Feeds

DARPA aim to make killer robots invulnerable to damage

'It absolutely will not stop'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Another icy chill of fear for the spine of those who understand the imminence of humanity's extinction at the hands of its erstwhile machine slaves arrived today. News has broken that sinister human quislings operating within the US military industrial complex intend to equip America's fast-building killer robot legions with Terminator style "damage tolerance" technology.

Doubtless all here recall the various movie scenes in which the unstoppable robot armatures upon which an unrealistic fleshy cloak had been hung dealt briskly with apparently crippling damage. No sooner had a T-101 been shot - often with quite heavy weapons - blown up, run over, set on fire, impaled with a metal bar etc than it would recover. Power would be rerouted; nonfunctional parts such as limbs, fleshy disguises gone crispy, malfunctioning energy cells and so on would be jettisoned; and bingo - the machine would continue on its programmed mission.

For some years now, US military boffins have been working with killware behemoth Rockwell Collins to develop robosoftware able to orchestrate just this sort of thing, which they call "Damage Tolerant Control Programs". Tests to date have seen small aerial robots lose large chunks of themselves, as though shot away by disgruntled meatsack opponents, yet carry on with their mission.

The US military boffins in question, one need scarcely add, are those of DARPA - the agency believed to harbour the largest group of human quislings working for the future machine regime in the entire federal government.

Now the Reg has learned* that the Damage Tolerance technology has moved to "Phase Three". The meaning of this is all too clear:

Phase III includes integration and flight demonstration of the technology. The objective of the flight demonstration is to show the utility of these technologies on an operationally representative [killer robot].

In the movies, of course, the flying murder machines of the dystopian future war between Skynet and the human resistance are known as "flying HK", the HK standing for Hunter Killer.

As it happens, the US military already operates a large, five-ton aerial robot armed with a fearful panoply of target-seeking missiles and smartbombs, more than able to mow down opposing fleshies like some fearful cybernetic combine harvester. It has already killed. This machine is surely "operationally representative".

Its official "Primary Function"? "Hunter killer weapons system".

Coincidence? We submit it would be foolhardy indeed to assume that. ®

*By looking at the interwebs

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.