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Military Robots Get Machine Guns

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the remote-war dept.

Robotics 665

javaxman writes "Next spring, the U.S. military is expecting to deploy Talon robots with machine guns. They can also be equiped with rocket launchers. Really, they're remote-controlled 'bots, not true autonomous 'bots, so you can save the Skynet jokes for, um, some day in the not-to-distant future. This is just the first, or maybe second step. As for me, I just want to see arena matches between gangs of these suckers. Robot wars indeed!"

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665 comments

In Korea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970637)

In Korea only old people have robots with machine guns.

Nalbar jub zbqf guvf shaal vf n shpxvat zbeba

Re:In Korea (-1, Redundant)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970688)

In Korea only old people have robots with machine guns.

Will you STFU? This joke is getting REALLY old man..

Re:In Korea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970740)

You obviously didn't read the OP, now go back and do it again, correctly. Now don't you feel like a horses petute? Newb.

Re:In Korea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970770)

holy shit man STFU... complaining about this joke is getting REALLY old man.

Re:In Korea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970843)

In Korea only old people complain about these posts!

Re:In Korea (-1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970874)

In Korea only old people think the joke is getting REALLY old man!

Re:In Korea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970731)

Can someone explain this Korea joke to me? I get the "In Soviet Russia..." and the "... in Japan!" jokes but this "In Korea..." stuff has gone over my head. I guess I'm not "hip" with what the slashdot trolls do anymore...

Re:In Korea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970739)

At least it's better than pointless references to Mercartur and mares.

Re:In Korea (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970772)

> Anyone who mods this funny is a fucking moron

Good thing they modded you troll, troll

FP (-1, Redundant)

455 (718431) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970638)

First Post!

YOU FAIL IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970654)

For today and today ONLY, YOU FAIL IT!

Re:YOU FAIL IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970871)

yuo suck at teh interweb

frickin (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970641)

Post this again when they graduate to frickin lasers.

dupe dupe dupe (-1, Flamebait)

screwedcork (801471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970642)

DUUUUUUUPE

Re:dupe dupe dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970663)

oh well maybe not, the other one was about robots with SHOTGUNS. of COURSE.

This is OLD NEWS (-1, Redundant)

ponds (728911) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970643)

We've had this for years in Korea, In fact only old people and bearded terminal hackers use them any more.

You just couldn't help yourself could you (1)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970825)

You just couldn't help yourself could you.

A shinny new cliche on a first post is a very seductive force to be reckoned with, and an even bigger heartbreak when it gets modded down as a troll. I feel your pain.

:-P

Cheers,
Adolfo

When will they learn! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970649)

When... will... they... learn! :(

Re:When will they learn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970810)

learn what?

Captured robots (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970650)

Can these robots be captured and reconfigured to turn against its ex-master, or do they have self-destruction function?

This reminds me of an old Canon printer advertisement, where the Martians use this bubblejet printer to print realistic Mars landscape photos and place them in front of the Mars probe's visual sensor.

Good News in War Against China (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970704)

The Chinese have low regard for human life [phrusa.org] and would be willing to throw millions of soldiers to their death against the Americans in any war. The scenario would be like a human wave, and the idea is for the wave to overwhelm our forces.

These machine-gun robots is the perfect answer to a Chinese wave attack. I could imagine them being amphibious. On a fine morning like 2006 December 7, millions of them would rise up out of the ocean tide and onto the beaches of China. They would march relentless across China, killing all the Chinese soldiers.

The final destination would be Tibet.

As that old Negro spiritual goes, "[Tibet,]free at last! [Buddha] all mighty! Free at last!"

Re:Captured robots (4, Informative)

PeterPumpkin (777678) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970791)

These are controlled by people, so unless an enemy whacked the soldier and took his joystick away, this shouldn't be a problem.

Re:Captured robots (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970864)

As long as they remember to enable the WEP security.

A trend (5, Funny)

DrLZRDMN (728996) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970651)

Didn't they get shotguns about a month ago? From what I can tell they'll have rocket launchers by the begining of next year.

Re:A trend (5, Funny)

prockcore (543967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970676)

Didn't they get shotguns about a month ago? From what I can tell they'll have rocket launchers by the begining of next year.

I just hope they don't get Quad Damage.

Re:A trend (5, Funny)

a1cypher (619776) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970698)

What if we gave them a whole variety of weapons that could be rotated through. Such as a hand gun, machine gun, gatling gun, rocket launcher, shotgun, etc...

