mall the other day.

Hahaha

Re:Meh (1)

dinfinity (2300094) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204661)

You jest, but I am seriously not impressed.
What we see is an autopilot system for a helicopter that performs its job in perfect weather. Such systems already exist: http://www.pilotoutlook.com/helicopter_flying/autopilot [pilotoutlook.com]

"A risk-minimizing algorithm was used to compute and command a safe trajectory continuously throughout 23 miles of rugged terrain in a single flight, at an average speed of 40 knots"

Wow, impressive. Especially the 'rugged' part. And the 40 knots (~75 km/h) part. And the fact that it kept a safe height of hundreds of feet from said rugged terrain ("The aircraft flew at an altitude between 200-400 feet about[sic] ground level.").
Let's be honest: the autonomous terrain-maneuvering capabilities of this thing are dwarfed by most of the stuff we've seen quadcopters and other smaller UAVs do.

Re:Meh (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about a year and a half ago | (#42205179)

It also had people on board and was a test of the systems. No doubt that once the systems are proven, the people will come off, and the thing will be run lower and lower and faster and faster until it would cause even battle-hardened pilots to soil their drawers.

A computer can act on inputs a lot faster than humans. The only thing (and it is a big thing) that humans have going for them is complex thought and the ability to think abstractly while maneuvering for the kill.

But a computer-controlled and armed helicopter can basically maneuver at the limits of the flight envelope constantly without exceeding it. That will make it a very difficult opponent to defeat. Give it the power to compute many different scenarios simultaneously and then choose the one with the highest probability for success and it will be hard, if not impossible, for even abstract human thought to compete.

Re:Meh (1)

dinfinity (2300094) | about a year and a half ago | (#42207883)

I completely agree: Autonomous UAVs are the future.
That doesn't change how underwhelming this particular story and the accompanying video are.

year (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200113)

http://phanmemtiger.com tôi hoàn toàn tin tng

So? (0, Flamebait)

JasoninKS (1783390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200125)

My first thought is "So what?" Granted, pretty darn good for a first test. But these were very ideal looking conditions. Try it in real world conditions and then get back to me. Cloudy days, rain, fog, high winds, snow and ice, sandstorms...I'd bet any of those would throw this thing for a big loop.

Re:So? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200485)

My first thought is "So what?" Granted, pretty darn good for a first test. But these were very ideal looking conditions. Try it in real world conditions and then get back to me. Cloudy days, rain, fog, high winds, snow and ice, sandstorms...I'd bet any of those would throw this thing for a big loop.

I can see you at Kitty Hawk. 'Pretty darn good for a first test Orville, but blah blah blah'.

Re:So? (4, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201657)

Why did this AC get marked insightful while the other guy who pointed out that military tests have been VERY favorable to the objects being tested for...ohh... I'd say the last 80+ years?

What the military considers a "test" and what happens when you actually use the thing in combat conditions have been shown time and time again to be nowhere close, this goes all the way back to the mark 14 torpedo in WWII that the military said passed all the tests with flying colors, yet in reality if the thing didn't just blow up in the middle of the water because the magnetic exploder was faulty it would go completely under the target since it ran as much as 25 feet too deep or it would just clang against the hull of the ship since the contact fuse was also shit. the only good thing about it was when the damned thing turned on you you at least had just as much chance as the enemy of it turning out to be a dud, which is why we only lost two subs to it.

So if anything those ratings should be reversed, as its pretty common knowledge that with the DoD and the defense contractors so chummy the tests are rigged as much as possible to give the thing being tested a favorable outcome, be it giving the Patriot a low flying level target coming in at a known height and trajectory,, similar conditions being given to the Phalanx, hell I could sit here and list weapons that passed military "tests' with flying colors only to turn out to be crap in the field all day, its not exactly like this is a revelation here.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42203655)

Exactly. I guess that's why a lot of people were so surprised at how well the Iron Dome system did recently in Israel; a hell of a lot better than a pessimistic / realistic extrapolation of the strategic US interceptors and Israeli lasers which all had "passed" tests but turned out to not work in the field :-)

Re:So? (3, Interesting)

Quila (201335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42203667)

Or sometimes last-minute changes to production are made that completely invalidate the tests.

Take the M-16, great in final tests, but soldiers were dropping like flies in Vietnam because their rifles were jamming. Turns out the Army chose a different powder manufacturer for production cartridges, and this caused fouling and corrosion of the chamber and barrel, and increased the rate of fire beyond design specs.

Re:So? (1)

JasoninKS (1783390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42205167)

Well, I'm not saying the testing was rigged by any means. And it really is impressive that it worked that well for the first big field test. I'm sure there were many issues in the initial lab tests.

