The GroundBot is a spherical sentry designed to roll up to 6 mph through just about anything—mud, sand, snow and even water. Two gyroscopically steadied wide-angle cameras and a suite of sensors give remote operators a real-time, 360-degree view of the landscape, letting them zoom in on prowlers or detect gas leaks, radioactivity and biohazards.
The Department of Defense has put out a call: design a pack of robots. A so-called Multi-Robot Pursuit System would be used to "search for and detect a non-cooperative human subject." Each robot has to weigh 100 kilograms or less, act autonomously (with a human squad leader), negotiate obstacles, and provide immediate feedback. The robots would report back to a human operator, and defer to that human when the robot AI determines that a "difficult decision" is required.
By John Brandon
Posted 10.07.2008 at 5:12 pm 16 Comments
Laser weaponry is a hot topic lately (excuse the pun), especially for those who question the ethics of using them on the battlefield. In late September, the Senate approved a Defense Authorization Bill that would provide new funding for military laser weapons.
As the actual ground combat between Russia and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia grinds to a halt, security and Web experts have begun to focus on what might have been a secret third front in the conflict: the Internet. With numerous Georgian government Web sites defaced or shut down, the virtual attacks that preceded the actual invasion may go down in history as the first war in cyberspace.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.