Then we could interface the machine with an FPS game and let people select weapons with the mouse scroll wheel.. And it can pick up any munitions, "health packs" or "armor shards" that it happens to "find" and maybe even throw grenades..

hrm.... And then you could get a whole bunch of them and stick them in one location, "map" if you will where they can duke and nuke it out forever.

oh wait...

Batlle bots (2, Funny)

machocomacho (760106) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970652)

I think we should just use robots instead of people, this ensures we won't invade poor innocent countries that can't afford robots, keeping wars to a minimum.

What if... (1, Insightful)

kdougherty (772195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970657)

The batteries in the remote control die during fire? I don't know about you guys, but I don't want a rocket misguided into my car or house!

Here in Korea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970659)

In Korea only old robots get old machine guns.

Re:Here in Korea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970852)

I'm starting to think these jokes might replace the ever loathed "Soviet Russia" jokes... I like it.

Friendly Fire (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970660)

It's already hard enough to tell the difference between terrorists and friendlies in an urban setting, how are they going to tell on a crappy NTSC television?

What about ethics? (5, Insightful)

SlashdotMirrorer (669639) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970661)

Whatever happened to Asimov's rules of robots that they can do no harm to humans? For years, bearded terminal hackers have done their thing, hacking on software, hardware, and such, with little regard to the ethics of the situation. But now, with our creations affecting mankind in a more profound way, we give little more thought to ethics than we did with a simple BASIC shell script.

Think about this the next time you are coding a servo controller on your Redhat compiler. Could your code be misused in a way you would not approve?

Re:What about ethics? (3, Insightful)

bigberk (547360) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970724)

Whatever happened to Asimov's rules
The Rules don't apply when you've got $400 billion of funding. No rules apply!

Re:What about ethics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970833)

We are talking about a goverment funding.
They have already dropped all human rights and international treaties a couple of years ago.

Isn't this another step to a neo-nazi state?

Re:What about ethics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970758)

My code may be used in baby-mulching machines. In fact, I encourage it!

Re:What about ethics? (1)

SlashdotMirrorer (669639) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970774)

You sir, are an insult to the bearded terminal hacker spirit.

Re:What about ethics? (1)

diablobsb (444773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970777)

...than we did with a simple BASIC shell script.
any geek that uses basic for his/her shell scripts should be the first ones shot by this robot...

Seeing your work used "for evil" (4, Insightful)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970830)

Think about this the next time you are coding a servo controller on your Redhat compiler. Could your code be misused in a way you would not approve?

Y'know, I hear this kind of question a lot. I work for a defense contractor. When I'm explaining my work to people, invariably the question of "don't you worry that your work will be used in some future war that you don't approve of?" No, actually, I don't and the reason isn't that I approve of all (or even most) of the military actions that my country is involved in. Part of it is a bit of short-sightedness on my part. I work on very "research-y" topics: data fusion, sensor resource management, and other stuff that isn't gonna get implemented until 2015 at the very earliest. Part of it is that I think war is a necessary part of humanity. I wish it weren't but a simple examination of the human brain reveals that the "R-complex" (aka reptilian brain) is present in every person. I have learned to use my other brain portions to control my aggresive tendancies but there are lots of people who will never master that trick.

But I think the main reason why I don't lie awake at night worrying that the results of my efforts might make the world a worse place is the same reason why parents don't usually lie awake worrying that their kids are going to turn out to cause more harm to society than benefit. I don't have kids but I'm thinking that if I did, I probably wouldn't spend too much time worrying that my kid is gonna become the next Kenneth Lay and be the cause of a great deal of suffering. I would probably think that my kid is more likely to be a benefit to society or I'd just be enjoying the process of raising my kid and not get all worried about how he's going to turn out.

I don't see any reason why one should assume that the products of their efforts will only be used for applications that they 100% agree with. Really, I think that's terribly naive. Do sheetmetal workers lie awake at night worrying that the steel they cast that day might be used in the casing for a bomb?

GMD

Finally! (2, Funny)

Korgrath (714211) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970662)

finally! a way to get rid of Trolls without having to smell them!

Johnny Five ... ALIVE! (5, Funny)

omghi2u (808195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970664)

Johnny Five ... ALIVE!

Need I say more?

Re:Johnny Five ... ALIVE! (5, Funny)

Sepper (524857) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970725)

I can already see the battlefield of the future:

Number 5: "Hey laser lips! Your momma was a snowblower!"