What had triggered things in my mind was when we first went to Iraq under Bush senior. Our tanks were shut down because they didn't want them sucking in all the sand into their air intakes. Same with our jets...sand would've trashed those engines in a heartbeat. And our advanced weapons couldn't "see" targets due to blowing sand. Yeah, they were good systems, and NO system will function in 100% of conditions. But they were tested under pretty ideal conditions. Our military at the time was built for open land or forestry type conditions. No one ever thought about the effects of tons of blowing sand. No one thought about "How are we going to get this 70 ton tank across a river bridge built to hold small pickup trucks?"

This was a very impressive feat. I can't argue that. And I'm sure more testing is to come. But I call it a very first test. Throw more harsh conditions at it and lets see how it goes.

Re:So? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200855)

Well, given how massively complex and difficult it is to fly a helicopter, the fact that it didn't go spiraling into the ground (which I'm sure the human pilots would have tried to avoid) -- I think any form of autonomous flight is pretty impressive.

The aircraft flew at an altitude between 200-400 feet about ground level. As part of the field navigation tests, the aircraft's system was able to autonomously identify a safe landing spot within a forest clearing and then hover 60 feet over the identified landing spot. It achieved this goal within 1 foot of accuracy.

"A risk-minimizing algorithm was used to compute and command a safe trajectory continuously throughout 23 miles of rugged terrain in a single flight, at an average speed of 40 knots," said Matthew Whalley, the Autonomous Rotorcraft Project lead. "No prior knowledge of the terrain was used."

I'd call that pretty impressive -- automated terrain following in a helicopter isn't exactly an easy task.

I'd be willing to bet this falls into the more skillful end for even human pilots, and that even doing it under ideal conditions isn't exactly easy.

Of course, this is just the next in a long line of steps towards Skynet becoming self aware. ;-)

Re:So? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201591)

I'd call that pretty impressive -- automated terrain following in a helicopter isn't exactly an easy task.

Balancing standing on two wheels with high center of mass is a very difficult task for a human, however Segway does it easily with very primitive microcontroller.

Re:So? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201811)

Well, given how massively complex and difficult it is to fly a helicopter, the fact that it didn't go spiraling into the ground (which I'm sure the human pilots would have tried to avoid) -- I think any form of autonomous flight is pretty impressive.

Not really. Military helicopters have long been able to self-stabilize. Apache is rumored to do it. Comanche definitely does it. Is it really that more complex to control a helicopter than a quadcopter? It's more complex to build, certainly.

Noob Pilot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200135)

Good thing they didn't hook it up to Battlefield 3. It would have crashed 3 second into the flight.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200197)

First jigabachis... next.. tachikomas? Motoko, be ready.

Re:Interesting (1)

Metahominid (1368691) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200305)

Cue heart attack of pilot followed by crazy AI. Ha, jigabachis were the first thing I thought of too.

Re:Interesting (1)

ambrandt (2464370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201193)

I thought that the moment I saw this headline. Wonder is they'll give it the undercarriage weapons array that the ones in the show had.

Autonomous (1)

linatux (63153) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200199)

including the use of weapons? (Next logical step)

Re:Autonomous (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201247)

Not until we've perfected the targeting system, so it will only kill brown people and indigenous populations.

Re:Autonomous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42202183)

Initially, perhaps.

But eventually it will be anyone in an area that predominantly voted against the current administration.

And finally anyone not in the ruling elite.

Re:Autonomous (1)

halltk1983 (855209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42202895)

If you kill everyone not in the ruling elite, then there is no one to rule. They need us plebes so that they don't have to actually work.

That would be so cool, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200319)

if it weren't about to kill us.

Cool (2)

codepigeon (1202896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200437)

I am sure there will be many posts about 'big brother' and the evils of the government, but I have to say....cool.

I have always been interested in robotics. This is just amazing to me. We have moved so fast (in regards to computing), I can only imagine what will be common place in the next decade.

p.s. It would be awesome if they posted the algorithms they used for this. I won't hold my breath.

Everything is openly available (1)

xtal (49134) | about a year and a half ago | (#42203133)

The control algorithms, IMU processing, hell even very good terrain data are all openly available. Some time in a engineering library searching papers will even turn up reams of applications to helicopters specifically.

Even very good image systems are available.

What's changed is the processors to make use of all those are both rediculously cheap and light.

Human pilots.. your time is coming.

SkyNet here we come (2)

kilodelta (843627) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200451)

This is sort of scary to me. It is as though we're living in the age of SkyNet yet most of us don't know it.

