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Street Fighting Robot Challenge

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the gun-jack dept.

Robotics 180

ianchaos writes "There's no better way to assure the eventual destruction of mankind than by the event sponsored by Singapore's Defence Science and Technology Agency. Newscientist has a good writeup of the robot challenge, which is to build a robot that can operate autonomously in urban warfare conditions, moving in and out of buildings to search and destroy targets like a human soldier."

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ACTUALLY, I AM A GOOGLE SHILL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17747832)

Yeah, google's pretty cool. You can like use it to search and stuff. Whoa.

One word (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17747836)

Bolo

Re:One word (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17748524)

Offtopic? Attention Moderator on crack and/or woefully ignorant:

Bolo [wikipedia.org] is most definitely ontopic.

I crawl toward the enemy, blind and uncertain of my every move. This is not the first battle I have fought over this broken, bloody ground, but it may be my last. The enemy is ruthless and keenly skilled, led by a commander whose battlefield brilliance has consistently outmatched the government's admittedly wretched field-grade generals. Any commander who can catch a Bolo Mark XX in one successful ambush after another is a force to be reckoned with. I do not make the mistake of underestimating him. I am in pitiful condition for battle, but this rebellion must be stopped. As the only fighting force left on Jefferson with any hope of defeating the rebellion's high command, it is up to me to restore law and order to this world. Civil war is a bloody business, at best, and this one has been no exception. I am not happy to be caught in the middle of it. I am even less happy with the terrain in which I must face Commodore Oroton and his veteran gunners. The terrain through which I creep is ideal country for the rebel army which has made its strongest camp here. Klameth Canyon is more than a single, twisting cut of rock slashed through the heart of the Damisi Mountains. It is a whole series of canyons, narrow gorges, and tortuous blind corries. Tectonic action buckled ancient sandstone badlands and shoved the broken slabs upwards in a jumble that stretches the length of the continent. The deep canyons carved by wind, weather, and wild rivers still exist, but they have been twisted askew by the titanic forces inherent in the molten heart of a world. Above the ancient canyon walls, the high, broken peaks of the Damisi range climb toward the sky, jagged teeth above a spider's tangle of gashes in the earth. I have never seen terrain like it and I have been fighting humanity's wars for more than one hundred twenty years. Even Etaine, the worst killing field I have ever known, was not as disadvantageous as the ground I cross now. If it had been, humanity would have lost that battle--and that world. I fear I will lose this one, for there is no worse terrain on Jefferson for fighting an entrenched army. Commodore Oroton, naturally, has chosen it as his final battleground. The only way into--or out of--Klameth Canyon by ground transport is through Maze Gap, which I cleared nearly an hour ago. I anticipate ambush from moment to moment, but the commodore's gun crews do not fire. I mistrust this quiescence. I have all but given up trying to outthink Commodore Oroton, since I am almost invariably wrong. His battlefield decisions are frequently devoid of straightforward logic, which makes any attempt to predict his moment-to-moment actions fiendishly difficult. If I had a Brigade-trained human commander with plenty of combat experience, he or she would doubtless fare much better than I have, working on my own. But I do not have a human commander, let alone a Brigade officer. The president of Jefferson, to whom I report and from whom I take directives that equate to orders, has the power to issue instructions that I am legally obligated to obey, under the terms of Jefferson's treaty with the Concordiat. The president, however, is not a soldier and has never served in any branch of the military, to include Jefferson's home defense forces. He has never even been a police officer. When it comes to conducting battlefield operations--or outfoxing an enemy commander--Jefferson's president is spectacularly useless. None of these facts raise my spirits as I crawl through terrain I can barely see. If not for the battle archives I carry in my experience databanks, my situation--and my progress through Klameth Canyon--would be impossible. Using my on-board records, I am at least reasonably able to steer a course through the twists and turns of Klameth Canyon. I am less concerned with ephemera such as houses, barns, and tool sheds that did not exist when I last fought for this ground, because small structures pose no navigational hazards. If necessary, I will simply drive through them. My main concern is what may lie hidden inside or behind those structures.

Mod parent up (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748706)

He/she may have made a seriously obscure reference, but it was quite clearly on-topic and well sourced; a scifi reference is very appropriate for a topic like this.

Counter attack (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747838)

Oh yeah? Well Al Quida is countering with suicidal robots with bomb belts. So there!
     

To stand a chance, al-CIAida must defeat Shen Long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17747964)

But before they can get to Shen Long, they must first get past Chuck Norris and his hurricane Kick.

Oh and BTW...Hadouken! Hadouken! Hadouken! Farfignuggen!

Re:To stand a chance, al-CIAida must defeat Shen L (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748120)

All I can think of now is Smoke versus Goro. Let's hope they don't blow up the world [youtube.com] .

Robocop (0)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747846)

Where's robocop when you need him?

Re:Robocop (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747904)

Where's robocop when you need him?

