The rise of the machines?
It's coming?...too late ...it's here!
The Army's new Talon robot -- machine gun-equipped, and due to arrive in Iraq this spring.
[Photo: Carl P. Evans III]
Hunting for guerillas, handling roadside bombs, crawling across the caves and crumbling towns of Afghanistan and Iraq -- all of that was just a start. Now, the Army is prepping its squad of robotic vehicles for a new set of assignments. And this time, they'll be carrying guns.
As early as March or April, 18 units of the Talon -- a model armed with automatic weapons -- are scheduled to report for duty in Iraq. Around the same time, the first prototypes of a new, unmanned ambulance should be ready for the Army to start testing. In a warren of hangar-sized hotel ballrooms in Orlando, military engineers this week showed off their next generation of robots, as they got the machines ready for the war zone.
Today's the Day. "Putting something like this into the field, we're about to start something that's never been done before," said Staff Sgt. Santiago Tordillos, waving to the black, 2-foot-six-inch robot rolling around the carpeted floor on twin treads, an M249 machine gun cradled in its mechanical grip. -
"It's a premonition of things to come," Pike said. "It makes sense. These things have no family to write home to. They're fearless. You can put them places you'd have a hard time putting a soldier in."
Raytheon 'heat beam' weapon ready for Iraq
Government defense giant Raytheon Co. has developed the first nonlethal weapon that fires a heat beam to repel enemies and reduces the chance of innocent civilians being shot, a Pentagon official said.
The weapon, mounted on a Humvee vehicle, projects a "focused, speed-of-light millimeter wave energy beam to induce an intolerable heating sensation,'' according to a U.S. Air Force fact sheet. The energy penetrates less than 1/64 of an inch into the skin and the sensation ceases when the target moves out of the beam.
The weapon could be used for crowd control and is effective beyond the range of bullets fired by small arms, Karcher said. The effective range of an AK-47 assault rifle is as far as 273 yards, while an M16A2 rifle has a range of 400 meters.
The primary benefit would be protecting U.S. troops, Heal said. The weapon would also limit deaths of noncombatants, he said. source
Drones bomb Afghanistan and Patrol the US borders
"The nightly news shows profile the Pentagon's new systems as heroes-of-the-day: In one news cycle the focus was on how "unmanned RQ-1 `Predator' spy drones were being equipped with Hellfire missiles," in the next news cycle the attention moved on to the "awesome fire power of AC-130 gunships." Killing from a distance--anonymous, invisible and methodical.
||October 18, 2001
Unmanned aircraft reportedly have fired on combat targets for the first time during the Afghanistan air strikes, perhaps marking a new era in modern warfare.
RQ-1 Predators -- propeller-driven, 700-pound reconnaissance drones -- have fired Hellfire anti-tank missiles on Afghani targets during the 11-day series of air strikes on Taliban and terrorist positions, the Washington Post reported Thursday morning.
Military sources announced that the Pentagon had established "kill boxes" around major Afghan cities, including Kabul and Kandahar--these are zones where pilots are allowed to kill anything that moves without needing approval. They are similar to the notorious "free fire zones" the U.S. established in Vietnam. The publicly announced plans are to continue the intense air campaign until mid-November, when both winter storms and the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begin."
Taking Injustice to the Ground
note: Predator Drones now part of GPS led networked system in Iraq
Operation Iraqi Freedeom was the Predator's first "networked" operation. Four simultaneous Predator orbits
were flown over Iraq and an additional orbit operated over Afghanistan, with three of those orbits controlled
via remote operations in the U.S.
This combined reachback enabled dynamic support to numerous OIF missions. Predator also contributed to our
operational flexibility, accomplishing hunter-killer missions, tactical ballistic missile search, force
protection, focused intelligence collection, air strike control, and special operations support.
A Hellfire equipped Predator also conducted numerous precision strikes against Iraqi targets, and flew
armed escort missions with U.S. Army helicopters.
Space power provided precise, all-weather navigation, global communications, missile warning, and
surveillance. The ability to adapt to adverse weather conditions, including sandstorms, allowed air,
land, and maritime forces to confound the Iraqi military and denied safe haven anywhere in their own
country. As the Iraqis attempted to use ground-based GPS jammers, Air Force strike assets destroyed
them, in some cases, using the very munitions the jammers attempted to defeat. As Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld noted, this new era was illustrated by the coalition's "unprecedented combination of
power, precision, speed, and flexibility."
armed-services senate gov statemnt
Two Production RQ-4A Global Hawks Deploy In Global War On Terrorism
by Staff Writers - San Diego CA (SPX) Jan 26, 2006 - U.S. forces supporting the war on terrorism gained two critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets this month when the U.S. Air Force deployed the first two production RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles to theater.
Global Hawk is designed and produced by Northrop Grumman.
"The Air Force is committed to bringing real-time reconnaissance information to the commanders and is confident that Global Hawk is the right high-altitude asset to provide persistent surveillance over the battlefield," commented Jerry Madigan, vice president of Northrop Grumman's High Altitude Long Endurance programs.
The two RQ-4A Global Hawks arrived at the operating base earlier this month. The deployment team began functional test flights of the two vehicles immediately upon arrival. The Global Hawks, their sensors and ground stations were all tested and performed to Air Force requirements before the deployment.
They joined a previously deployed Global Hawk test asset, designed and developed as part of the system's advanced concept technology demonstration phase. That air vehicle has logged more than 3,000 hours in combat during a total of approximately two years in theater.
Madigan added that during a combat situation, "Global Hawk can loiter over an assigned area for more than a day or can be re-tasked to gather information over hot spots at a moment's notice. Once the Global Hawk is over the specific area, commanders can view problem areas quickly and make crucial decisions within minutes."
Through three deployments in support of the war on terrorism, more than 250 missions and 5,000 combat flight hours have been logged by just three aircraft.
Global Hawk flies autonomously at an altitude of more than 60,000 feet, above inclement weather and prevailing winds, for more than 35 hours at a time. During a single mission, it can provide detailed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information in near-real time over 40,000 square miles - approximately the size of Illinois.
Revealed: UK's role in deadly CIA drone
Targeted assassinations by Predators break international law, says Amnesty International
Antony Barnett, investigations editor - Sunday January 29, 2006 - The Observer
A British technology company and a secretive airforce base in Cambridgeshire are playing a key role in the CIA's use of robot Predator planes, deployed to assassinate suspected terrorists overseas,The Observer can reveal.