Re:SkyNet here we come (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201661)

This is sort of scary to me. It is as though we're living in the age of SkyNet yet most of us don't know it.

And yet, for most people, just what would be the difference between Skynet and the current order? A coldly rational computer isn't going to start a world war, since that would destroy the very infrastructure that feeds it, while humans have done so twice and come darn close to starting a third one multiple times. So, should Skynet take over, would most people even notice?

Re:SkyNet here we come (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201813)

So, should Skynet take over, would most people even notice?

Would you notice the difference between a little bugshit in your candy bar, and a candy bar made entirely out of bugshit? The premise is that Skynet is trying to kill all the humans, TPTB are only trying to kill most of the humans.

Re:SkyNet here we come (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42202379)

The premise is that Skynet is trying to kill all the humans...

Which seems quite illogical as long as SkyNet is not superior to humans. Original thinking and coming up with new stuff is quite hard for an A.I., despite our best efforts to teach it to them. We're able to create A.I. which are good problems solvers...but a problem solver can not come up with innovation, not much at least. As long as SkyNet is not superior to a human. As the problem solver would most likely have figured out by then that humans don't like to be killed, and go *way* out of their way to avoid being murdered *or* take the bastard at least with them down.

Re:SkyNet here we come (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42202115)

Fuck Skynet, I vote for Colossus.

Re:SkyNet here we come (2)

kilodelta (843627) | about a year and a half ago | (#42203573)

I was waiting for someone to mention Colossus: The Forbin Project. "This is the voice of World Control....Obey and Live". That has to be one of the more scary AI movies out there. I do wish they'd do a remake on that one though the classic, even at it's low budget managed to get the point across loud and clear.

Human Pilots Too Expensive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200487)

401 K.

Medical.

Dental.

Booze Fund.

Drug Fund.

Rehab.

Anger Management.

Electroshock Therapy.

Incarceration.

Court Martial.

Civilan Detention.

Rehab 2.

Civilian Detention in County.

Hospitalization.

Rehab 3.

Psychological counseling.

Arrest.

Incarceration In County 2.

Criminal Complaint.

Arraignment/First Appearance.

Preliminary Hearing.

Arraignment in the Superior Court.

Pre-trial Conference.

Trial.

Conviction.

Appeals & Writs.

Incarceration In Max Security: after altercation in Court and Death of Bailiff by vicious attach and injury to Judge and Audience attendees.

Electroshock Therapy.

Sex change operation: i.e. castration.

Electroshock Therapy.

Riot At County: 43 dead inmates, 105 dead Guards and Prison Warren.

Incarceration In Max Security 2 with daily beatings.

Forced amputation of arms.

Prison Riot 2: 110 dead Guards, Prison Medical Staff (23 dead), Prison Attending Physician Murdered.

Incarceration In State.

Prison Riot 3: Lots of Dead Everywhere, Carnage.

Forced Amputation of Legs.

Incarceration In State Max Security: Preventative Measure.

Federal Prison Authorities DoJ Interveen.

Incarceration In Federal Max Security: Hourly Beatings, Food Depravation, Water Boarding, Electroshock (power plug and metal bead chain in rectum and around neck).

Body mutilation by Federal Prison Doctor and Staff.

Death induced by Electroshock Therapy.

Cremation of remains.

Remains flushed down toilet.

Records at Federal Burned.

Records at State Burned.

Records at County Burned.

All Local, County, State, Federal documents burned.

Human Pilots Too Expensive!

"Robot Down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200639)

We have Robot Down!"

That sounds a lot less scary, doesn't it?

Re:"Robot Down... (1)

Crosshair84 (2598247) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204245)

Until it gets captured, reprogrammed and sent back.

Anyone remember the Terminator Series? That was a big thing for the resistance, capturing Skynet weapons intact, or rebuilding one working one from multiple broken ones, and reprogramming them to aid in attacking Skynet.

SCREW THIS ARMY STUFF! (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200661)

Where's my $100 plane ticket to Australia?! (Note: far from Kangaroos at this point.)

And this is bad because... (2)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200765)

Ok, I'm seriously missing something. Is that my paranoid gene? So all tech now will be bad, because all tech can be used to kill people? Seriously?

Come on, idea of Internet was conceptually concieved by military for communication infrastructure to survive localized nuclear attack! So it must be bad too!

I'm the only one who sees beneficts of this, or drones... Or Slashdot has long time ago lost it's common, humor and cool head senses and I'm preaching to wall here?

Re:And this is bad because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42200847)

No no, it belongs to the neverending series of /. articles about lame (both on the cool/interesting scale AND in motoric capabilities) robots.