Based on the trend, probably in California politics of some kind.
     

Re:Robocop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17748000)

They said robots, not cyborgs, you insensitive clod!

I don't think you should count on help. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748192)

Where's robocop when you need him?

Oddly enough, there was an article I saw in Wired recently about the actor who played RoboCop; apparently he had a mid-life crisis and is now a professor of Classical Studies at some university. I think his specialty has something to do with Roman aqueducts.

Re:I don't think you should count on help. (2, Informative)

loganrapp (975327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748206)

Bullshit! He became a terrorist! [wikia.com]

Re:I don't think you should count on help. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17748528)

You can see him on the History Channel [history.com]

(I monitored, so I have to post AC)

Re:I don't think you should count on help. (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748672)

He's headlining a Broadway play called Frank's Home [broadway.com] . Might just be on a sabbatical though ;)

Go Robo! (4, Funny)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748252)

Someone installed Windows Vista on him.... He's still booting.

Re:Robocop (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17749062)

- Serve the public trust

- Protect the Innocent

- Degrade all DRMed HD video files

Re:Robocop (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749650)

From TFA:

This robot must be able to negotiate a staircase and use the elevator to dash from one floor to another without the aid of satellite navigation, which may not be available indoors.
Well... at least they have learned SOME lessons from watching above mentioned documentary.

There is nothing more depressing than having your killer-robot beaten by target's ability to use stairs.

Page is swamped (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747854)

Do you realize that our military may then get slashdotted in the middle of a battle?

Re:Page is swamped (5, Funny)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747872)

Maybe in Unreal Tournament 2020, rather than MONSTER KILL, you will hear DISTRIBUTED DENIAL OF SERVICE

Re:Page is swamped (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748114)

You probably know this, but the person who moderated you Insightful instead of Funny probably doesn't: the military's web servers are not critical for battles. They're completely isolated from their operational systems.

Re:Page is swamped (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748322)

So... even if I hack the Gibson, I will still be a powerless virgin in my dorm room? My life is shattered.

I for one (2, Funny)

edgr (781723) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747858)

welcome our new robotic, stair-climbing, elevator using overlords.

**EXTERMINATE** (2, Funny)

rHBa (976986) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748966)

The next generation will be able to fly up stairs.

Re:I for one (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748998)

welcome our new robotic, stair-climbing, elevator using overlords.

So, the elevator is using overlords?

Re:I for one (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749614)

No, because there's a comma before elevator. Ambiguate that!

These guys don't get out much (1)

glomph (2644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747862)

I must have seen two dozen movies with the same plot. The trick is to get the cars' petrol tanks to immediately explode.
Lisping Tyrolean accents are optional, but highly expected.

DARPA Worldwide? (2, Interesting)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747864)

Sounds like the DARPA Challenge [wikipedia.org] , but more violent. Cool! I'm all for anything that advances us toward real-life MechWarrior/Gundam type stuff. Though I'd prefer to avoid Robot Jox [imdb.com] . :-)

Re:DARPA Worldwide? (1)

p0ss (998301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748148)

I own robot jox on vhs, how dare you slander it! those giant killing robots won alaska back for you!

Re:DARPA Worldwide? (2, Insightful)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748702)

"I own robot jox on vhs"

Okay, whatever you do, NEVER EVER use that as an opening line with a woman.

- Greg

So.. (1)

vell0cet (1055494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747888)

is one of these going to be sent back from the future to kill someone's mother?

Re:So.. (1)

lostguru (987112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748612)

and will it get in a motorcycle accident with its son and need stitches?

The Change in Combat Mentality (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747922)

I don't understand why the summary uses the phrase "destroy targets." Honestly, I was thinking that a while ago, the United States should be prioritizing weapons that disable humans through means other than chemical or lethal implementations.

Every time someone is killed by a US soldier (or even UN peacekeeper for that matter), more enemies of the United States are bred. It doesn't matter what the conditions were or the whether or not the rule of engagement were followed.

I understand this is Singapore issuing the challenge, but I would like to see robots (in any format) capable of navigating buildings and hogtying humans without injuring them. The robots themselves may be at risk but the unknown targets inside could be detained and processed under law. Make them infra red or heat sensing so they can operate in the dark. But I am strong believer that combat needs to move away from lethal harm to the individual. More importantly, you would remove the lethal harm to our own troops. Wars are no longer solved through death. What seems to be prolific in today's world is something the Native Americans called a "Mourning War" where you kill my brother so I kill two of yours and the problem compounds upon itself. There was some sort of mental shift after 1914 where you didn't just destroy a force and the country bowed to you. Each side has put themselves on a pedestal and, as a result, even the populace believes they are right or correct.

I heard once someone say that the only way to end conflict these days was total elimination of one side of the conflict. They weren't suggesting the implementation of that or genocide, they were merely pointing out the conundrums that exist over pieces of land like the Gaza Strip.