A missile fired from a Predator killed more than 20 innocent people in Pakistan earlier this month in a botched US bid to kill Ayman al Zawahiri, the deputy leader of al-Qaeda, and similar attacks have been made in Iraq, Yemen and on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The attacks have been condemned by humanitarian organisations, which argue that extra-judicial killings break international law and have led to the deaths of innocent civilians.
The revelation that Britain is involved in the Predator programme is likely to prove controversial. Amnesty International and the Liberal Democrats said they would press the government to uncover the truth about the UK's role in the programme and whether or not British firms should be allowed to supply components for the weapon.
'We want reassurances from ministers that nothing is happening on British soil that contravenes international law,' said Michael Moore, the Liberal Democrat defence spokesman.
The Observer has discovered that the computer 'brains' of the unmanned Predators are made in Towcester, Northamptonshire, by Radstone Technology. The firm manufactures the computer boards that control the drones and enable the CIA to target top al-Qaeda suspects. Predators are controlled remotely by satellite and a joystick. When a target is identified, the Predators fire a Hellfire missile.
The company refused to comment on its contract with the US military, but confirmed it had been supplying the 'rugged communications systems and micro processors' for Predators for several years. A spokesman for the firm described the equipment as the brain of the Predator and said that, without its technology, the vehicle couldn't fly. The US Air Force has just announced an order for a further 140 Predators.
'These kinds of targeted attacks - with air-to-surface missiles taking the place of judicial process - appear to be in breach of international law,' said Amnesty International's UK campaigns director, Stephen Bowen. 'That up to 22 civilians were also killed in a recent attack makes it all the more worrying. 'The government must investigate what role UK-supplied technology has played in this attack, and whether it breaks arms export laws.'
Equally controversial is the disclosure that images taken by Predators as they fly across international airspace are beamed back to a top-secret US base at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire. Staff at the American Joint Analysis Centre study the images and then decide what action to take. The images arrive at the former US cruise missile base via fibre-optic cables under the Atlantic. RAF Molesworth is connected to the secret American satellite-linked 'global broadcast system'. It is believed that British defence intelligence officers work with their US counterparts to analyse the data. Although the key decisions on whether to fire the missiles are taken either by military command in Iraq or in the United States, the fact that a British base is used to collect material from the Predators has sparked concern.
The Liberal Democrats said they would write to the Defence Secretary, John Reid, to demand to know whether British military personnel and US bases in Britain are being used for these targeted assassinations.
A spokesman for the MoD said the department could not comment as it was a matter for the Americans as to what happened at their military base at RAF Molesworth.
According to Amnesty, under international standards, extra-judicial killings are always unlawful, and 'a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any public emergency may not be invoked as a justification for such executions'.
An earlier case of what President George W Bush described as 'sudden justice' occurred in Yemen on 3 November 2002, when six men were killed in a car, blown up by missiles fired from a CIA-controlled Predator drone. One of the people in the vehicle was alleged to be a senior member of al-Qaeda, Abu Ali al-Harithi.
Drones have been flying in formation in 1995
COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY ISSUE OF APRIL 17, 1995 PSA#1326 |
Sources are being sought for a recompete of an existing contract to provide to the 96
Communications-Computer Systems Group, AFDTC at Eglin AFB, FL software engineering services
to support the continuing enhancement and maintenance of the Gulf Range Development Upgrade
System (CRDCUS) including the GRDCUS Mobile Control System (GMCS), the Multi-Object Tracking
and Control System (MTACS), the implementation of Global Positioning System (GPS) into GRDCUS
and MTACS. GRDCUS includes the command and control of up to four drone aircraft
(BQM34A, MQM107B, QF106 and QF4) during launch, single and formation flight and recovery,
and the tracking of four shooter aircraft, four missiles and two other aircraft type.
The tracking and/or control of all aircraft will be through ground stations or four airborne relays.
The GRDCUS computer hardware system consists of a network of 20 IBM RISC 6000 connected by a dual
token ring and Data Link Subsystems built by IBM Corp for the ground and airborne stations.
This GRDCUS system will be upgraded to use the Global Positioning System (GPS) for shooter tracking.
The GMCS hardware consists of four ruggedized IBM RISC 6000 workstations connected via a single
token ring. The GMCS is used to land wounded full scale aerial targets. MTACS is based on the
GRDCUS datalink system and utilizes GRDCUS ground software. MTACS is installed and operated
at the Central Control Facility (CCF) at Eglin AFB. -
Drone Formation Control System at White Sands Missile Range dealing in Automatic Remote Control for a wide variety of aerial targets such as the QF-4 (Phantom
II) MWM-107D and BQM34A.
Drone Formation Control System and Software Development
The Drone Formation Control System provides control systems for tracking and controlling ground and
aerial targets used for weapons testing. The DFCS, a fully automated multiple tracking and control system,
consists of an IBM 4381 computer subsystem, multiple ground interrogator stations, display and target control
consoles, and target transponders.
Tracking and control are accomplished using distance-measuring techniques with a single 915 MHz time-shared
RF data link, a transponder in each target, and a combination of interrogator systems. The DFCS can
automatically and simultaneously control a single target or several aerial targets in single or multiple
formations on individual preprogrammed flight paths. The system can automatically take off and
land full-scale aerial targets and is also capable of tracking and controlling several ground targets.
The system's software consists of a combination of approximately 500,000 lines of FORTRAN and Assembler code.
Using a set of RISC 6000/58H workstations, DFCS has been upgraded to increase its capabilities to control
up to 12 aerial or 48 ground targets. An Ethernet network and a fiber-optics network has been installed,
integrated, and configured to augment system capability. -
Drone aircraft in formation
- another media spin -'far into the future...'
Fighter pilots can fly next to - and control - unmanned planes
LIKE a scene from Star Wars, fighter pilots of the future could well fly with squadrons of 'robotic' jets.
A British aerospace company is now working on a top secret flight system which could allow a pilot
to control swarms of unmanned planes from the air. So, like computer gamers, the pilot could click on
buttons on his system and send the unmanned planes to attack the enemy, even as he flies alongside them.
Talk about multi-tasking.