Re:Johnny Five ... ALIVE! (1)

kyouteki (835576) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970738)

I have a feeling that a Johnny 5 would really enjoy /.

Re:Johnny Five ... ALIVE! (1)

caino59 (313096) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970849)

nah, too much bullshit and reposts. he'd get bored and look elsewhere...

we lowly humans are too dumb and stick around anyway.

sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970665)

can they handle soccer hooligans?

What... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970670)

This is a violation of my rights as an american citizen. cleary I should have more rights then a robot if I am granted to rights to own firearms. I could be mistaken though.

This Will Save Lives (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970673)

With the ongoing insurgency and deadly terrorists still operating in Iraq, these new robots will be handing in close quarter combat, and house to house fighting.

Instead of sending a group of Marines into a house and getting ambushed, we can wheel these robots in and take out those suckers without risking harm to our soldiers.

This is a Good Thing(TM).

Re:This Will Save Lives (3, Insightful)

centipetalforce (793178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970805)

Don't call them terrorists- call them rebels or whatever, but not terrorists. And while in the short run this may save a couple of Americans, civilians are more at risk from killbots. A dead innocent civilian just creates at least five or ten more "terrorists". Even if it does slow the death rate of Americans, that also means the presidents approval numbers remain high and contempt for us from the real world grows. This is not a good thing at all.

Great (4, Funny)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970674)

Military people were complaining gamers make crap soldiers... now we'll own them at robot wars and laugh at how they mocked us for playing space invaders!

Hope they don't have a short circuit... (0, Redundant)

metachor (634304) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970675)

Johnny #5 is alive!

Well for the sake of us all.. (2, Funny)

nilbog (732352) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970677)

Diebold didn't make them, did they?!

Article Text (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970679)

The Army next March will begin to deploy Talon robots from Waltham, Mass.-based Foster-Miller. The robots will be mounted with M240 or M249 machine guns, said a Foster-Miller spokesman. The units also can be mounted with a rocket launcher. Defense agencies have been testing an armed version of the Talon since 2003.

Putting guns on robotic vehicles is a natural evolution of the technology, which is being adopted to decrease risks to personnel in the field, the company said. Several robots, including the Talon and the PackBot from iRobot, have been used to conduct surveillance missions such as taking pictures inside the caves of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, during the conflict. Other robots have been mounted with "distruptors," guns that disable bombs and mines.

A robot coming next year from John Deere and iRobot will ferry supplies to and from the front, navigating its travels with little human input.

A robotic vehicle with a machine gun will essentially enable soldiers to stay in a safe area while attacking an enemy.

Unlike most robots, the machine gun-mounted Talon won't be autonomous. People will guide it via radio commands or fiber networks and then have full control over the gun.

"Driving, observing and shooting are always done with a man in the loop," the Foster-Miller spokesman said. "The labs like autonomy, but the users themselves always like to have control."

The Talon weighs about 80 pounds, travels at 5.2 miles per hour and can go about 20 miles on a battery charge. In "wake up" mode, in which the unit conducts surveillance but remains mostly dormant, a battery charge can last about a week. The Talon was used in Bosnia to dispose of grenades and during the cleanup of the World Trade Center.

The company has received more than $65 million in orders from various defense agencies.

Re:Article Text (1)

PMJ2kx (828679) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970745)

A robot coming next year from
John Deere and iRobot will ferry supplies to and from the front, navigating its travels with little human input.
Oh, teriffic...we'll do a little farming of opium while the 'bots are kickin' trash...

Arnold (0, Redundant)

badpenguin (793665) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970680)

So how long untill the governor of CA comes out and tells us hes really trying to save the world from total destruction?

Overlord Blah Blah... (1, Funny)

richardoz (529837) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970682)

I for one welcome our machine gun toting remote controlled robot overlords..

OK.. I had to get that one out of the way..

Haven't we had this? (1)

lightdarkness (791960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970684)

I thought the military released this technology months ago. Is this an improvement on the tech, or just a dupe story?

Lemming? (5, Funny)

dev_alac (536560) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970685)

Did anyone else notice the page file was lemming.htm?

Re:Lemming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970707)

True. I was thinking BS when I first read the title.. this confirms?

Good News in War Against China (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970686)

The Chinese have low regard for human life [phrusa.org] and would be willing to throw millions of soldiers to their death against the Americans in any war. The scenario would be like a human wave, and the idea is for the wave to overwhelm our forces.