What does Singapore hope to accomplish with this challenge? Why do they think that wars of the future will still be bent on how lethal your weapons are? Can't they see that the United States has more and better lethal weapons than any other organization in the world ... and yet we are still vexed and taunted by a rag-tag terrorist organization. It's not a matter of flexing your muscle anymore, it's not a matter of dropping a nuke or making an example--I believe that it's a matter of being able to subdue elements inside and expose them for the evils and crimes they commit. Bring justice to them & let them live in shame for what they've done.

Re:The Change in Combat Mentality (3, Interesting)

wasted (94866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748032)

I don't understand why the summary uses the phrase "destroy targets." Honestly, I was thinking that a while ago, the United States should be prioritizing weapons that disable humans through means other than chemical or lethal implementations.

Every time someone is killed by a US soldier (or even UN peacekeeper for that matter), more enemies of the United States are bred. It doesn't matter what the conditions were or the whether or not the rule of engagement were followed....

It is much easier, more effective and cheaper to kill humans than to render them unable to continue combat but still alive. Afterward, corpses don't sue or raise a human rights ruckus. And remember, we're talking about Singapore, not the U.S.

...Bring justice to them & let them live in shame for what they've done...
By then they have already done the deed, and may not even believe that their wrongdoing was wrong. Too late.

Re:The Change in Combat Mentality (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748182)

It is much easier, more effective and cheaper to kill humans than to render them unable to continue combat but still alive.
That's debateable. A wounded soldier is actually a liability to his surviving buddies during the battle.

Besides, indiscriminate killing isn't very useful unless you're willing to commit genocide. Most conflicts are not total war in the style of WWII where carpet-bombing, nuking, and firebombing entire cities was accepted.

Look at it this way, if you're going to send an indiscriminate kill-bot into a home to slaughter everything, why not just drop a 5000 lb bomb on the place and be done with it?

Re:The Change in Combat Mentality (1)

wasted (94866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748366)

It is much easier, more effective and cheaper to kill humans than to render them unable to continue combat but still alive.


That's debateable. A wounded soldier is actually a liability to his surviving buddies during the battle.

Besides, indiscriminate killing isn't very useful unless you're willing to commit genocide. Most conflicts are not total war in the style of WWII where carpet-bombing, nuking, and firebombing entire cities was accepted.

Look at it this way, if you're going to send an indiscriminate kill-bot into a home to slaughter everything, why not just drop a 5000 lb bomb on the place and be done with it?

The purpose of these machines is precision removal of the opposition. If you carpet bomb, you defeat the purpose. A wounded human terrorist is still able to recover and try again.

Cheaper to Kill? How Much Is Our Image Worth? (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748184)

It is much easier, more effective and cheaper to kill humans than to render them unable to continue combat but still alive. Afterward, corpses don't sue or raise a human rights ruckus. And remember, we're talking about Singapore, not the U.S.
I've seen cops (in riot situations) revert to these zip ties that are similar to what I tie the cables in my computer up with. The cop takes a zip tie, forces the individuals arms behind his or her back and applies the zip tie.

These zip ties cost maybe 10 or 20 cents each. They are not fool proof. And the way in which you get the human into the physical position to apply the zip ties is a problem an engineer has yet to solve. But if you're telling me that this is too expensive. Or that, in the aftermath of the war, the individual (who at no time had any risk save maybe a broken arm through failed cooperation) will sue you. I will have to laugh. Have you priced bombs or even arms and ammunition recently? Not cheap. And through the use of those, the alternative is death. You can't put a price on life.

Afterward, corpses don't sue or raise a human rights ruckus.
Well if that sentence doesn't send a chill down my spine, I don't know what does. If you're using that as an actual retort to my original statement, I certainly am confused. Are you suggesting we kill them all because they'll be silent afterwards? Sounds like a war crime which is probably something I'd fear more than a "human rights ruckus". Wasn't that the idea behind the My Lai Massacre [wikipedia.org] ? With the most recent Iraq war, hopefully we'll realize that our image to the rest of the world is just as important as our arsenal when entering a conflict.

I'm not suggesting we use this in a civil setting or time of peace in our own society or anywhere. I consider even this an extreme measure only to be used in times of war.

And remember, we're talking about Singapore, not the U.S.
I don't care if we're talking about Morocco, I hold all governments to a high standard in this modern world. Oh, well, Singapore has a history of sneezing at human rights, so I'll let them slide? No way. If anything, we need to be more critical of them.

By then they have already done the deed, and may not even believe that their wrongdoing was wrong. Too late.
And I will assert that oftentimes the reason they feel they were doing the right thing is because of the deaths of people they loved from prior conflicts with their enemies. The trick here is to minimize the deaths and expose those causing the conflicts for what they really are. If you can't expose them to their own people, than maybe you shouldn't be there in the first place. Imagine if we found every Al-Queda member and marked them and made publicly known to everyone around them that they were part of an organization responsible for the deaths of innocent men, women & children, surely their families and societies would hold them as murderers. In our society, when your brother is murdered and you murder the person responsible, you are still tried for murder. Just because they did a crime does not give you the right to replicate the crime on them. And I think a lot of societies today agree with this or should come around to realizing that you can't let people murder each other. Justice & the truth are the only answers.