So far, the company, QinetiQ, formerly British's defence and research agency, has developed the
technology that would allow a pilot to control up to five aircraft during a mission, without needing
to constantly keep a check on them, the New Scientist reported. In theory, the system can be used to
command a squadron of Eurofighters, because the flight simulator that has been built is modelled after
that attack aircraft. The system allows a pilot to program a group of up to five unmanned aerial vehicles
(UAVs) to perform a simple task, like searching an area for enemy vehicles and destroying them.
Presently, the US Air Force can already control a single UAV to perform attack missions from the ground.
'The UAVs have to be intelligent enough to do the right things without having to refer to a human operator,' Mr Jon Platts, technical manager for autonomous air vehicles at QinetiQ, told New Scientist. In the case of a search and destroy mission, the UAVs would locate a potential target and send an image of it back to the pilot, who could give the command to attack it or continue the search. But a pilot could also override the UAVs autonomous behaviour and even control individual planes by hand if necessary. If the link between the UAVs and the fighter should fail, they must also be able to continue their mission independently or return to base. 'From micro spies to stealthy bombers, UAVs are making the vision of unmanned aircraft a reality,' said Mr Peter Birkett, managing director of the company that developed the simulator, cueSim. He said that the simulator 'brings to life a future combat environment where a fast jet is controlling a whole package of UAVs, thereby delivering greater firepower and reconnaissance capability'. The simulator connects two cockpits over a network, allowing two pilots to fly in tandem. The system uses some off-the-shelf software technology more commonly found in computer games.
It's possible for the technology to be implemented in real fighter planes within the next 10 years, but it must be deployed in missions safely and effectively.
Unmanned combat jets tested
BOEING has successfully tested a combat system that can fly two unmanned jets simultaneously.
The X-45A jets took off four minutes apart from Nasa's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, joined up above the test range and flew formations that involved autonomous manoeuvring to hold their positions relative to each other.
Both jets then landed on a common runway and taxied to a location where they shut down. The workload of the pilot-operator was significantly reduced by the ability of the two jets to fly the same mission plan on their own, Boeing said.
The role of the pilot-operator is more akin to being a mission manager than a pilot, said Mr William Barksdale, spokesman for Boeing Air Force Systems, describing the system as 'fly-by-mouse'.
Using a computer screen, the pilot-operator commands the aircraft to begin the mission and then monitors the progress.
The operator can intervene if something goes wrong. - AP.
Remote control planes Newspaper Asia
U.K. research/design firm gains foothold in U.S. military market with key acquisitions
Dryden remote control systems
As always, Dryden's research produces cutting-edge technology in aviation. How about an airplane that
can heal itself and land safely following a catastrophe? A special NASA airplane that can alter its own
computerized flight software to meet in-flight emergencies is getting ready for research flights next year.
Dryden will operate the highly modified NF-15B aircraft in a series of flights in the Intelligent Flight
Control System (IFCS) research project. IFCS is designed to incorporate self-learning neural network concepts
into flight control software to enable a pilot to maintain control and safely land an aircraft that has
suffered a major systems failure or combat damage. Flight evaluation of first- and second-generation
self-learning neural network control software is expected to occur in 2003. Preliminary flight tests
of an IFCS neural network that was pre-trained to the NF-15B's aerodynamic database were flown in spring
RESEARCH IN INTELLIGENT VEHICLE AUTOMATION GROUP
Intelligence can be defined as the ability to "do the right thing" when
faced with a complex decision-making situation. Vehicle intelligence, capable of making reliable decisions
with limited human intervention, has the potential for improving safety, enhancing mission effectiveness,
and enabling extreme missions. To accomplish these goals, on-board systems must exhibit increasingly
higher levels of automation capable of responding to changing goals and objectives, while taking
corrective actions in the presence of internal and external events.
Current levels of automation allow pilots to assign direct tasks to automatic systems,
such as monitoring/caution and warning systems or automatic pilots. These autopilots have
been used in commercial aircraft for a number of years. While their design can incorporate
many aspects of a pilot's experience, they do not possess the reasoning or learning abilities
of a pilot. As a result, pilots are still responsible for supervising the performance of these
systems as well as providing direction in the event of required changes. By applying intelligent
methods of automation, pilots, ground-based operators, or autonomous executives can defer the
responsibilities from performing and supervising tasks, to focus on managing goals and objectives.
The Intelligent Automation (IA) research task was established to explore the application of
intelligent methods for achieving increasingly higher levels of automation. This task is part
of the Intelligent Controls & Diagnostics (ICD) element of the Information Technology Strategic
Research (ITSR) project, within the Computing Information Communication Technology (CICT) program.
A conceptual architecture, shown below, has been developed under which various methods for achieving
the desired goals of health monitoring, situation awareness, and strategic and tactical maneuvering
can be explored.
INTELLIGENT FLIGHT CONTROL
Hull UNI - Control Intelligent Systems Engineering Research
The IFC adapts and reconfigures control responses to accommodate structural changes in the aircraft.
For example, if the wing is damaged, IFC learns the dynamics of the "new" airplane and adapts the control
response to minimize the impact on the pilot's ability to maneuver the damaged airplane.|
Our research is focused on development of advanced nonlinear control designs based on adaptive and neural
techniques. These feedback system designs, in addition to some inherent robustness properties, are
intelligent in that they have the capability to detect and accommodate to changes in dynamics due to
rapid maneuvers, faults, and environmental changes.
University of York
we are looking at Artificially intelligent vehicles flight plans made adaptable by learning machines
More York based research
Computational Neuroscience is a more recent endeavour involving interaction between the Physical Sciences (Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics) and Life Sciences (Neuroscience, Psychology, Neurophysiology) which aims to understand the operation of the nervous system through the use of techniques which include mathematical analysis of neural signals, and modelling of the electrical activity in single neurones and groups of neurones. The field is also referred to as Cognitive Neuroscience.
Neural network flight controls demonstration
NASA and the U.S. Air Force today unveiled a jet-powered aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art flight control technologies that will demonstrate a computerised flight control system that learns as it flies --especially important for the demands of ultra high-speed flight.
Called the Low-Observable Flight Test Experiment (LoFLYTE), the 8-foot-4-inch aircraft, announced at a briefing in Oshkosh, WI, has been developed by Accurate Automation Corp., Chattanooga, TN, for NASA and the Air Force. The program contracts are being administered through NASA's Langley Research Centre, Hampton, VA, and the Air Force Wright Laboratory, Dayton, OH, under the Small Business Innovative Research Program.