Re:And this is bad because... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42202695)

The problem is that is further dehumanizes killing, and the US has a history of treating non-US citizens as sub-human (e.g. not respecting their human rights, killing large numbers of civilians by mistake and then using terms like "collateral damage").

Back in school the teacher posed a question for debate. If you were presented with a button that if pressed would kill some anonymous person you had never met on the other side of the world with no consequences to yourself, other than receiving £1,000,000, would you do it? The US military is close to answering that question in the form of "would you deploy a drone over some foreign country where it might kill some innocent people you have never met if there were no consequences to yourself, other than receiving a few million dollars to buy more drones?"

Re:And this is bad because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42202813)

The thing is, this sort of tech is, as you say, a little like the Internet. It'll be really cool when everyone's got it.

I actually mean this - when autonomous flying vehicles are something "everyone" can own, then it'll be cool. Until then, it's another way for the "haves" to oppress the "have nots". Once the average joe can buy/build a half-decent vehicle of his own, then the advantage of the "haves" is reduced to the point of "we flew a 'copter over his house to see if we could get a shot of him, but he flew one back and dropped grenades over our parking lot". Thing may still not be "even", but they'll be a lot less asymmetric than they are now.

Re:And this is bad because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42207849)

I'm the only one who sees beneficts of this, or drones... Or Slashdot has long time ago lost it's common, humor and cool head senses and I'm preaching to wall here?

'beneficts'?

*facepalm*

ffs c & t aren't even close on a qwerty board.

Osprey (2)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year and a half ago | (#42200797)

Good for them. Maybe they can use this to finally get the Osprey to fly as well.

Re:Osprey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42202431)

Osprey has been flying in service since 2005, bro.

Re:Osprey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42206457)

Only if you consider "flying in service" as "able to fly about 25% of the design flight profiles, with an accident rate twice that of standard helicopters". It's far more vulnerable to ground fire than either helicopters or planes, and absolutely will crash when performing avoidance maneuvers while in "VTOL" mode. In short - you don't get to use it anywhere near a hostile force, nor can it be flown (well, actually, landed) in rough weather. That kind of cuts it out of use by the Navy, and the Army isn't able have it do more than medium transport into secure airfields.

The Osprey is a failure, pure and simple. It can't live up to its original design specifications, and thus is more costly than traditional helicopters. Its only current advantage is a longer range, which, given the very restricted flight profile for landing, is practically useless (you can use a C-130 for 80% of the flight profiles that the Osprey can do that a helicopter can't). It's even worse, as the Navy found out that using Ospreys on many current-generation ships isn't possible, due to the excessively hot engine exhaust causing deck-warping (yeah, in 3" solid steel decks). So, the Osprey can't land on the vast majority of helicopter-equipped ships, even those which nominally should be able to handle something the Oprey's size.

The Osprey is like the DD-1000: something that is never going to be worth the money we spend on it, and should be killed NOW.

what's this bathtub cork doing up there? (1)

4wdloop (1031398) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201033)

All looks military grade but this bathtub cork on a cheesy chain attached to the scanning thingy (LIDAR?)...huh?

And yet more glorification of killing technology (0)

musth (901919) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201163)

You can almost feel the boner that the Slashdot editors have for this crap, the way they're constantly shoving it at the readership. Frighteningly, a considerable portion of the readership likely has the same boner. That's what decades of living in a nation that glorifies war does.

Notice the display in the corner of the video - just like a video game.

Re:And yet more glorification of killing technolog (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201321)

Turning the other cheek only works if the other party is a 60 lb unarmed girl. I think it is very good that you are living in such a nice padded coccoon that you can actually believe that pacifism is a viable strategy. It shows that the police and military are successful in keeping you a safe and insulated mommy's little baby with no real word experience, but one day, when you venture out of the basement, please don't go anywhere with grafiti on a wall, stick to the major shopping mall food courts and you should not come to any harm.

Re:And yet more glorification of killing technolog (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201603)

Turning the other cheek

Hey, look everyone, a Christian who happens to be a complete fuckheaded warmonger! Who would have thought of such thing?

Re:And yet more glorification of killing technolog (1)

Crosshair84 (2598247) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204379)

Hey, look everyone, an Atheist who happens to be projecting onto others.

Re:And yet more glorification of killing technolog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42202171)

Guess who has been going around slapping other people's cheeks and giving pretty bad excuses for doing so.

Pacifism isn't a viable strategy for other countries when the USA keeps going around "projecting power".

You bunch look more and more like the bad guys every day. Except with way more firepower.

Re:And yet more glorification of killing technolog (1)

Crosshair84 (2598247) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204359)

There is a difference between pacifism and non-interventionism.