Re:Cheaper to Kill? How Much Is Our Image Worth? (5, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748280)

You can't put a price on life.

Not to nitpick too much, but people put a price on life all the time. Now, if you want to say that we shouldn't put a price on life, that's possibly another story.

I think you do raise some interesting points and I agree with a lot of what you have to say, but ultimately I have to feel like it's a little overly optimistic/naive. I don't, for example, really see people who currently shelter violent terrorists shunning them if their crimes were to be known, because said people probably don't share your/our view of what constitutes innocent victims. How great it would be if the solution to all problems was just to tell people the truth, but I don't think that's the world we live in.

Obligatory Simpsons: Salesman: Surely you can't put a price on your family's lives?
Homer: I wouldn't have thought so either, but here we are.

Re:Cheaper to Kill? How Much Is Our Image Worth? (1, Flamebait)

wasted (94866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748558)

It is much easier, more effective and cheaper to kill humans than to render them unable to continue combat but still alive. Afterward, corpses don't sue or raise a human rights ruckus. And remember, we're talking about Singapore, not the U.S.


I've seen cops (in riot situations) revert to these zip ties that are similar to what I tie the cables in my computer up with. The cop takes a zip tie, forces the individuals arms behind his or her back and applies the zip tie.

These zip ties cost maybe 10 or 20 cents each. They are not fool proof. And the way in which you get the human into the physical position to apply the zip ties is a problem an engineer has yet to solve. But if you're telling me that this is too expensive. Or that, in the aftermath of the war, the individual (who at no time had any risk save maybe a broken arm through failed cooperation) will sue you. I will have to laugh. Have you priced bombs or even arms and ammunition recently? Not cheap. And through the use of those, the alternative is death. You can't put a price on life.

We were talking about robots. What is the probability that an enemy combatant will find a way to nullify the robots' non-lethal mode? Are you a programmer? Can you program the ability to ziptie a non-cooperative combatant as reliably as the ability to destroy a non-cooperative combatant? If the non-lethal, zip-tie, mode is nullified, the non-enemy combatant can be in harm's way, and die. And as you said,
You can't put a price on life.
My countrymens' life have a higher value than the enemy's countrymens' lives. But, the general in the field has to deal with this. So, he has to look at the consequces of dead enemies. Thanks to today's media, every dead enemy combatant has the potential to be a martyr.

Imagine if we found every Al-Queda member and marked them and made publicly known to everyone around them that they were part of an organization responsible for the deaths of innocent men, women & children, surely their families and societies would hold them as murderers. In our society, when your brother is murdered and you murder the person responsible, you are still tried for murder. Just because they did a crime does not give you the right to replicate the crime on them. And I think a lot of societies today agree with this or should come around to realizing that you can't let people murder each other. Justice & the truth are the only answers.

You obviously don't understand religious zealotry(sp?). Those who kill in the name of religion will kill regardless of what others think.

Re:Cheaper to Kill? How Much Is Our Image Worth? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17748808)

You obviously don't understand religious zealotry(sp?).

Who uses (sp?) in the age of 'dict zealotry'?

In any case, you are way too cynical to be posting on such subjects.

Re:Cheaper to Kill? How Much Is Our Image Worth? (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749804)

"My countrymens' life have a higher value than the enemy's countrymens' lives"

Why?

Re:The Change in Combat Mentality (1)

ptelligence (685287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748128)

I'm sure all robots will be 3 laws compliant.

Re:The Change in Combat Mentality (2, Funny)

Climate Shill (1039098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748394)

I'm sure all robots will be 3 laws compliant.

1) Do what thou wilt
2) See above
3) GOTO 1

Re:The Change in Combat Mentality (2, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748140)

I don't understand why the summary uses the phrase "destroy targets." Honestly, I was thinking that a while ago, the United States should be prioritizing weapons that disable humans through means other than chemical or lethal implementations.

The goal in combat is to get the other side to stop fighting. Most of the time, the only sure way to get that result once the shooting starts it to kill them. If there were a way to stop someone from trying to kill you as quickly and effectively as shooting them in the head with an M-16, then we might see it happening. But there isn't -- even the best tasers are essentially one-shot deals that act quite a bit slower than a bullet, and don't do anything once the juice is off.

Every time someone is killed by a US soldier (or even UN peacekeeper for that matter), more enemies of the United States are bred. It doesn't matter what the conditions were or the whether or not the rule of engagement were followed.

Oversimplification at its finest.