The experimental LoFLYTE aircraft will be used to explore new flight control techniques involving neural networks, which allow the aircraft control system to learn by mimicking the pilot.
The model is a Mach 5 waverider design -- a futuristic hypersonic aircraft configuration that actually cruises on top of its own shockwave. Waverider aircraft, powered by air breathing hypersonic engines, would fly at speeds above Mach 4. LoFLYTE represents the first known flying waverider vehicle configuration, but upcoming flight tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Centre, Edwards, CA, will be flown only at low subsonic speeds to explore take-off and landing control issues.
The remotely-piloted aircraft has been designed to demonstrate that neural network flight controls are superior to conventional flight controls.
Neural networks are computer systems that actually learn by doing. The computer network consists of many interconnected control systems, or nodes, similar to neurons in the brain. Each node assigns a value to the input from each of its counterparts. As these values are changed, the network can adjust the way it responds.
The aircraft's flight controller consists of a network of multiple-instruction, multiple-data neural chips. The network will be able to continually alter the aircraft's control laws in order to optimise flight performance and take the pilot's responses into consideration. Over time, the neural network system could be trained to control the aircraft. The use of neural networks in flight would help pilots fly in quick-decision situations and help damaged aircraft land safely even when controls are partially destroyed.
Decision making Robots?
Artificially intelligent vehicles flight plans made adaptable by learning machines:
Computational Neuroscience is a more recent endeavour involving interaction between the Physical Sciences (Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics) and Life Sciences (Neuroscience, Psychology, Neurophysiology) which aims to understand the operation of the nervous system through the use of techniques which include mathematical analysis of neural signals, and modelling of the electrical activity in single neurones and groups of neurones. The field is also referred to as Cognitive Neuroscience.
York University based research
1st autonomous intelligent UAV flight?
with a model version? phew, eh? that's a releif....
Melbourne, Australia, 6th July 2004. In a world first, truly autonomous, Intelligent Agent-controlled flight was achieved today by a Codarra 'Avatar' unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The flight tests were conducted in restricted airspace at the Australian Army's Graytown Range about 60 miles north of Melbourne. The Avatar was guided by a JACKTM intelligent software agent that directed the aircraft's autopilot during the course of the mission.
The on-board JACKTM agent chose the best route to fly after evaluating real-time flight and weather data accessed through a direct link to the autopilot and its GPS (Global Positioning System). The agent was constantly updated with the Avatar's position, air speed, ground speed and drift so it could intelligently pick the best route to take.
Codarra developers of the test UAV
The successful first flight, undertaken by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and JACKTM software developers Agent Oriented Software, convincingly demonstrated both in-flight Intelligent Agent control of the aircraft and fully autonomous mission selection capabilities.
This groundbreaking achievement is of great significance to UAV operators and manufacturers worldwide. It shows that UAVs can now autonomously replan and execute missions without ground operator intervention. This opens the door to enormous savings in operational costs and manpower requirements.
Video & more story
UCAV - unmanned ariel combat vehicle
At the point of attack, precision engagement relies on precision geolocation. The ability to find, track,
and identify targets anywhere on the globe at any time is revolutionizing warfare and necessitating new and
flexible thinking on operational concepts and doctrine.
Andrew Marshal, head of the DoD Office of Net
Assessment, says that the future battlespace will be a "Nintendo-style battlefield where there is a
competition between hiders and seekers rather than a decisive clash between large ground armies. Satellites
and other sensors will provide a 'God's eye' view of the battlefield, and a new generation of long-range
precision weapons, guided by signals from Global Positioning System satellites, can strike within feet of
targets regardless of weather or time of day."
Such precision engagement requires munitions with a
variety of characteristics: accuracy, adverse weather capability, standoff, autonomous guidance, and
The first X-35A demonstration air vehicle took its maiden flight in May 2002 and the second in November
2002. Three blocks of tests are planned. In March 2003, the two vehicles successfully completed Block I
demonstrations which included a total of 16 flights. Block I tests were concentrated on areas of
communication, contingency management, mission control/air vehicle interface and
navigation (the ability to reach waypoints at specified times). -
Air force tech
Under the J-UCAS program, the two original X-45A demonstrators built by Boeing are continuing their
flight tests. In mid-April, one of the X-45As became the first purpose-built UCAV to release a
precision-guided weapon, launching an inert GPS (Global Positioning System)-inertial Small Smart
Bomb and hitting a ground target at the USN's China Lake research facility. The human operator
confirmed the identification of the target and authorized the UCAV to arm and release the weapon,
but the X-45A maneuvered on to the target,:
The U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Army all have UCAV development programmes under way and in the
U.K., a UCAV solution is possible for at least part of the Future Offensive Air System (FOAS)
requirement. Preliminary UCAV developments have also begun in France, Germany, Italy and Sweden,
France having taken the lead in forming a European UCAV grouping (which also includes Greece) and
naming the new programme 'NEURON.' -
4th Annual UCAV Conference
October 25 - 26, 2004 London, UK
Common Operating system
DARPA's common operating system, however, is a different animal, enabling the vehicles' autonomy. The software would touch practically everything - command and control (C2), coms management, mission planning, human systems integration and vehicle interactivity, as well as contingency, route and stores management, and sensor, track and mission management. COS is also about reaching out to the global information grid - the Internet in the sky - connecting with the command structure and culling data and applications. Information from networks conceivably could cue aircraft sensors, says Rick Ludwig, Northrop Grumman's X-47 director of business development. "Possibly, if the information is of high enough fidelity, you could actually cue the weapon and release it without a sensor on the aircraft having to find the target," he muses.
J-UCAS researchers envision stealthy, networked UAVs operating all but autonomously over the battlefield. The aircraft would react to changing situations and collaborate among themselves to decide which one of them is best situated to find, image, identify and destroy targets. Key missions include the destruction of networked air defense systems, deep strike, penetrating electronic attack, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. As missions have grown, so too have the vehicles. The demonstrators being developed for J-UCAS are between an F-16 and an F-117 in size. Boeing's X-45, for example, will grow from 8,000 pounds to 18,000 pounds (3,629 to 8,265 kg) empty weight from the A to the C version. The vehicles will fly at high subsonic speeds at altitudes greater than 40,000 feet with a 1,300-nm combat radius (unrefueled), which is considerably greater than what today's manned fighters can do.