These machine-gun robots is the perfect answer to a Chinese wave attack. I could imagine them being amphibious. On a fine morning like 2006 December 7, millions of them would rise up out of the ocean tide and onto the beaches of China. They would march relentless across China, killing all the Chinese soldiers.

The final destination would be Tibet.

As that old Negro spiritual goes, "Free at last [for Tibet]. [Buddha] all mighty! Free at last!"

not really new (2, Interesting)

cyrax777 (633996) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970687)

police departments have been using shotgun armered robots for a while to shoot bombs and stuff via remote.

Talon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970691)

A remote control thing with big weapons...sounds like a Farscape reference.

let's hope ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970692)

... they're not running Windows!

Robots Make $$$ (1)

Mad Martigan (166976) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970699)

I think that these robots would be much better fund-raising machines than killing machines. Think about these robots on Battle Bots. I think this could get the show back on the air. Then, the DoD could use the winnings to reduce the tax burden of defense spending.

Maybe not.

M249 (4, Informative)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970700)

The weapons these things are carrying are the M249 SAW. They are chambered in the 5.56mm NATO round spec and carry a 200 round box which it feeds from, but it can also use the regular 30 round magazines that the M-16 uses. The gun was developed in the 70s and has been used by the US, UK, and Isreali forces. Although the original ones could accept the M-16 magazines the latest Mk.46 mod.0 version doesn't include this option as to save weight on an already hefty 6.8 kg gun.

Also check out the Foster-Miller XSLASH (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970703)

It's the next generation machine [google.com] (cache), it's lighter and has a longer run time between charges.

CAUTION: Parent is a link to scat site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970812)

Thank god, for tabbed browzing, did not get a look at it.

Not so bad... (1, Insightful)

zors (665805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970709)

I used to think that these things were unfair and that US (or the west in general) soldiers shouldn't be so out of risk or as powerful. Then i realized, fuck that. What war does to a soldier, i cannot completely comprehend. But i can comprehend it enough to say that any tech that means fewer soldiers have to die, that its a good thing.

Re:Not so bad... (5, Insightful)

Grey Tomorrow (722221) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970803)

I think you are missing the point that only fewer soldiers on OUR SIDE die. The casulaties on the other will make up for the discrepancy.

Re:Not so bad... (1)

zors (665805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970857)

uh...yeah. so?

Sure we ought to avoid war whenever we can, but if we are at war, our men come first.

Is that such a bad arguement?

Re:Not so bad... (2, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970806)

"...any tech that means fewer soldiers have to die..."

Fewer of ours, more of theirs...OOH RAH!

Re:Not so bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970815)

fewer soldiers have to die
and more casualties on the other side... yep!

Re:Not so bad... (1, Insightful)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970846)

In the short term that may be a good thing, but in the long term it means that the United States is even more powerful militarily than it has been before. Will technology like this make America more bold? Would attacking other countries such as Iran be an easier choice to make without the threat of American casualties to sway the public?

Nobody wants to see more people die in war, but even fewer want to see a lone superpower with even less hesitancy to enforce its agenda around the world. In the end, things like this could cause more deaths than they save.

Re:Not so bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970855)

any tech that means fewer soldiers have to die, that its a good thing.

I know - how about you don't go declaring illegal wars and basically feeding shitloads of soldiers into a sausage maker like what the mighty US of A is doing in Iraq right now? Thats easy, readily available tech that anyone can use *right now*.

Re:Not so bad... (3, Insightful)

back_pages (600753) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970877)

I used to think that these things were unfair and that US (or the west in general) soldiers shouldn't be so out of risk or as powerful. Then i realized, fuck that. What war does to a soldier, i cannot completely comprehend. But i can comprehend it enough to say that any tech that means fewer soldiers have to die, that its a good thing.

Another angle on this is that mutually assured destruction through nuclear weapons was enough intimidation that it prevented nuclear war. In a similar fashion, fighting a war where your side suffers human losses while the enemy loses robots would be a humiliating, demoralizing experience - perhaps to an extent that fighting against such a miliatary would be a lost cause before the first round is fired.

There are pros and cons to that - it could be a very real deterrent to warfare, but it could just as easily alienate and silence people with a just cause for fighting. I doubt those people would shrug their shoulders and go home - they'd probably settle for guerilla warfare amongst the civilian population where an armed robot isn't a feasible option. Hm, not a far cry from terrorism.

