Feeds

DARPA aim to make killer robots invulnerable to damage

'It absolutely will not stop'

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.