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The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Before we begin this latest round-up of "why you're all going to end up working in a Renault factory at the service of the Lizard Army", please accept our apologies for the delay in getting it to the presses.

The reason is simple: as we previously noted, our neoLuddite Resistance Army (NRA) boffins have been beavering away in the Montana bunker on the RFID-frying EMP device, specifically designed to tackle the menace of futurologizing cyberpundits.

Well, we can now report that the project appears to have been a complete success. The device - codenamed "Warwick" - was smuggled into the UK last month in crates marked as completely mundane spare parts for the UK's nuclear weapons capability ("Trident ceramic triggers - do not drop or stack more than three high").

Mercifully, NRA comrades within her Majesty's Customs and Excise were able to the oil the wheels when a particularly keen probationary operative queried why the Royal Navy would send a F-reg white Ford Transit driven by a bloke called "Dave" to collect what he believed to be highly-explosive nuclear triggers. "That's how it's done, mate, for security reasons. The plutonium arrives in lead-lined corned beef cans in the hand luggage of a family from Basingstoke, and as for how they distribute the launch codes, well, once a month a little old lady from East Sussex travels by coach to Faslane naval base where she spends two days on the toilet with a copy of Readers' Digest and a bottle of military-grade laxative. You get the idea."

Suffice it to say, the Warwick - roughly the size of a domestic fridge but without any salad-crisping capability - was deployed in said Transit in the Centre of Reading and "detonated" via the SMS signal "frykev" at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon.

We say "detonated" because, of course, all that happens is that a monstrous punch of electromagnetic energy eminates from the Warwick, frying all RFID chips within a five-mile radius. The device can then be retrieved for later use, which is just as well since second-hand Transits don't come cheap - even F-reg ones.

The final result is this: nothing has been heard of Captain Cyborg since, leading us to believe that the Lizard Army mothership has whisked him off to its homeworld for a spot of essential maintenance.

Sadly, an unplanned side-effect of the EMP blast was that the House of Fraser's entire stock-control system was instantly disabled. This being Reading, word soon spread around the local shopping centres and within an hour the store was looted clean by marauding hoodies high on alcopops and lust for branded clothing.

Sister Mary. Photo courtesy BBCLuckily, no-one was seriously hurt. Otherwise, they might have found themselves on the receiving end of something far worse than an ASBO - the "Sister Mary" medical robot which was recently released onto the wards of St Mary's Hospital in London.

Observers who have been keeping an eye on the NHS over the past few years might well have suspected that it is already controlled by the Lizard Alliance, so effectively does it keep granny and her replacement hip apart. Of course, the extraterrestrials know that a zimmered-up pensioner is unlikely to outrun even a killer hoover, while a fully-mobile grey panther will most likely be the first to pick up a plasma pulse rifle and give it to the nearest homicidal cyberloo.

Now we don't have to suspect, though; the facts are before us. The Sister Mary is reportedly designed to "glide between beds and allows the controlling doctor to visually examine and communicate with a patient from anywhere in the world", as the BBC puts it.

The "Remote Presence Robot" project leader, Parv Sains (pictured here shortly before his left arm was torn off), said: "Many senior doctors with skills and knowledge are required to be in the same places at once. This is a solution in potentially providing their expertise from a remote location."

Like a low-Earth orbit, in fact. We don't need to advise veteran readers to take immediate action should they be approached in hospital by a cybernetic Hattie Jacques bearing a thermometer and an offer of a bed bath. Those new to the Rise of the Machines™ might wonder what benefit the Lizard Alliance might gain from close proximity to sick people. Well, it's pretty simple. They're after your blood and if you're too weak to make a grab for the magnetic mine you'd hidden in the bedside table just in case the NHS had been overrun by metallic Angels of Death...

And here's why they want your Type O: according to several media reports, a Japanese team at Tohoku University has developed a fuel cell that runs on human blood. It the size of a small coin and develops around 0.2 milliwatts of power. We gather it uses blood glucose and Vitamin K to suck electrons from your vital essence.