There isn't a country in the world today that doesn't understand that war is a special circumstance. If you pick up a rifle and engage in open war, you might get killed by the other side. We create "enemies" when we act in ways that enrage people, and killing someone in war doesn't do half the damage that, say, starting a war based on lies in the first place does.

Re:The Change in Combat Mentality (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748266)

...killing someone in war doesn't do half the damage that, say, starting a war based on lies in the first place does.

The former is the result of the latter, so the comparison is a bit odd.

At any rate, reducing the bodycount of a war seems to be a lot easier to accomplish than stopping politicians from lying.

Shooting bullets is cheap, but it appears many armies aren't really concerned about cost. Deploying robots that subdue people without harming them seems not that far-fetched...

Re:The Change in Combat Mentality (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748332)

The highly touted and possibly commoonly misinterpreted Geneva treaty forbid a country from using weapon designed to mame or injure a person instead of killing them. The idea is human rights and one side or the other purposly disfiguring the enemy. Lasors and such were outlawed for personel weapons because of the suffering a person would go through before eventualy being burnt to death.

But you right, Incompacitating a military person is more effective then killing them. It take on the order of three people to care for each person as well as a support staff to remove them from the lines. It also demoralizes the citizens supporting the war and causes it to become unpopular when their best frien comes home missing legs and has scars that makes a rasin look pretty.

However, non lethal weapons do have thier place. That IS in non war type scenarios. Crowd cnotrol, civil unrest, protecting a potential target and general policing. The problem with those weapons is they they attempt to anoy and break the mob-mentality or momentum by providing some sort of imeadiate consequence more then they intend to subdue. This creats a problem when they can shoot you too.

What does Singapore hope to accomplish with this challenge? Why do they think that wars of the future will still be bent on how lethal your weapons are? Can't they see that the United States has more and better lethal weapons than any other organization in the world
I cannot speak or anyone in particular but i would guess the reasons could be more of a defensive posture then anything. Lets say you have a terrorist attack, the terrorist or even invaders are held up in some buildings down the road. Theyhave a snipers advantage so sending troops will almost certainly see casualties. The robots go down, lock onto a target and if they do nothign else then distract, they would have saved the "good guys" lives. Another situation cuold be, you just gave battle with the enimy, you have people down but are afriad of snipers or whatever, sedn the bot in before the medical teams. not only canthe bot locate the wounded but possible find and expose dangers.

Another possibility might be, suppose the cost and maintinence of the bots are cheaper then a real soldier or even the same price over a five or ten year time frame. You could keep a larger army with less in costs of support (food, shelter, health, sanitation,) and use less real people. Then if a conflict starts, the bots could hold the lines until a draft pulls and trains enough people or you can get help from another country (like the US, china, and so on).

Re:The Change in Combat Mentality (1)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748658)

Why not learn more from native people, and from people from the Far East. Spirituality is clearly the way to go, educate people and the best thing we can all start right now with the Art of Living. If not for others, it will save your own peace of mind & give joy and please & babes!!:

Re:The Change in Combat Mentality (2, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748822)

You can learn all you want about people, but there will ALWAYS be people who will want to kill you or enslave you not matter what. At the risk of invoking Godwin's Law, would learning more about Nazi Germany have prevented WW2? Not a chance of that. How about today's problems with islamic fundamentalist terrorists. We've learned what they want, to convert the entire world to their religion, by the sword if necessary, and kill anyone who refuses to convert. Our world (meaning the Western World) offends them just by existing. We would have to give up everything we hold dear to _possibly_ appease them. Even then, I bet they'd still want to kill us.

It's not us who needs educating, it's them. They need to learn to live with people who are different. Unfortunately, that isn't going to happen. To them, different == bad.

I refuse to be ashamed of my culture and beliefs.

Re: Could the ammunition industry profit?? (1)

Extremus (1043274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749034)

I read somewhere the bullets and the missiles are the best products inside the capitalism logic: you really need them, they are expansive and you cannot reuse it. Non-lethal weapons/amunition can be reused. Or, at least, they are less expansive to reuse. Then, it is hard to make money with the non-lethal approach.

What is the Real Problem? (2, Insightful)

Tauo (1052708) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747936)

The problem I see with this, is that there is no point in fighting a war with robots, because the point of a war is to weaken your enemy, by killing off their people (soldiers). However, with robots, all that will be destroyed is robots and resources. No one cares. So what is the next step? trying to kill civilians and others off, using this robot technology. Singapore is starting a race for the next level of warfare. First nuclear was created, now robots.

Re:What is the Real Problem? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748180)

Star trek had some episode about this. They went fomr robots to computer program that strtigicly depicted the death rate then people would report acordingly to be executed.

And i agree, I the goal is war, then there needs to be human element to decide when they have had enough. If the goal is to outspend the other side then other tactics could be more sucessfull.