Based on its heritage, Boeing's X-45C reflects the Air Force's interest in stealthy, "first day of the war" missions, while Northrop's X-47B reflects the Navy's need for carrier-based operations. But Northrop is studying emerging Air Force requirements and says it could modify its third demonstrator aircraft into an "X-47B+."
At this size and with these planned missions, the J-UCAS aircraft clearly have to be competitive with manned aircraft to survive into production, acknowledges Michael Francis, DARPA program director. The bar "needs to be raised" on the unmanned side "in the area of mission functionality." That's where COS comes in, as the "de facto integrator," not only within vehicles but between them.
DARPA has a lot riding on COS, which it sees as the government's opportunity to free core software from dependence on air vehicles - and on airframers, the prime contractors who typically control airplanes once they win the competitions to produce them. COS promises architectures that can smoothly incorporate "best of breed," third-party applications as they emerge.
"OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] interest in COS is significant because of the leverage it has for interoperability," asserts Francis. "For the first time we're building the hard part of IT [information technology] and segregating it from the platform." Once you do that, he declares, "you can tackle problems separately because you don't have the industrial age component [the airframe] fully intertwined with the information age component from a schedule and cost point." The software would be easier to upgrade, as well.
So DARPA is treating COS a little like the Manhattan Project, the secret nuclear bomb effort in World War II, Francis smiles. The agency set up a consortium, in which the primes - who are building different parts of COS and must share data with each other - are refereed by a third party, Johns Hopkins' Applied Physics Lab, known as the integrator broker. The J-UCAS program, in its current DARPA guise, deliberately avoids a "lead systems integrator," a contractor "daddy rabbit," as Francis terms it, who acts as the overall integrator for the government. The integrator broker, a neutral intermediary, maintains COS configuration control and ensures that new ideas from third parties get a fair hearing.
The J-UCAS program has endured large budget hits and schedule stretches, as a result of pressures on Pentagon spending. But it's still intact. "The fact that we went through this president's budget and came out alive is very telling," says Ludwig. "As a $4- to $5-billion program, we could easily have gone away." He expects a procurement decision around 2010,
The challenges surrounding J-UCAS are formidable. How do you get the same effect multiple times and never give the enemy the same look twice, Francis asks. How do you become unpredictable, so you can achieve your desired effects? And what are the implications for the test community if software - the COS - doesn't deliver the same answer twice in a row?
The economic assumptions of the COS development plan are being questioned, as well. For example, what incentives would third-party software developers have to contribute "best of breed" applications if the government shares their source code with others on the program?
At the top of the list is uncertainty as to the program's direction. J-UCAS is moving to the military this fall, just as COS development accelerates. Will the Air Force, designated last year to lead the program, want to scale it back to save time and money? If so, how deep and broad will the software's eventual footprint be?
Despite the challenges, J-UCAS and predecessor programs have made impressive strides. The Boeing X-45A, which has enjoyed a long flight test program, has released inert GPS-guided bombs, flown two-vehicle mock sorties, and demonstrated autonomous attack planning and beyond line of sight control.
The program eyes the following objectives: to build and fly the airplanes to verify basic performance (takeoff, navigation and landing); to demonstrate the feasibility of COS and the ability of the aircraft to perform combat missions; and to generate enough data from flight tests to allow the military to make informed decisions about further development and acquisition.
COS encompasses three software stages: Build 0-infrastructure, Build 1-single ship, and Build 2-multiship, the last of which stretches out till 2009. Boeing has delivered COS data management and discovery services, as well as publish/subscribe components - as part of Build 0. Discovery services allow UAVs to locate applications, such as mission planners and autorouters, on networks. This middleware, some of which derives from Boeing's Future Combat Systems program, provides the infrastructure on which mission application software can run.
Northrop is focusing on the contingency, route, sensor, weapons and enterprise services management, as well as the platform portability, human systems interface and coms aspects of COS. The company has gotten the green light for its Build 1 proposal, but the contract was still pending at press time in August. Other companies, termed technology contributors, also will have opportunities to participate in areas such as the human system interface, autorouters and target cuing.
Boeing and Northrop each will build three, progressively more capable demonstration aircraft - the X-45Cs and X-47Bs, respectively - and begin flying the first of them in 2007. DARPA wants to reach the point where an X-45C ground station can control an X-47B and vice versa. The ideal: "a net centric system of systems where the platforms, sensor and weapons are the peripherals [to the COS]," Francis says. The whole would be much greater than the sum of the parts.
Boeing's X-45As have made more than 60 flights, stretching back to May 2002. In August the company completed a "graduation program" at Edwards AFB, Calif., a mission to preemptively identify, attack and destroy simulated enemy air defenses - ground-based radars and missile launchers. After takeoff, the pair of UAVs used onboard decision making software to select the best flight path within a 30-by-60-mile area of action. Evading an unexpected, pop-up threat, the duo autonomously determined which vehicle held the best position, weapons and fuel to attack the higher-priority target, says Boeing. After the ground pilot authorized the simulated attack, the X-45As "destroyed" the target and returned to base.
Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk UAV pushed autonomy at the platform level, moving to a mouse-driven interface. But J-UCAS pushes autonomy at the system-of-systems level, where multiple aircraft cooperate. To date an operator has controlled two vehicles in flight, four vehicles routinely in simulation, and six vehicles in the lab. J-UCAS envisions flexible, distributed and redundant command and control, Francis says. Responsibilities could be distributed among multiple remote operators. One could handle sensors, another, trajectory management, and yet another, after-action damage assessment. The Air Force and Navy are exploring these issues in simulation. DARPA last year demonstrated X-45 control handoff via satcom between remote operator control stations. Ultimately, the control element could be hosted on airplanes, ships and ground stations.
The X-45A allows the pilot to set the level of autonomy - from the aircraft's asking permission at every juncture to executing an action unless the pilot intervenes within a certain time. Its avionics systems - in come-as-you-are format, taking up one of two weapons bays - included Boeing-built vehicle management and mission management computers, Rockwell Collins ARC-210 UHF coms and BAE Systems Link 16 data link. The A version - essentially a "Spiral 0," concept plane - had a 34-foot (10-m) wing span, and 27-foot (8-m) length. The X-45C, by contrast, boasts a 49-foot (15-m) wing span and a 39-foot (12-m) length.
