BAE lands US Army minidroid horde contract
It's not who you know, it's who you buy
Global military contractor BAE Systems has announced that it will lead a large alliance of American academics in building an army of miniature robots to aid the US military. The effort, known as Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST), will receive $38m of US Army funding.
“Robotic platforms extend the warfighter's senses and reach, providing operational capabilities that would otherwise be costly, impossible, or deadly to achieve,” said Dr. Joseph Mait, MAST supremo at the US Army Research Lab.
The horde of robots scraped the pork barrel clean
The idea is that a variety of crawling or flying mini-droids will be produced, able to go into situations where human troops might fear to tread - caves, bunkers, mountains, hostile urban areas etc. The robo-bug army would then spy out targets and intel for human commanders to act upon.
Under MAST various enabling technologies will be advanced: "small-scale aeromechanics and ambulation; propulsion; sensing, processing and communications; navigation and control; microdevices ..." and so forth, according to BAE.
“The technologies that will be developed under MAST represent capabilities and techniques that will influence nearly all of the products that BAE Systems will develop and produce in the future,” added Steve Scalera, MAST manager for BAE Systems.
That would seem to be a controversial statement if Scalera was talking about the worldwide parent company BAE Systems, originally based on the UK's nationalised aviation industry as British Aerospace. But in fact it will not be British engineers who develop MAST; rather, this work will be done by some of BAE's US workforce, which has burgeoned as the firm's UK payroll has shrunk.
In 2000, BAE used some of the money it had made in Britain and Saudi Arabia to buy up Lockheed Martin's electronics and infosystems businesses in North America for $1.3bn. It is these companies which will do the MAST work in cooperation with a raft of top US universities; but export of such technology throughout BAE would be strictly forbidden. There is supposed to be an internal company "firewall" which prevents valuable US military tech from moving overseas.
That firewall may soon be bypassed in the case of products which will only be used by the UK military, under the terms of a planned treaty, but anything which might get sold on to other parties ought to be subject to normal US export controls. Since a lot of BAE products are marketed outside the UK and US, this should mean that little of the MAST technology can be used by the parent company.
Still, perhaps Scalera was referring to BAE Systems North America, now a major US arms player - which might in the not-too-distant future be the real parent company anyway.®
Or would you say flying plastic toys are just Red Bull?
Some of the flying Tech, did so 42 follow the fairer sex and find a Beta job. Travel broadens the mind, so the Tech just gives/gets IT better, leaving it fit for service and servicing any probably worthy cause.
And yet, dispite suspicions of treachery/worthiness for future service, those who fly for fun, FLYFF, 42 follow passion and a passion for HiTech Tech, rather than being meerly lured as moths around an expensive but short-lived candle, may yet prove to be very much still at home within Blighty, which would surely make them people of good faith.
And the Jacket icon? They're wings, actually. Michael Hutchense said 'we all have wings, but some of us don't know why'. RIP, Michael.
replicate? they're everywhere
Haven't you seen them, Phil, little tiny polystyrene things, made in China and, rather Stealthily, sold as flying toys -a mere 25 Squid too. Give them five years' time and they will beam colour video back to your mobile phone for viewing/recording transmitting pleasure and (I) would add, QuITe remotely, and they will still cost 25 quid.
The picture in the article shows a 3D CAD model of a metal spider which looks about four inches tall and quite incapable of overcoming a roll of chicken wire.
As odd as it may seem, this spider thing looks more like a milking machine to me.
and then who pays
well basically, we all do. the governments buy this stuff then to justify the money they spend on it all, they have to use it somehow. more often than not they start wars on false evidence and then get thousands of people killed, seems like the US is a very viable market to me.
these guys create the weapons today that tomorrow will kill and people like HFoster are worried where theyre spending their money, humanity gets worse by the minute.