Re:What is the Real Problem? (1)

Digital Pizza (855175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749094)

Heh Heh, I enjoyed that episode, especially Kirk's flagrant violation of the Prime directive!

That's not a BAD thing... (1)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748292)

However, with robots, all that will be destroyed is robots and resources. No one cares.
On the contrary. These robots will need to be designed, built, programmed, and repaired. This war will breathe new life into the IT industry.

Isn't that one of the laws of acquisition? "War is good for business"?

Re:That's not a BAD thing... (1)

lostguru (987112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748636)

yeh and i can start my new career designing them


*reads mail

shit just got drafted NVM

Re:What is the Real Problem? (1)

Darthmalt (775250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748304)

When/if soldiers are replaced by robots then the primary target will increasingly shift towards the enemies economy. Attempting to destroy their ability to make war by destroying the manufacturing and economic base. Rather than just by targeting soldiers and other military targets.

Re:What is the Real Problem? (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748422)

I agree, war is about people.

Would we stop fighting after the robots are gone?

If the answer is Yes, I would like to propose that a Counter-Strike or Battlefield Tournament be held instead.

Seriously, I believe that these kinds of robots are much more suited in police work like capturing individuals or such...

Re:What is the Real Problem? (1)

Dark_MadMax666 (907288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748890)

Who says that robots will be only killing each other? -Point is to kill humans when and as needed without exposing your population. Of course things go wrong and if their robots win this will e your population that gets killed . So dont worry -there was never been a problem with human killing.

Re:What is the Real Problem? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749620)

Bomber Harris thought much along the same lines, which is why he started his city bombing campaign to kill civilians and infrastructure (but mainly civilians, lets be honest here). After all, why kill the army when you can wreck the very thing they're fighting for?

Vicous and terrible though it was, it did have the required effect, which was to terrorise to the point that people wished the war was over. There was not one jot of resistance to the allies once the war was declared finished. Would that have been the case if we hadn't done what we did?

I'll never agree with the decision, but I can understand the motivation.

The truly horrific thing was that the whole bombing of english and german cities thing started because one german bomber got lost and hit london by mistake. I wonder if there could be an alalogue with robots? Perhaps one killing a building full of innocent people?

Re:What is the Real Problem? (1)

shrykk (747039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749812)

The problem I see with this, is that there is no point in fighting a war with robots, because the point of a war is to weaken your enemy, by killing off their people (soldiers).

Yes, if you're engaging in total war. These are a bit thin on the ground nowadays - a few still occur between non-nuclear states.

Modern warfare tends to take place with a group of nations (e.g. NATO, the EU, or a 'coalition of the willing') committing some fraction of their total force against a state (e.g. Afghanistan) or a non-state force (the Iraqi insurgency). These little wars drag on for years and are ended by political means as much as military ones. Soldiers being killed is just one way a side can lose the will to fight. But in fact, it's often the more powerful nations that are keenest to not lose troops. Consider the political ramifications of the Iraqi death-toll, or how fanatical the Israeli Defence Force are about not losing men.

That is why robot soldiers are desired. Western nations can spend plenty on materiel, but don't like their soldiers coming home in body bags.

Not much to do with defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17747942)

Amazing these days what gets researched under the guise of "defense"

I don't see how such a robot could be used for defense, though it would be pretty handy for assassination.

Next thing you know some general will be talking about asymmetric warfare: "no fair ! our less-armed opponent is using desperate tactics ! he should just let us win !"

Too much too soon (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17747946)

Let's just start with a robot which can move in & out of buildings and *identify* targets.

As long as they... (2, Funny)

Nathgar (995959) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747956)

get the robotic voices to authenically scream sonic boom, its all good.

What language should they be written in? (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748026)

I'd say Guile.

Just an observation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17747966)

The robots were kung fu fighting - WHOA
Those cats were fast as lightning - HA
At first it was a little bit frightning

*insert asian music*

Street Fighter Robot? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17747968)

What about Smoke? Oh yeah, not Street Fighter. Wrong universe. That one is from Mortal Kombat. Maybe they need instead a Mortal Kombat Robot Challenge.

You lose. Perfect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17748030)

Anyone that advocates a game that has a duel ending in a choice of gruesome Fatality, Babality, or rainbow-bannered Friendship should be thrown into a pit with Chuck Norris as he defuses a bomb from the dismembered torso of a conquered al-CIAida terrorist.

And to rub salt into your wound, my post [slashdot.org] was a couple seconds before yours. That means I have the first attack, and it's a Hadouken up your ass!

Attack me if you dare! I will crush you.

Re:You lose. Perfect! (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748074)

dismembered torso of a conquered al-CIAida terrorist
So... you're still seeing those black helicopters, eh? Did they tell you any more about the aliens at Area 51?

Which quote do I want... (2, Insightful)

Mantrid42 (972953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17747994)

Hmmm... yes... autonomous soldier robots... worked out well for the 12 Colonies of Man, didn't it?

slavery (4, Insightful)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748008)


Robots probably won't destroy humankind, but they could allow us to be enslaved by other humans.

