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

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.