Articles about droids

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Qinetiq touts 'Transformer-like' mobility-scooter killbot

UK deathboffinry spinoff firm Qinetiq says it plans to deploy Transformers combatbots in the Wars On Stuff. In a release today, the company invites the world to admire MAARS™ (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System). MAARS is made by Qinetiq's recent American acquisition, Foster-Miller, who are perhaps most famous for their …
Lewis Page, 9 Oct 2007
The Register breaking news

DARPA to create brain-chipped cyborg moths

Famed US military mad-scientist bureau DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is engaged in an effort to grow/build cyborg moths for use as spies. No, really. The program is called Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or HI-MEMS. In it, the arguably over-caffeined DARPA boffins aim to construct a …
Lewis Page, 31 May 2007
The Register breaking news

MIT eggheads build 'human-robot relationships'

An MIT doctoral candidate has produced a robotic desk lamp, though its maker prefers to call it a "collaborative lighting assistant", or even "non-anthropomorphic robotic platform". See the Flash video: Click To Play New Scientist reports that the robo-lamp is the brainchild of Guy Hoffman, a member of the Robotic Life …
Lewis Page, 30 May 2007
Blue sky

EU defence agency wants open skies for flying robots

The European Union's nascent military ministry, the European Defence Agency, is mounting a push to allow flying robots to operate alongside regular air traffic. As things presently stand, Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) are poorly integrated into civil air-traffic regimes and the laws which underpin them. Few UAVs are certified …
Lewis Page, 29 May 2007
The Register breaking news

Robot gunships join US Army

The march of the killer droids continues, with news that a US robot helicopter gunship has passed a significant milestone - engine testing. This success means the robot can head for production - once avionics and sensors arrive. The cyber-copter in question is the RQ/MQ-8 vertical takeoff and landing tactical unmanned air …
Lewis Page, 24 May 2007
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Liverpool police get mini-Black Helicopter

The era of Robocop - and perhaps of the surveillance society - came a step nearer today with the announcement that Merseyside plods have started trialling a flying police robot. The scally sky-patrolman, unlike military kill-bots such as the US Reaper, isn't intended for any active role. It is purely an observation platform, …
Lewis Page, 21 May 2007

Terminator kill-bots to be run by system called 'Skynet'

Following the announcement of the new Flying-HK-style "Reaper" death machines for the British forces, the prophetic nature of the Terminator movies has been further confirmed. Not only will the UK MoD deploy airborne cyber-gunships remarkably similar to those in the films, the flying robot assassins will be controlled by an IT …
Lewis Page, 11 May 2007
The Register breaking news

Terminator-style flying-HK killbots join US, UK forces

The US Air Force has announced it has ordered a further quartet of MQ-9 'Reapers', worth $59m, to supplement its initial fleet of seven. A decision on full-rate production is expected in 2009. Meanwhile, the head of the Royal Air Force said last week that the UK will also deploy its first fully-armed Reapers "later this year …
Lewis Page, 10 May 2007
The Register breaking news

Wikipedia bot-swarm foretells snooker result

The online hive-mind jumbleshop Wikipedia continues to amaze. The Web 2.0 consensus reality has now begun to edit itself without human input - indeed has gone so far as to allow automated bots to overrule humans. Perhaps coincidentally, it has also begun to make predictions about the future. Most amazing of all, it now seeks to …
Lewis Page, 9 May 2007
The Register breaking news

MPs criticise combat ID systems

MPs have said poor progress in developing combat identification technology is compromising the safety of military personnel. A report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says British soldiers are at risk of death and injury from "friendly fire" because the Ministry of Defence has failed to develop a technological …
Kablenet, 1 May 2007
The Register breaking news

Boffins develop DIY musical Wi-Fi robot kit

Academics funded by a sinister triumvirate of global corporations intend to see Wi-Fi-controlled robots in every home, school, and office across the free world. In a particularly cunning twist, the professors and their shadowy backers intend that this mechanoid fifth column be assembled DIY-style by innocent dupes - perhaps …
Lewis Page, 26 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Aliens exoskeletons for Japanese old-timers

Designers in Japan have developed a working Aliens-style powered exoskeleton, and intend to market it next year. The Japan Times reports that Yoshiyuki Sankai, a professor at the University of Tsukuba, has teamed up with Daiwa House Industry Co to manufacture "400 to 500 suits annually", from 2008. The motorised exoskeleton, a …
Lewis Page, 25 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Robo-rights speculation rubbished by researchers

UK robotics boffins this week pooh-poohed the notion of evolving machine intelligence and the possibility of that old sci-fi staple, a future robot-rights movement. Academic droid-fanciers instead suggested that issues around robots in the near future would be primarily human ones. Government-sponsored futurologists predicted …
Lewis Page, 25 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

NASA, DoD in underwater astronaut doc-bot trial

American surgeons will carry out a realistic simulation of zero-gee robotic surgery next month, the Associated Press reports. The US Department of Defense (DoD) "Raven" robo-surgeon is being developed with the intention of treating injured soldiers on far-flung battlefields where no human doc may be available. It reportedly …
Lewis Page, 20 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

UCD gears up for robot rugby

Faster, higher, more intuitive. It's not quite the Olympics, but the third annual Siemens Roborugby tournament promises a fresh approach to engineers' education. Held at University College Dublin (UCD), teams of students design robots to try and claim top honours and the table-top contest aims to show a practical and fun side …
Emmet Ryan, 16 Apr 2007

Robot Cop ends tense Massachusetts siege

The long-anticipated robot police are in action at last. Old-fashioned fleshy cops in Hingham, Massachusetts, were forced to call in mechanised assistance on Saturday as a tense siege situation spiralled out of control. "A five-hour standoff between police and a 23-year-old Hingham man barricaded inside an apartment ended... …
Lewis Page, 3 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

US Navy ponders robot carrier planes

The killer-robot takeover in the American military continues to gather pace with news over the weekend that the US Navy has received concrete proposals for unmanned carrier planes. This story isn't an April Fool; the billion-dollar Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) competition has been brewing for some time. But …
Lewis Page, 3 Apr 2007

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