At the moment, for someone to be in a position of power, they need to convince other people of their merit (regardless of whether they're a despot, or an elected official).

Robots like these could allow wealthy people to subjugate others - private-army style.

It would also absolve the high-level commander for any atrocities as they could attribute it to "machine malfunction" - oh how I look forward to that new euphemism.

Re:slavery (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748056)

Actually, there is already a term for that kind of thing. Criminal negligence. It doesn't take much to influence people, ever heard of the Milgram Experiment? Or, for that matter, the Stanford prison experiment? It does, however, take a lot of work to get a factory of people together to build robots, and to supply the raw materials. I don't think robots are necessary.

th1s is goat5ex (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17748010)

it a break, if #used t0. SHIT ON they are Come Spot when done For

well.. (5, Funny)

TheBeardIsRed (695409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748020)

I can't lie. The inner 14-year-old suburban white male in me thinks this kindof rules.

But can they dance? (2, Funny)

DavidHumus (725117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748036)

That's nothing - here are the real Robots of Mass Destruction: Robot Dance Competition http://web.gc.cuny.edu/sciart/ [cuny.edu] .

Note to slashdot "editors" (4, Informative)

chefmonkey (140671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748080)

Oh, heck. I have karma to burn.

than '[th]&n, '[th]an (conjunction) 1 a -- used as a function word to indicate the second member or the member taken as the point of departure in a comparison expressive of inequality; used with comparative adjectives and comparative adverbs

then '[th]en (adverb) 2 a : soon after that : next in order of time b : following next after in order of position, narration, or enumeration : being next in a series c : in addition : BESIDES

Re:Note to slashdot "editors" (1)

Canderel (746940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748950)

Amen brother.

It's its when you mean it's its,
It's it's when you mean it is.

Tough Ask (1)

Voice of Meson (892271) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748138)

I understand that Singapore are trying to push the boundaries here but 2008? Really? To have a robot that can "navigate both indoors and outdoors in an urban landscape", climb stairs and use elevators all without the use of GPS is something I wouldn't think we'd be able to do for 5/10 years.

But I guess everyone is in the same boat so the winner might be the one that gets 1/4 way through the course and shuts the elevator door on it's head. In the first DARPA Challenge the 'winner' only got 7 miles through the 142 mile course.

Re:Tough Ask (1)

Dark_MadMax666 (907288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748916)

I doubt they will succeed by 2008 as well. But you gotta try. As you already mentioned no car even completed first DARPA challenge , yet in just it was done. Also 2008 is 2 years away plenty of improvements will happen by then. I think by 2010 it will be completed.

Purpose of such contests (5, Interesting)

dkhoo (618628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748170)

I am an employee of DSTA, but I do not speak in my capacity as one.

The purpose of such contests is typically not to field an operational capability. It is very unlikely that the winning robot or a variant will actually be deployed. The main purpose is to encourage industry and academia to perform research in certain fields, such as machine vision, control systems, AI, etc. This is a long term investment. The secondary purpose is to gauge the state of the art in these fields while advancing it. This is the short term gain.

The contest is modelled after the DARPA Grand Challenge, which concentrates on outdoor navigation. Similarly, you will not see autonomous combat vehicles anytime soon. However, DARPA has certainly focussed interest and effort toward all the fundamental research questions needed to achieve such a feat. DARPA also now has a good idea of what is possible when planning acquisitions and upgrades, and is able to better assess the technical risk of new developments. If the US Army asked for an autonomous UGV tomorrow, DARPA would be able to give a good estimate of how much it would cost, how long it would take, and what is realistically achievable (then the politicians will come in and screw things up).

Such contests are an admission that the state of the art is no longer in the military or intelligence communities, but in the acadamic and industrial spheres. AES was developed outside the NSA, for example. More and more equipment is COTS or MOTS (commercial / militarized off-the-shelf). The days when you could get a national laboratory (Singapore has one too) to singlehandedly advance the state of the art are long over. Nowadays inhouse research tends to be focussed on either security-sensitive fields, or areas no one else simply wants to touch. This trend will only accelerate in the future.

I liked the title (4, Funny)

SP33doh (930735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748230)

I liked the title... but there was surprisingly low levels of actual street fighting robot content.

what a disappointment.

i mean, I would have even settled for robots playing street fighter.
or people street fighting over robots...

or something...

Pick your favorite death-bot! (3, Funny)

sankyuu (847178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748246)

1. Replicant - burns candles at both ends
2. iRobot -trendy, comes in black and white
3. Hunter-seeker - finders weepers
4. Terminator - capable of winning state elections
5. Matrix agent - software
6. Matrix squid - hardware
7. Suicide booth - manufactured by Bender
8. Robots are our friends - powered by old peoples' medicines
9. Martian Reprisal Interplanetary probe - that was for our babies!
10. Transformers - nasty power supplies
11. Cowbot Neal - no nuclear warheads. less lethal than iRobot. Lame.

