Articles about reconnaissance

The Register breaking news

BAE mounts the Last Charge of the Light Cavalry

Global arms multinational BAE Systems has announced its bid to squeeze a last bit of cash out of the Ministry of Defence before next year's probable change of government and certain major reorganisation of MoD procurement plans. The company says that it will put forward an offer tomorrow (Thursday) to supply a version of its …
Lewis Page, 4 Nov 2009
The Register breaking news

Tossable bots for US Navy SEALs

The shortlived era of the throwable "camera grenade" may already be over, as beercan-sized, hurlable robots with infrared nightsight video are now being delivered to US troops. Tellingly, elite special-operations units have also decided to try the new kit out. The Recon Scout in a company publicity shot. Credit: Recon Robotics …
Lewis Page, 27 Aug 2009
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'Dragon's Egg' hurlable weeble-cams for US digi-troopers

US forces have become the latest to adopt a throwable camera system, intended to let combat troops see inside rooms, around corners and so on without exposing themselves to danger. Israeli forces have also used such equipment: the UK's MoD, by contrast, has chosen to fund British firms to develop a homegrown alternative. The …
Lewis Page, 20 Aug 2009
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DARPA at Phase 3 on solar powered surveillance strato-ship

The famed Pentagon Q-branch boffinry hothouse, DARPA, has unveiled another ambitious plan to further US military-technical dominance. It has given $400m to American weapons globocorp Lockheed to develop a solar-powered robot radar airship, able to lurk in the stratosphere for a year at a time, potentially tracking individual …
Lewis Page, 28 Apr 2009
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Spy chief to Obama: Let DARPA fix economy

Newly-inaugurated President Barack Obama has been urged by a top US spysat chief to revitalise America's economy through the use of DARPA*, the legendary Pentagon barmy-boffinry bureau which has given the world the internet and the stealth bomber. More recently the agency has also sponsored initiatives such as mindreading peril- …
Lewis Page, 21 Jan 2009
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Lunar surveyor satellite ready for launch

NASA has announced completion of thermal vacuum testing on its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which will map landing sites on the Moon for America's planned new wave of manned space exploration. Launching next year, the LRO will orbit the Moon just 30 miles up, allowing it to scan the surface with great precision. The …
Lewis Page, 23 Dec 2008
The Register breaking news

UK's Watchkeeper drone in first autonomous flight

The British Army's new Watchkeeper robotic surveillance aircraft has made its first autonomous test flight, carrying out a full mission without remote piloting. The tests took place in Israel, at a facility operated by Israeli drone manufacturer Elbit. Watchkeeper is being made jointly by Thales UK, the British arm of the …
Lewis Page, 26 Nov 2008
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DARPA seeks crawling, burrowing river-recce sub bot

US weapons'n'rockets company Alliant Techsystems (ATK) has won a small military contract related to a planned underwater robot. The Unmanned Underwater Riverine Craft (UURC) will carry out "clandestine surveillance tasks in riverine and shallow water environments" using "bottom locomotion (crawling)" mode and "burrowing" …
Lewis Page, 31 Oct 2008
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Raytheon demos new submarine-launched UAV

America has gone one better than Germany in the race to develop the world's most powerful submarine-launched robot aircraft. US arms giant Raytheon has announced a model which can be deployed at depth without modification to the submarine. The new U-UAV is dubbed SOTHOC, for Submarine Over the Horizon Organic Capabilities. The …
Lewis Page, 27 Oct 2008
The Register breaking news

MoD judges clone-drone deathmatch

Comment The UK Ministry of Defence expects to announce the winner of its "Grand Challenge" urban-warfare robotics competition tomorrow. The last three days have seen the contending droids - those which came up to the start line in a serviceable condition, anyway - battling it out for the title in a purpose-built small town used by the …
Lewis Page, 18 Aug 2008
Warning! Black Helicopters

Norwegians demo 10cm video & GPS pocket-chopper

"The world's smallest full authority helicopter", with rotors just 10cm across, has been successfully flight tested in Norway. Scandinavian microcopter developers hailed the debut of the prototype PD-100 Black Hornet as "a major success". Sceptical readers in possession of the small battery-powered remote-controlled …
Lewis Page, 24 Jul 2008
The Register breaking news

Germans develop submarine-launched UAV

You have to do something special these days to make your flying robot stand out from the swarm - but remorselessly efficient German designers have done just that. They plan to offer small unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) which can be launched and controlled from a submerged submarine. The UAV in question is called VOLANS (coVert …
Lewis Page, 10 Jul 2008
The Register breaking news

Aerovironment sells hurl 'n' splash roboplane to US spec-ops

The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM - aka the "snake eater community"* - has just placed a new order for hand-launched aerial surveillance robots which could be worth up to $200m and see hundreds of portable drones delivered. The potentially very lucky company is Aerovironment, already well known for such projects as the …
Lewis Page, 8 Jul 2008
The Register breaking news

Electrosticky droid boffin in spider-gecko tech bitchslap

A California-based researcher says he has developed "electro-adhesion" tech which will allow robots to crawl up walls and perhaps hang from ceilings with ease. Nonprofit R&D group SRI reckons its switchable stickiness kit would be handy for military and disaster-relief applications - and ultimately, for special forces operators …
Lewis Page, 23 May 2008
The Register breaking news

BAE lands US Army minidroid horde contract

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 …
Lewis Page, 29 Apr 2008

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