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Killer robots already exist, and they’ve been here a very long time

Humans will always make the final decision on whether armed robots can shoot, according to a statement by the US Department of Defense. Their clarification comes amid fears about a new advanced targeting system, known as ATLAS, that will use artificial intelligence in combat vehicles to target and execute threats. While the public may feel uneasy about so-called “killer robots”, the concept is not...[Read More]

The argument from cyberspace for eliminating nuclear weapons

At the height of the Cold War in 1982, American psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton argued that the “central existential fact of the nuclear age is vulnerability.” That warning predated the proliferation of computers into almost every aspect of modern life, including nuclear weapons. Today, the destructiveness of nuclear weapons has been coupled with the vulnerability of computers to create new pathway...[Read More]

Counter-terrorism police are now training with virtual terrorists

What if you could save an airport from terrorists, escape insurgents in South Sudan, and rescue civilians in an underground station all in one morning? With modern technology, the ability to recreate these scenarios within virtual and augmented reality is here, and we’re using it to help train counter-terrorism officers and aid workers. Historically, such training would be provided through classro...[Read More]

TIKAD is the drone all those Terminator movies warned us about

If when asked “What is the next thing needed in drone technology?”, you answer “Guns!” we will a) question your sanity and b) congratulate you on thinking like the makers of TIKAD. TIKAD is a drone that looks an awful lot like the rigs used to tote around high-end camera equipment for the movie industry. There is one big difference though: Shooting with these results in far...[Read More]

Meet the MUTT, a robot with a machine gun

We see a lot of robots out there. Boston Dynamics is making some great ones, all modelled after real animals that we can’t even compete with in their animal forms, but the US Military is also building a couple of interesting models. There’s no doubt that their efforts, like the MUTT, are designed for the express purpose of putting holes into other things rather than sprinting naturally...[Read More]

How the US military is using ‘violent, chaotic, beautiful’ video games to train soldiers

Violent video games have become embedded within American culture over the past several decades and especially since 9/11. First-person shooters, in particular, have become increasingly popular. These games – in which players are positioned behind a gun – have turned a generation of kids into digital warriors who fight terrorists and battle alien invaders. Many play first-person shooters for pure, ...[Read More]

The US Army now has a Phaser that they could use for mass drone disposal

Well the American military finally has a Phaser and it’s… nothing like we expected it to be. We’ve been conditioned by the likes of Star Trek to think that a phaser is a hand-held weapon, not a room-sized directed-energy weapon powered by a diesel generator. But America’s Phaser is quite good at killing drones, so that’s something. Testing of the Phaser, which is a hi...[Read More]

Military needs a more realistic approach to virtual reality

The worlds of warfare and virtual reality are an appealing combination. Millions of fans of Call of Duty would no doubt jump from their sofas at the chance to immerse themselves in a 3D version of the game, given the right kit. But the serious side of this combination is appealing too. Using virtual reality to train soldiers and other military personnel is a much safer (and cheaper) option for gov...[Read More]

The race to hypersonic speed: will air passengers feel the benefits?

When Concorde entered service 40 years ago, it more than doubled the speed of air travel at a stroke. Following Concorde’s retirement, airliners today fly once more at subsonic speeds, but engineers worldwide are looking to a future in which high-speed flight is an everyday occurrence. Except they want to go one better: not at supersonic, but hypersonic speeds. Aerospace giant Airbus was last year...[Read More]

Light Start – PC killer, smart grenades, Disney prosthetics, a drone rifle, and a rocket test

Now you can actually kill a computer using a USB stick Now we know how to set a computer on fire using a floppy-disk drive but this is something else. Those guys you’ve seen in IT at work? They’ve been waiting for something like this. They might have even been cooking up their own but the USB Killer 2.0 has beaten them to the punch. It’s now entirely possible to cook a PC by plug...[Read More]

A look inside the GUSS self-driving military vehicle

Self-driving cars are all the rage right now and it seems like everybody wants a piece. Google and major car manufacturers are not the only people after a motor vehicle capable of excluding the driver, the American military is also in the market for something autonomous – for some very obvious reasons. To that end they’re testing out GUSS, which stands for Ground Unmanned Support Surro...[Read More]

Lockheed Martin has a few autonomous military vehicles in testing

Say what you like about various military outfits, they frequent have some of the best gear when it comes to technology. Case in point is Lockheed Martin, along with the US Army’s Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, who have recently demonstrated an autonomous convoy of military vehicles able to operate in “urban environments”. The demonstration took plac...[Read More]

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