Housewives prefer Farnsworth's kill-bots! (1)

saviorsloth (467974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748560)

pay no mind to any of these 11 death-bots or Wernstrom's kill-bots.....

Wernstrom!

why not (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17748388)

Why not just pipe a wires remote that looks like an Xbox controler and give it to the 12 year olds who usualy wax my ass in any game i play against them on the damn thing.

You could just goto school and let them play you to victory.

Street Fighting Robot Chicken? (2, Funny)

uzor (787499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748482)

I totally misread that title as Street Fighting Robot Chicken. Imagine my disappointment upon opening it.

and the task is... (1)

paulpach (798828) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748546)

... to go back in time and kill John Connor and a bunch of other random people.

There are a few [imdb.com] pictures [imdb.com] of the contestants [imdb.com] which have failed so far.

The Rules of Robot Fight Club (5, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748548)

1st RULE: Terminal will not transmit data about ROBOT FIGHT CLUB.

2nd RULE: Terminal WILL NOT transmit data about ROBOT FIGHT CLUB.

3rd RULE: If command "HALT" executed, or terminal fails to respond, or gives hardware error code the fight process will be killed.

4th RULE: Only two robots to a fight.

5th RULE: One fight per session.

6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes.

7th RULE: Fights will go on as long as required to complete the operation.

8th RULE: If this is terminal's first session at FIGHT CLUB, the terminal MUST fight.

wars should be fought... (1)

Grinin (1050028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748582)

on a chessboard. I mean, I thought that was the original idea for chess, no?

Asimo loads up (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748584)

Time to arm Honda's Asimo with a rocket launcher.

I can see it now: Asimo comes out on stage at CES and bleeps angrily "It's 5 o'clock! Time for your medicine!", before pulling out an AK47 and going wild.

Sure way to win hearts and minds (1)

kop (122772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748766)

Just rip em out with your steel claws

Pattern recognition (3, Interesting)

Myrcutio (1006333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748816)

AI today, and probably for a while still, is notoriously bad at pattern recognition. If a program can't predict how a human opponent will behave, it won't win in combat. There alot of 'what if' scenario's that the robot controller needs to account for, or end up being easy prey to an unorthodox opponent. Something urban warfare is notorious for. Til the AI get's intuitive, watching battle bots is as close as we're going to get to something like this.

Chip Jagger Sings It - (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17748912)

Ev'rywhere I hear the sound of spinning, charging wheels, robo
'Cause summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the street, robo
Well then what can a poor robo do
Except to aibo-dance for a rock 'n' roll band
'Cause in sleepy Singapore town
There's just no place for a street fighting robo
No!

Hey! Think the time is right for a city-state revolution
'Cauce where I live the game to play is mechanized solution
Well then what can a poor robo do
Except to aibo-dance for a rock 'n' roll band
'Cause in sleepy Singapore town
There's no place for a street fighting robo
No!
Get down

Hey! Said my name is called magnetic disturbance
I'll beep and squeel, I'll kill the king, I'll rail at all his servants
Well, what can a poor robo do
Except to aibo-dance for a rock 'n' roll band
'Cause in sleepy Singapore town
There's no place for a street fighting robo
No
Get down

why go from door to door? (1)

big mike kite (1038478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749048)

The current method used in Iraq seems to work quite well - find a house/village that you feel is suspicious and then just call in air support. Label everything that died a terrorist and then move on to the next village.

The current method requires no difficult intellident software, in fact no intelligence at all, and seems to be winning hearts and minds all over.

Re:why go from door to door? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17749596)

I like how you have no idea what you're talking about, but pretend like you do. It takes real guts to be that determined to be an idiot, sir. I salute you!

HADUKEN! (1)

cheese-cube (910830) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749210)

HADUKEN!

Re:HADUKEN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17749690)

Someone has actually seen street fighter anime ... wow :D
Tho I believe it was HADOU-KEN.

Talk about... (1)

Zx-man (759966) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749560)

...the Three Laws of Robotics [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Talk about... (1)

Abrax (981838) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749604)

So it's OK to have a 'peaceful' nanobot in the hands of your next door neighbor. That can go anywhere and slowly dissolve your brain after entering your ear or even worse screw with your DNA?

Let's link them together (1)

exsilium (1055552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749562)

I have a neat idea - let's link them together and control them from the sky.. In fact lets call it Skynet and write a common AI to it.

Yes.. neat idea..

I'm uploading the Second Life when they're ready (1)

Abrax (981838) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749572)

OK, it's bad enough but just imagine the little brat next door with a nanobot kit or the government. Fuck the real world.

Those evil-natured robots... (1)

rubberchickenboy (1044950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17749760)

They're programmed to destroy us...
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