I'm seriously not a hippy but the prevalence of "insurgent" style warfare these days is starting to convince me that war really isn't the answer - not because war is unhappy or unpleasant, but because people who are motivated enough to fight a war will express themselves despite being outright defeated in a war. If they want to kill, they'll kill regardless of your tanks or soldiers or barricades or armed robots. It's just too bad that nobody tosses tea into the harbor anymore.

EMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970710)

Would the robots from the Terminator movies be susceptible to EMP waves?

Robomafia (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970712)

Any connection to this story? [slashdot.org]

Re:Robomafia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970728)

No.

Human oversight (5, Interesting)

grunt547 (836363) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970721)

From the article:
"Driving, observing and shooting are always done with a man in the loop," the Foster-Miller spokesman said. "The labs like autonomy, but the users themselves always like to have control."
It's really not too shocking to think about a computer in charge of deadly force. Sure, think about Arnold in Terminator, but this is not a new idea. We've put computers in charge of our weapons systems for years. Back in the days when strategic bombers with nuclear weapons were our primary deterrent, the computer (such as it existed in the 50s and 60s) was in charge of dropping the bombs. This was even more common on conventional platforms, where accuracy actually mattered. The computer can figure out where the best place to pickle off the bomb is, and all the pilot does is flip a consent switch that actually allows the plane to release a weapon. All the pilot knew was that the bomb would release at some point. This system offers a lot more control to the human operator, who I guess will be playing an FPS in real-life.

just make sure to grab the right clothespin (0)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970722)

I'd hate to see the carnage if someone else was on the same frequency crystal or if the neighbor's kid get's an RC car/plane.

e.

Keith Laumer (1)

grolaw (670747) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970734)

Wrote some wicked dystopian SF with these things. It was around 1968. The only difference between then and now is that armed RPVs exist today.

I wonder if they will use a race or religion - based FoF discrimination system? Shoot the brown people or, shoot the non Christian?

http://www.keithlaumer.com/ [keithlaumer.com]

Johnny 5?... Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970735)

Why start with machine guns? Give then granade launchers first. Maybe then they might be good in Iraq that way. Some how I do not think they will be replacing real foot soldiers any time soon. They certainly will not cleanup urban warfare, even though that is what the average American techno military goof might think. We still have not learned the lessons of Vietnam and will pay dearly for our collective stupidity.

We already have autonomous firing systems (5, Insightful)

ca1v1n (135902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970756)

The Patriot Missile system fires with no human intervention. It uses an Identification Friend-or-Foe system to track everything in the air, and shoot down anything that shouldn't be there. During the recent Iraq invasion, a glitch in this system caused it to fire upon a British fighter jet, destroying it and killing its pilot. It was about to do the same to a US jet, but that jet was armed with fast-flying radar-seeking missiles designed to take out hostile SAM sites, and was able to take out the radar component of the Patriot system before the missile reached his plane. Notably no one was injured on the ground when he did this, since there was nobody actually sitting in front of the device, or anywhere near it.

I think it'll be a long time before autonomously firing ground systems are in place, because it's hard enough doing IFF in the sky, let alone on the ground. I think the fire-finder system (used in the Balkans to take out mortar positions in the mountains firing upon cities) might do this in some limited capacity, but that's only anti-artillery, rather than telling the difference between a guerilla carrying an RPG and a farmer carrying a section of irrigation pipe. Sure, you could wait until they shoot first for all of these systems, since that's a lot easier to determine automatically, but I think it's quite obvious that waiting for the other guy to shoot first is very far from the policy of the current administration.

So What ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970766)

Strapping a gun to a bog standard, tracked, remotely operated robot is considered news worthy ? It's the kind of thing a child would think up.

Mirrordot Link (2, Informative)

b0lt (729408) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970773)

here [mirrordot.org]

Duplicate story (1)

Scott7477 (785439) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970784)

I have definitely seen this story on Slashdot recently. How did this get through the edit process?

What a great solution (2, Funny)

bigberk (547360) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970786)

Heh, now I can see how USA of the future is going to run the world. A bunch of armed robots rolling around the middle east bringing freedom to every man, woman, and child while obese American schoolchildren hold the remote linked gamepads in their greasy palms, with attention divided between American Idol and a Kraft "cheese" commercial.