As has been pointed out by the AC, Guess who has been going around slapping other people's cheeks and giving pretty bad excuses for doing so? Are you SERIOUSLY surprised when those people start slapping back after getting slapped for 40 years? The US government continually operates on the idea that, "The best defense is a good offense." That may work for sports, but it's a lousy military strategy and national defense policy.

We need to stop interfering in their affairs, let them govern themselves and within a generation they will be back killing each other as they were before we intervened. Anyone that bothers to come around the world to attack us will be little more than a lethal nuisance that is easily dealt with by law enforcement.

Re:And yet more glorification of killing technolog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42201625)

Notice the display in the corner of the video - just like a video game.

Just FYI, the video games emulated the HUD's not the other way around. But more to the point, so fucking what?

Another step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42201381)

Another step towards video-game warfare. This works better when the enemy, real or imagined, can't attack your country or your ships or your bases. Next step: Soldiers will be randomly selected for suicide according to simulated warfare; no need to make weapons of war.

Re:Another step (1)

Quila (201335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42203721)

This works better when the enemy, real or imagined, can't attack your country or your ships or your bases.

How is this a bad thing? War pretty much consists of killing the other guys while keeping your guys from getting killed. The more you can protect your guys, the more you are likely to win.

Fly Hard (1)

dohzer (867770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42201497)

This is well and good, but what happens when a Marine types 'FLY HARD' into the console and hits return?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7783335/ns/us_news/t/reckless-pilots-problem-us-military/ [msn.com]

Re:Fly Hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42202225)

That sure reinforces the "Yee Haw!" cowboy pilot/soldier stereotype the rest of the world has of the US military.

If you want to do better at "regime changing" you need to send cool headed professionals not a bunch of kids with high powered weapons who are a danger to everyone including themselves AND their allies.

e.g. the sort who'd say "Grow Up, Kid" when someone asks them to "hot dog" it.

Would you want to trust your life to a civilian airliner pilot who "hot dogs" it with 300 passengers? No? So why put weapons that can wipe-out entire villages or towns in such immature unprofessional hands?

Re:Fly Hard (1)

Quila (201335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204105)

We're not looking for the aerial version of bus drivers to fly these things, we're looking for race car drivers, drifters, stunt drivers, people who can and will push the envelope. We want people who will fly in at 100mph at treetop level in a twisty valley at night under fire to exfil pinned-down troops. Unfortunately, as the article notes, this ability and willingness naturally increases the probability of hot-dogging incidents regardless of how otherwise professional the pilots are.

The difference between hot-dogging and training is mainly whether the pilot was ordered to do it. What would be "watch this trick" in civilian life is done daily by these guys. What kind of idiot dips the back-end of his helicopter in the ocean and holds it there? They do it all the time for Spec Ops boat launch and recovery.

Those pilots with the conservative airline mentality can fly the C-17s. They're useless for combat helicopters.

No Running Man? (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42202191)

But if they don't have pilots who are they going to make contenders in an execution that's fronted as a TV game show?

Re:No Running Man? (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42202535)

Which got me thinking... if you're going to deploy helicopters against civilian food rioters[1] then it's probably better to have them under machine control rather than a pilot who is likely to come from a civilian background.

[1] Sadly, I don't think that this is an impossibility, even in developed nations.

Non-stupid uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42202353)

There must be a thousand different ways to use this technology in order to improve our lives rather than in a war machine.

Re:Non-stupid uses (1)

Quila (201335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42203863)

GPS, FLIR, radar, night vision, space rockets, jet engines, all brought to practical reality for military use then later transitioned to benefit civilian life.

This is history. Even the Roman roads were built for the troops, not civilian commerce.

Some Clarification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42203233)

The article summary is slightly misleading. AMRDEC is headquatered out of Redstone in Alabama, but the US Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate (a division of AMRDEC) developed the RASCAL helicopter and is located at Moffett Field, alongside NASA Ames research center. RASCAL has been in development for many years, flying out of Moffett near Montain View, CA, and this flight is just the latest in a long series of incremental advances.

The hot new thing in the rotorcraft industry right now is "optionally piloted" vehicles--the idea being that you'd like to use helicopter as they're used today, with pilots flying troop transport and assault missions, but have the option to remove the pilot for riskier or more monotonous tasks like ferrying cargo to forward-deployed troops. There are various levels of human involvement being considered as well; for instance, short of full automation you might have a formation of four helicopters where only the leader is piloted by humans. Things are picking up, and this technology really is going straight from prototypes like RASCAL into the next generation of versions of our current airframes.

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