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All Stories Filed in Security & Defense

In 10 Years, 10:1 Robot-Soldier Ratio in U.S. Military
11/20/13 — American soldiers patrolling dangerous streets will soon be accompanied by autonomous robots programmed to scan the area with thermal imaging and send live images back to the command center. Likewise, squads of infantrymen hiking through mountains will be helped by a wagon train of robots carrying extra water, ammo and protective gear.…

Fighting Fire with 3D-Mapping Robots
11/13/13 — Researchers develop novel robotic scouts that can help firefighters to assist in residential and commercial blazes. The robots will map and photograph the interior of burning buildings by using stereo vision. Working together both collaboratively and autonomously, a number of such vehicles would quickly develop an accurate augmented virtual reality…

Next Gen Unmanned Helicopter Takes First Flight
11/07/13 — The next-generation MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter has taken to the air for the first time at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) in California. Built by Northrop Grumman around a Bell 407 helicopter, the MQ-8C is designed to boast twice the endurance and three times the payload capacity of the MQ-8B…

100 FirstLook Robot Helps First Responders in Emergencies
10/30/13 — Last week brought us another milestone in the world of robotics via the launch of Willow Garage’s newest spin off, Unbounded Robotics and its new mid-range one-armed lab robot UBR-1. At the other end of the robotics pendulum, we saw an upgraded defense and law enforcement robot from iRobot IRBT -2.56%. iRobot’s defense and security team recently unveiled new…

The Umbilical Link of Man to Robot
10/24/13 — WORCESTER, Mass. — Atlas doesn’t shrug. But he teeters, loses his grip, stutters and staggers. His task one afternoon is to clear a debris field. After many agonizing moments, in a set of abrupt and jerky movements, he crouches and with painstaking precision manages to grasp a two-by-four board and…

Weaponized Robots Flex Their Muscle for Army Officials
10/16/13 — The U.S. Army, looking to use more robots on the battlefield, this week is getting a peek at just how ready robots are to become trusted parts of the military. Commercial companies are demonstrating robots at a four-day event at the Fort Benning Army post in Georgia this week. The robotic…

Embry-Riddle Tries Out Autonomous Airport Security System
10/09/13 — Last month, a student-faculty team from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University used a Ford Escape hybrid car equipped with a GrayMatter Autonomous Vehicle system, GPS and 64 lasers to successfully guide the vehicle around the perimeter of Florida’s Daytona Beach International Airport on a pre-determined track. The event is believed to be the first…

Emergency Response Robots Compete at euRathlon
10/02/13 — Everyone loves a good “Battle of the ‘Bots” throw down, even if the competitors are programmed for preserving lives, rather than destroying them. Last week, Berchtesgaden, Germany played host to the euRathlon, an outdoor robotics competition where 14 teams tested the intelligence, autonomy and grit of their robots that competed…

Military Drags Its Feet in Push for Robotic Ground Vehicles
09/25/13 — WASHINGTON — Cars that can park, brake at a sign of danger and navigate in traffic are on their way to dealers’ showrooms, turning science-fiction fantasies of consumer-owned self-driving vehicles into a new reality. But as private investors have been pushing ahead to develop the systems needed for these new…

FEMA Stops UAVs Mapping Disaster Area After Colorado Flood
09/18/13 — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) threatened to arrest anyone flying drones over the Colorado flood damage over the weekend, even those volunteering with the relief effort. On Saturday, FEMA grounded Colorado company Falcon UAV — a drone manufacturer that had been helping local authorities map the disaster area in near-real time…

Can Emotional Attachment to a Robot be a Bad Thing?
09/18/13 — It's becoming more common to have robots sub in for humans to do dirty or sometimes dangerous work. But researchers are finding that in some cases, people have started to treat robots like pets, friends, or even as an extension of themselves. That raises the question, if a soldier attaches…

New Change in Military Uniform?
09/04/13 — It's no surprise that load-related injuries to soldiers in the field aren'tuncommon. Considering that many of these men and women are walking long distances for extended periods with more than 100 pounds of weight on their backs, the potential for both injury and exhaustion is great. However, DARPA hopes that its Warrior Web  suit…

Robot Bomb Squads Challenged at the Western National Robot Rodeo
08/28/13 — No, it doesn’t involve any tasseled cowboys (roboboys?) trying to stay seated on a bucking BigDog. Nor is there any prize for roping a speeding cheetah-bot in the shortest amount of time. Still, the annual Western National Robot Rodeo has plenty of events, and while they might be quite the family-friendly content…

Flying Cargo Carrier in the Works
08/21/13 — At the AUVSI trade show last week, we spent most of our time wandering around looking for robots that weren't just slightly different flavors of quadrotors, or little airplanes with cameras on them. Things weren't as wacky and awesome as they have been in past years (possibly because the market…

Robots Learn Air-to-Air Refuelling
08/14/13 — The Pentagon killer-boffin agency DARPA (the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) has made another move forward in its plan to replace all US military humans with robots. The latest trick the droids have learned is that of flying a plane during air-to-air refuelling. Air-to-air refuelling, in which a military aircraft…

Russian Armored Military Vehicle is Virtually Silent
07/31/13 — MOSCOW, July 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s Military-Industrial Company has developed and tested a hybrid-powered silent armored personnel carrier (APC) that could eventually be remotely operated, a company spokesman said Tuesday. The Krymsk APC, based on the BTR-90 Rostok vehicle, has a hybrid engine and can move virtually silently on…

NASA’s New Robot Moves Like a Monkey
07/24/13 — Researchers at Boston Dynamics have designed one of the most advanced humanoids ever to compete in DARPA's upcoming Robotics Challenge. But NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is taking a decidedly different, and more primitive, approach. Like with the country's first space explorers, NASA is once again turning to primates with its surprisingly capable RoboSimian. Designed…

Boston Dynamics Creates the ATLAS Disaster-Response Robot for DARPA
07/16/13 — At six-foot-two and 330 pounds, this hulking first responder has all the qualities you'd want in the field after a disaster:  strength, endurance and calm under pressure. Better yet, it has two sets of hands, 28 hydraulic joints, stereo cameras in its head and an onboard computer. The ATLAS humanoid robot,…




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