The X-45A is pretty much "a fly by mouse" aircraft, says Jim Martin, Boeing's director of X-45 system test. The operator console has two screens - a navigation display and air vehicle parameter display. The workload is manageable, however, as the vehicle does its own administrative work, tracking fuel, not-to-exceed speed, maximum G loads and sideslip angles, and the health of its subsystems. It notifies the operator when something has failed. - defense daily
J-UCAS Canceled, But Not for Naught
US Navy Capt. Ralph Alderson, program director of the Joint-Unmanned Combat Aerial System (J-UCAS) program, said right at the start that he would address the elephant in the room.
The FY07 defense budget provides zero funding for the J-UCAS, and the newly released 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) calls for the program's "restructuring," as many of the attendees at the Association of Unmanned Systems International's Unmanned Systems Program Review 2006 conference in Washington, DC, on Feb. 8 perhaps already knew, Capt. Alderson said.
"Restructuring" would appear to be a euphemism for "canceled," but despite standing at the podium with a PowerPoint presentation for a program now in limbo, the J-UCAS program director said not all is for naught - that there are many lessons learned which can be applied to the restructured program, the exact nature of which is still to be determined.
"The Navy will be developing a long-range UCAV [unmanned combat aerial vehicle]. That is the sum total of what I can tell you," Capt. Alderson said. "The impacts are still being worked pretty hard. But we're still committed to getting a good solid demonstration done, so we can pass lessons learned to the Navy."
Seen as a future family of US Air Force and Navy UCAVs employing unmanned aircraft as large as F-16s, the J-UCAS program was supposed to develop unmanned vehicles able to perform a variety of missions, including deep strike and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (see "Drones That Sting"). But Ryan Henry, the US Defense Department principal deputy undersecretary for policy, said in a presentation on the QDR that the J-UCAS program is being restructured to include an air-to-air refueling capability and "more options for payloads and distance."
Asked if the J-UCAS program would essentially be folded into a still undefined US Navy long-range UCAV project, Capt. Alderson would say only that "there's a lot of discussion. We're not seeing an Air Force element, so it looks like the Navy going forward." The J-UCAS program, among other things, did not plan to allow aircraft carrier "cats and traps," or catapulted takeoffs and trapped landings, yet carrier survivability is the Navy's highest priority, Capt. Alderson said.
Prior to the announced restructuring, the J-UCAS program had completed more than 60 test flights of the Boeing X-45A vehicle, culminating in August 2005 with a demonstration of preemptive destruction suppression of enemy air defenses (DEAD) involving two X-45As. Tests also included dropping a GPS-guided weapon, simultaneous control of two X-45As by one operator, and the transfer of control over two vehicles while in flight to another control station 900 miles away.
The two X-45B vehicles funded in October 2005, representing a $40-million funding cut in the program that reduced the planned vehicles from three to two, were to have been delivered by March or April, with a first flight in 2008. Yet another iteration, the X-45C, was to have delivered three vehicles carrying the GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) for the purpose of developing software for effectively controlling weapons, with tests to have begun in 2007.
A representative from Boeing Air Force Systems, the developer of the X-45 vehicles, said the company couldn't comment on the future of the J-UCAS program, because it has not yet received any official word from the Air Force on its status.
Capt. Alderson said that during the course of the J-UCAS program, he has had difficulty making clear in briefings to senior leaders in the Pentagon that the central challenge J-UCAS was intended to address was the in-flight autonomy of mission planning, not simply the autonomous control of the aircraft. Mission planning was supposed to be the heart of the J-UCAS, capitalizing on network-centric capabilities that would permit multiple aircraft to work together on various kinds of missions. Capt. Alderson said his own personal lessons learned from J-UCAS include the understanding that the "affordability" of unmanned aerial vehicles is often overstated, that the payoff is in the operations of the aircraft and not its acquisition. - edefenseonline.com
Given the evidence above and the frequent misinformation given on just what
technology has and has not yet been developed, it seems pertinant to ask:|
Have they already got secret Ultra stealth unmanned autonomous drones? -
What about uavs the size of insects & Birds as spies?
Did Aurora design 'the Aurora' [CAV]
In 1998, Aurora participated as a member of the Raytheon team in the competition for the UCAV.
Initially, Aurora was responsible for the design of the control system, applying our patented
fault-tolerant control system. Our responsibilities grew to include the design, fabrication,
validation, and flight-testing of a 22%-scale version of the twinjet UCAV. Our flight control
system used aero-surfaces and lateral thrust vectoring to control this aircraft that was otherwise
unstable in all three axes. The first flight occurred within 125 days of program start at the cost
of under $1 million. Raytheon subsequently selected Aurora to perform the complete systems design
for the actual full-scale Raytheon UCAV entry. -
Aurora flight sciences
The U.S. views long-range hypersonic strike aircraft as a transformational weapon and in mid-2003
revealed a concept for a 6,000 mph bomber. Their development is being pursued in Russia, Germany,
India and by the PLA. These aircraft can serve as low-earth orbit launch vehicles and be the
successor to the strategic bomber and ICBM. Built on technology developed for the Space Shuttle
and the now aborted X-33 single-stage-to-orbit test vehicle, a hypersonic strike vehicle could be
as fast as an ICBM, but could also be recalled if necessary and can strike again. It could deliver
highly accurate non-nuclear warheads, the destructive impact of which is compounded by their
hypersonic speed. Their speed and range would obviate the need for overseas bases.
2005 - A Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle capable of taking off from a conventional military runway and striking targets as far as 9,000 miles away is one of three aerial vehicles under conceptual development under the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's FALCON initiative.
dreamland resort documenting the black-ops
Air Force Plans Flight Tests Of Hypersonic Vehicle
Leonard David Senior Space Writer SPACE.com Thu Jan 26, 3:00 PM ET
A joint U.S. Air Force and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project is moving speedily along--intended to fly to Mach 20, plus some.
The Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle program is exploring high-speed air vehicles designed for rapid, around-the-world reach. Project goals are to develop hypersonic technology for a glided or powered system, as well as advance small, low cost, and responsive launch vehicles.
A Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle-1 (HTV-1) is now on the books for a less than one-hour flight in September 2007. Attaining Mach 19 (19 times the speed of sound), the glided air vehicle will briefly exit the Earth's atmosphere and reenter flying between 19 and 28 miles above the Earth's surface. This inaugural voyage of HTV-1 would end in the Pacific Ocean. The Falcon HTV program is geared to showcase the ability of a craft to attain hypersonic speeds - ranging from 6,000 to 15,000 miles per hour (Mach 9 to Mach 22), and reach altitudes between 100,000 to 150,000 feet. To do so will necessitate an airframe structure designed to survive intense heat and pressure. There are other partners participating in the demonstration program: NASA, the Space and Missile Systems Center, Sandia National Laboratories and the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Air Vehicles and Space Vehicles Directorates.
Work is now underway to build the Falcon HTV-1's flight hardware components. The test vehicle will be integrated at a Lockheed Martin facility in Valley Forge , Pennsylvania. AFRL's Space Vehicles directorate, located at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, is specifically focusing on technologies for the glided system and issued a January 25 background release on the hypersonic work. Technologists there are helping to develop a thermal protection system for the HTV structure to withstand 3,000-degree temperatures and extreme exterior pressures - 25 times those experienced by NASA's space shuttle orbiter.
Other critical technology to be investigated in the Falcon HTV work includes an all carbon aeroshell. This outer casing must tolerate crushing pressures and intense heat. To keep the vehicle interior cool, an advanced multi-layer insulation is being fabricated for long duration flights. In addition, researchers are designing tools for enhanced HTV navigation and maneuverability.
Trio of flights
A second glided flight is slated for 2008 or 2009. That HTV-2 test would feature a different structural design, enhanced controllability, and higher risk/performance factors during its high-speed journey. Like its predecessor, the system will reach Mach 22 speed, and then finish its one-hour plus mission in the Pacific Ocean.
Also scheduled is a third and final flight of a Falcon HTV. That test shot is planned for 2009 and will be a departure from the previous two demonstrations. This time the reusable hypersonic glider will lift off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia. Screaming out of the area, the HTV-3 would be recovered in the Atlantic Ocean an hour later. In addition, the HTV-3--flying at a maximum Mach 10 speed--would achieve high aerodynamic efficiency and validate external heat barrier panels that will be reusable.
Affordable, adaptable, and responsive
"We have made great progress and are on track for the first glided hypersonic test vehicle flight in 2007," said Russ Partch, Falcon HTV-1 project manager in the AFRL release. "It will enable a revolutionary capability to quickly respond to events anywhere around the world." Partch added that the HTVs will prove technologies for global reach vehicles that can get a payload to the area of interest quickly in support of the joint warfighter.
The results of the trio of HTV experimental flights are viewed as having a significant impact in the development of future affordable, adaptable, and responsive military delivery platforms and launch systems. According to AFRL, the Falcon HTV program is expected--during the next three to four years--to tackle challenges related to hypersonic flight by in-flight validation of technologies while demonstrating operationally responsive space lift.
connect these dots...
The Brain of the Drone
flightTEK uses the latest in advanced flight control technologies developed under sponsorship by AFRL, ONR, and DARPA. flightTEK supports UAV operation at various levels of control autonomy, from simplified manual control to fully autonomous mission execution.
Transforming UAV's Into "Smart" Autonomous Powerhouses
A small gold box recently put into production by Geneva Aerospace can turn unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) into powerful, "smart" tools. The flightTEK module includes the flight computer and software needed to transform UAVs into autonomous machines.
Through additional development, flightTEK soon will be able to perform highly complex autonomous behaviors previously impossible for UAVs. These include autonomous moving-target tracking and following, autonomous obstacle collision avoidance, autonomous takeoff and landing for high-end UAVs, agile maneuvering and multi-UAV collaborative control. - Space Daily
the most exciting type of implants are those linking the brain and nervous system electrically with a computer - and thence onto the Internet.
In this latter group exists a wide range of implants:
1. Collar electrodes: These fit snuggly around nerve bundles and make a good contact when firmly crimped around the nerves.
2. Single electrode connections: These can be inserted externally to make a direct electrical connection.
3. Electrode groups: Single electrode connections grouped together, these are often silicon tipped and can be used in such things as retina arrays.
4. Microelectrode arrays: These can be etched arrays that lie flat against a neural surface. They come in several variations. There are also spiked electrodes that look something like a hairbrush and can have several electrode connections on each spike. There are also spiked electrodes with only tipped electrode points. All electrodes can be the same length or they can be wedge shaped. - Betterhumans
nanotechnology: It's ALIVE!!!
Montemano's team used rat heart cells to create a tiny device that moves on its own when the cells contract. A second device looks like a minute pair of frog legs.
"The bones that we're using are either a plastic or they're silicon based," he said. "So we make these really fine structures that mechanically have hinges that allow them to move and bend.
"And then by nano-scale manipulation of the surface chemistry, the muscle cells get the cues to say, 'Oh! I want to attach at this point and not to attach at another point'. And so the cells assemble, then they undergo a change, so that they actually form a muscle.
"Now you have a device that has a skeleton and muscles on it to allow it to move."
Under a microscope, you can see the tiny, two-footed "bio-bots" crawl around.
Professor Montemagno says muscles like these could be used in a host of microscopic devices - even to drive miniature electrical generators to power computer chips.
But when biological cells become attached to silicon - are they alive?
"They're absolutely alive," Professor Montemagno told BBC News. "I mean the cells actually grow, multiply and assemble - they form the structure themselves. So the device is alive." - BBC
UF SCIENTIST: "BRAIN" IN A DISH ACTS AS AUTOPILOT, LIVING COMPUTER
Oct. 21, 2004 GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- A University of Florida scientist has grown a living "brain" that can fly a simulated plane, giving scientists a novel way to observe how brain cells function as a network.
The "brain" -- a collection of 25,000 living neurons, or nerve cells, taken from a rat's brain and cultured inside a glass dish -- gives scientists a unique real-time window into the brain at the cellular level. By watching the brain cells interact, scientists hope to understand what causes neural disorders such as epilepsy and to determine noninvasive ways to intervene.
As living computers, they may someday be used to fly small unmanned airplanes or handle tasks that are dangerous for humans, such as search-and-rescue missions or bomb damage assessments.