In soviet russia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970788)

machine gun robot controls you

IDing friend vs. foe with low-res cameras (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970793)

I don't see how the cameras in this thing will have enough resolution to do proper ID of friend vs. foe. Man-in-the-loop is not going to work well without some pretty intensive HDTV or better cameras. Perhaps a foveal vision system slaved to the operator's eyeball might be adequate, but I still suspect that troops will shoot first at the grainy pictures and ask questions later.

Talon's Brother (1)

loid_void (740416) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970794)

Wasn't that Talon's brother in Terminator III?

Send your suggestion to the millitary. (1)

NoseBag (243097) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970799)

I for one would pay big bucks to see two or more of these little puppies go at it against each other. The commercial income could pay for the whole development program.

At 700-800 rounds per minute (cyclic) for the onboard weapon, I really DO NOT want to see what one of these things will do to a flesh-and-blood.

Call me a wuss...

US Army can have the most sophisticated tech ever (1, Troll)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970800)

They're still going to fuck up and shoot their allies by mistake

Re:US Army can have the most sophisticated tech ev (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970832)

haha werd!
stupid yanks

Saw this on SeaQuest (2, Insightful)

emtboy9 (99534) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970826)

Oddly enough, one of my favorite, and IMO the best, episodes of SeaQuest DSV is the episode where the crew is wisked into a future where wars are fought by armies of giant armed combat robots, which are remote controlled by children, who think that they are actually playing a total imersion video game.

With the advances in VR and forms of total control of remote devices and such based on muscle movement and in some cases even brain wave activity, how far away are we from a time when anyone with a joystick can command a combat robot?

It really reminds me a lot of Largo from MegaTokyo and his army of Ph34rbots.. but on a serious note, however, I really do wonder. It would seem that, while these types of things are great in that they save lives ultimately, at the same time, they could ultimately be a supreme form of evil.

Even though bad things DO happen in any armed conflict, at least in this case, fields of robots battling it out, even if they are merely remote controlled, will keep real people from dying needlesly. However, again, how long before someone figures out how to gain control of these things and turn them against civilian populations, villages, cities, etc.

On a side note, what I really find funny is that, traditionally, the military is the last major area of manual labor that has NOT been severly affected by technology (in the sense of robots replacing workers as they have in manufacturing and other areas) and now, there exists a real possibility of the military being downsized due to robots replacing soldiers. Maybe the Teamsters can organize the military!

Re:Saw this on SeaQuest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10970879)

Ender did this long before (Or way beyond depending how you look at it) Seaquest did.

But, do they run VxWorks? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970834)

Or Linux? Or WinCE? Or CustomWinEmbedded ? Given the remarkable ability of the US Gubmint to screw things up, send bids to the lowest bidder, and the generally crap state of public-sector contracting, combined with the generally crap state of off the shelf computing resources (OSes, VB scripters, and the PHBs who manage them), will this thing just be come a giant fscked up boondogle? Like the famous 'ship powered by WinNT' that had to be towed back to port?

Not Skynet, silly... (2, Funny)

gilroy (155262) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970840)

... but ED 209.

Now put down that weapon. You have 30 seconds to comply. :)

Real Use (1)

mmegremis (836471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970850)

I cant wait to have these things sent to IRAQ insted of our US Troops. I mean, why scout with people when they obvously have the tech. to scould w/ something just as good? (In a way, I know there not perfect). Think about it. Even if its not pratical to attack with, we could still use the recon.

IF iROBOT == DEAD {
REPORT "something_bad_happend" to "Remote Command";
}
IF iROBOT != DEAD {
MOVE foward;
}

Damnit (2, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970853)

They can make gun wielding robots, but they cannot make me a Tom Servo to watch movies with me and wisecrack. I tell ya, what is technology good for?
(Sorry, saw the "In the not too distant future" quote in the article, brought up some fond memories)

A genuine worry (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970878)

I'm not someone who is pro-military, however I do think that our military shouldn't be so dependent on technology. We have lots of skilled soldiers, but let's be realistic - the proof is in the pudding, if our soldiers are losing against an enemy that doesn't have all those fancy toys, then the fancy toys probably aren't as useful as we think (drone planes etc.). With the huge defence budget, a lot of companies are just dying to get a piece of the pie with their own piece of ultra technology... but real soldiers are flesh and blood killing machines.

OS - AI (1)

ReeprFlame (745959) | more than 9 years ago | (#10970881)

I hope their AI engine is not windows based. Oh no, I think I just shot my commander!
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