A new long-range laser weapon takes a page from Greek antiquity to thwart marauding pirates at sea. It won’t set their ships on fire, but it can let pirates know they have been spotted and might make them wish for an eye patch, as New Scientist reports.
Intelligent advanced aircraft is one thing, but if the Air Force wants to be in prime warfighting condition, its pilots had better come with advanced weaponry, too. That’s why the Air Force wants neuroweapons that can enhance airmen’s performance, while degrading the mental states of their foes.
Using a learning algorithm, Italian researchers taught a child-like humanoid robot archery, even outfitting it with a spectacular headdress to celebrate its new skill.
Petar Kormushev, Sylvain Calinon and Ryo Saegusa of the Italian Institute of Technology developed an algorithm called "Archer," for Augmented Reward Chained Regression. The iCub robot is taught how to hold the bow and arrow, but then learns by itself how to aim and shoot the arrow so it hits the center of a target.
A British unmanned combat aircraft unveiled Monday could become the first autonomous plane to strike targets at long range, even on another continent. Named Taranis, for the Celtic god of thunder, the prototype aircraft will test the possibility of a long-distance striker controlled by ground crews, the Ministry of Defence says.
U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers will deploy with the XM-25 weapon this summer, so that they can shower enemies hidden inside buildings with lethal smart rounds. Veterans of the Afghanistan conflict who tried the weapon predicted it would be a "game changing" gun capable of taking out insurgents hidden behind cover, Military.com reports.
The XM-25 resembles a highly sophisticated grenade launcher that fires laser-guided smart rounds. The laser gauges a distance to target and allows the warfighter to set where the round will detonate, adding or subtracting increments of 3 meters from the laser-spotted point. Then the scope tells a microchip inside the round how far it should travel before exploding.
There's no fricking laser beams attached to sharks, but Dr. Evil might still be jealous. The U.S. Navy wants to test a high-powered laser against the threat of small boats or even jet skis carrying RPG-wielding riders.
Northrop Grumman came away with the $98-million contract for the Maritime Laser Demonstration (MLD) in early July. Next up: installing a prototype of the laser on a ship and testing it on a remote-controlled small boat within the next 18 months.
It would be hard to describe a bullet as smart, but what if that bullet was laser-guided, radio-controlled, and carried an onboard targeting CPU? The US Army has announced the creation of the XM25 rifle, which can fire a new type of explosive round that fit that exact description. Imagine the implications: hitting targets inside buildings or hiding around walls. Whoa.