Tuesday, March 18, 2008

For Our Future's Sake, Don't Give This Thing A Gun!

They haven't released video of the tests yet where this thing is mounted with heavy weaponry. It can easily haul 300 pounds. It's development in Boston is funded by DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Project Agency), for military purposes.

Hundreds of these 'war dogs' will be ready to go to war soon. From a bunker back in Virginia, the controller deciding which targets the dog has sighted are worthy kills won't be using a keyboard or a mouse. He or she will be able to think where the war dog goes and who it kills. Bluetooth in the brain. With the help of its distant instructor, it will learn over time to decide for itself when to kill. All these things were science fiction, today, next year, they are reality.

I'm still not sure which demonstration is more disturbing. The hopping test, where it shows it can easily leap a wall. Or the rock test, where it just keeps coming at you. You can't kick it over. If you manage to knock it down, it will just get back up again.

i09 has a few more clips of the 'war dog'. Creepy stuff indeed if you feel uneasy about the rise of robot armies. Watch it coming through the woods, and righting itself after slipping on ice. It looks like it was modeled on two men bending over from the waist, facing each other. These clips are already a year or two old. Do you wonder what it's capable of doing now?

That buzzsaw sound can easily slip into your nightmares.

UPDATE : A detailed but very techy story here on some of the other 'projects' DARPA's working on right now. They've announced some progress towards slowing down the speed of light. Or something...