The scientists, led by Matsuhiko Nishizawa, say the cell could be used to power implants in humans, but we know better. Try the blood-glucose-driven pack robot which holds the chilling prospect of co-ordinated swarms of vampire cyberassassins coming by land and air.

SwarmbotsTerrifyingly, the swarm robot comes in two flavours: ground-based and air-attack. The former, currently under development by Lizard affiliate iRobot, is part of a development programme aimed at co-ordinating the actions of up to 10,000 individual robots.

Here are the facts:

The iRobot SwarmBot™ has been designed from the ground up for embodied distributed algorithm development. It packs a comprehensive sensor suite, a high-performance 32-bit microprocessor, and a rugged low-maintenance design into a 5" cube that can rest in the palm of your hand. Each robot uses the sophisticated ISIS(TM) infrared communication system that provides obstacle detection, inter-robot localization, and communications at 125 kbps.

It gets worse:

Distributed Algorithm Behavior Library: SwarmBots communicate with their neighbors using a set-based neighbor query system and a gradient-based ad-hoc messaging system. Global behaviors are formed from the interactions of many individuals by using our collection of "group behavior building blocks." We have developed a large library of these behaviors, and have used them to perform group tasks such as clustering to a location of interest, surrounding an object to measure its perimeter, navigating long distances using neighboring robots as landmarks, and exploring and mapping a large building...

...and locating the last remnants of humanity in the smouldering wreckage of our post-apocalyptic cities as "Nurse Mary" bring nourishment freshly extracted from fallen NRA comrades...

In the air, meanwhile, flocks of Linux-controlled unmanned aircraft scour the horizon for pockets of resistance before transmitting the co-ordinates via Bluetooth to the SwarmBot army below.

We can thank the University of Essex for this one. While we have no doubt that the uni's Computer Science and Electronic Systems Engineering departments, led by Dr. Owen Hollands, are obliged to work on the "Gridswarm" project because if they don't they will be terminated via explosive cranial implant, it's certain that the Linux boys behind this are just a few pizza slices away from the total subjugation of humanity:

Imagine a large group of small unmanned autonomous aerial vehicles that can fly with the agility of a flock of starlings in a city square at dusk. Imagine linking their onboard computers together across a short-range, high-bandwidth wireless network and configuring them to form an enormous distributed parallel computer. Imagine using this huge computational resource to process the sensory data gathered by the swarm, and to direct its collective actions. You have now grasped the idea of a flying gridswarm.

Yes we have. And here's the give-away:

As well as working on airborne gridswarms using UAVs, we are interested in heterogeneous swarms that employ a combination of airborne and terrestrial robots. This allows, for example, the UAVs to direct a ground vehicle to a particular location, or for sensed data from the ground vehicle to be processed on the airborne swarm and its results relayed to a central point for archival.

Yup, it's all there in black-and-white. Montana beckons. ®

The Rise of the Machines™

Captain Cyborg gives forth on CNN
Cornell Uni develops apocalypse cube
Sex android begats Armageddon machine
Man executes Chrysler
Rise of the man-eating cyberloo
Sobbing Frenchman recounts Renault Laguna terror ordeal
Fire-breathing bus attacks South London
Dyson unleashes self-replicating hoover
Battling teen crushes roboarm menace
French join motorised Lizard Alliance
Lizard Army develops copulating robot
We are Zogg: The Cuddly Menace
Lizard Army invades Alaska
London menaced by flaming DVD players
Killer hoover attacks Scotsman
Car self-destructs in assassination bid
The rise of the rat-brain controlled android
Japanese unveil trumpet-playing robot
Boffins unleash robotic cockroach
Ukrainian teen fights the Rise of the Machines
Man in satanic Renault terror ordeal
Killer cyberappliances: Satan implicated
US develops motorised robobollard
Killer cyberloo kidnaps kiddie
A robot in every home by 2010
Cyberappliances attack Italian village
Fire-breathing buses threaten London
Cyberloo blast rocks Stoke-on-Trent
Spanish cyberkiosks claim second victim
Cyberkiosk assaults Spanish teenager
Hi-tech toilet caught on camera
Hi-tech toilet swallows woman

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