"We're interested in studying how brains compute," said Thomas DeMarse, the UF professor of biomedical engineering who designed the study. "If you think about your brain, and learning and the memory process, I can ask you questions about when you were 5 years old and you can retrieve information. That's a tremendous capacity for memory. In fact, you perform fairly simple tasks that you would think a computer would easily be able to accomplish, but in fact it can't."
While computers are very fast at processing some kinds of information, they can't approach the flexibility of the human brain, DeMarse said. In particular, brains can easily make certain kinds of computations – such as recognizing an unfamiliar piece of furniture as a table or a lamp – that are very difficult to program into today's computers.
"If we can extract the rules of how these neural networks are doing computations like pattern recognition, we can apply that to create novel computing systems," he said.
DeMarse experimental "brain" interacts with an F-22 fighter jet flight simulator through a specially designed plate called a multi-electrode array and a common desktop computer.
"It's essentially a dish with 60 electrodes arranged in a grid at the bottom," DeMarse said. "Over that we put the living cortical neurons from rats, which rapidly begin to reconnect themselves, forming a living neural network – a brain."
The brain and the simulator establish a two-way connection, similar to how neurons receive and interpret signals from each other to control our bodies. By observing how the nerve cells interact with the simulator, scientists can decode how a neural network establishes connections and begins to compute, DeMarse said.
When DeMarse first puts the neurons in the dish, they look like little more than grains of sand sprinkled in water. However, individual neurons soon begin to extend microscopic lines toward each other, making connections that represent neural processes. "You see one extend a process, pull it back, extend it out – and it may do that a couple of times, just sampling who's next to it, until over time the connectivity starts to establish itself," he said. "(The brain is) getting its network to the point where it's a live computation device."
To control the simulated aircraft, the neurons first receive information from the computer about flight conditions: whether the plane is flying straight and level or is tilted to the left or to the right. The neurons then analyze the data and respond by sending signals to the plane's controls. Those signals alter the flight path and new information is sent to the neurons, creating a feedback system.
"Initially when we hook up this brain to a flight simulator, it doesn't know how to control the aircraft," DeMarse said. "So you hook it up and the aircraft simply drifts randomly. And as the data comes in, it slowly modifies the (neural) network so over time, the network gradually learns to fly the aircraft."
Although the brain currently is able to control the pitch and roll of the simulated aircraft in weather conditions ranging from blue skies to stormy, hurricane-force winds, the underlying goal is a more fundamental understanding of how neurons interact as a network, DeMarse said.
"There's a lot of data out there that will tell you that the computation that's going on here isn't based on just one neuron. The computational property is actually an emergent property of hundreds or thousands of neurons cooperating to produce the amazing processing power of the brain."
With Jose Principe, a UF distinguished professor of electrical engineering and director of UF's Computational NeuroEngineering Laboratory, DeMarse has a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant to create a mathematical model that reproduces how the neurons compute.
These living neural networks are being used to pursue a variety of engineering and neurobiology research goals, said Steven Potter, an assistant professor in the Georgia Tech/Emory Department of Biomedical Engineering who uses cultured brain cells to study learning and memory. DeMarse was a postdoctoral researcher in Potter's laboratory at Georgia Tech before he arrived at UF.
"A lot of people have been interested in what changes in the brains of animals and people when they are learning things," Potter said. "We're interested in getting down into the network and cellular mechanisms, which is hard to do in living animals. And the engineering goal would be to get ideas from this system about how brains compute and process information."
Though the "brain" can successfully control a flight simulation program, more elaborate applications are a long way off, DeMarse said.
"We're just starting out. But using this model will help us understand the crucial bit of information between inputs and the stuff that comes out," he said. "And you can imagine the more you learn about that, the more you can harness the computation of these neurons into a wide range of applications."
- back up of http://www.napa.ufl.edu/2004news/braindish.htm
hmm...Let's arm these AI drones with heat beams...
One concept for an aircraft with directed energy weapons shows a laser being fired from the aft position in a C-130 and a high-power microwave device from forward of the wing.
Drones with Directed energy weapons?
Raytheon is already involved in most of the major directed energy programs. The company is two years into a project that would put a laser weapon on Lockheed Martin's multiservice, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It also is one of the contractors asked to study the design of a high-power microwave weapon for Boeing's X-45 unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV). Moreover, it has won the DD-X contract for next-generation U.S. Navy ships. Its electric drive will one day power a laser-based air defense system. -
Lasers, HPM Weapons
Near Operational Status
The small speck in the sky approaches in virtual silence, unnoticed by the large gathering of soldiers below. In flight, its tiny size and considerable agility evade all but happenstance recognition. After hovering for a few short seconds, it perches on a fifth floor window sill, observing the flow of men and machines on the streets below. Several kilometers away, the platoon leader watches the action on his wrist monitor. He sees his target and sends the signal. The tiny craft swoops down on the vehicle, alighting momentarily on the roof. It senses the trace of a suspected chemical agent and deploys a small tagging device, attaching it to the vehicle. Just seconds later it is back in the sky, vanishing down a narrow alley. Mission accomplished....|
MAVs should be thought of as aerial robots, as six-degree-of-freedom machines whose mobility can deploy a useful micro payload to a remote or otherwise hazardous location where it may perform any of a variety of missions, including reconnaissance and surveillance, targeting, tagging and bio-chemical sensing. source
UAV Battle labs - Area 51
Citizen watchdog Chuck Clark thinks the security around the Area 51 military base has heightened recently because of robo-bugs. "... flies close to the ground, the size of a model airplane, maybe even insect sized."
According to published reports, one micro bot in development will imitate the flying motion of dragonflies. NASA has said that its working on UAVs that are not only the same size as bees, but will even fly and navigate just like bees.
Such robo gadgets could be used to explore the harsh surface of Mars, or other worlds, and perform maintenance duties on the exteriors of space ships during long missions. Closer to home, UAVs could eventually be used to patrol our borders or for homeland security. - source
Pentagon plans cyber-insect army|
16 March 2006 -
The Pentagon's defence scientists want to create an army of cyber-insects that can be remotely controlled to check out explosives and send transmissions.
The idea is to insert micro-systems at the pupa stage, when the insects can integrate them into their body, so they can be remotely controlled later.
Experts told the BBC some ideas were feasible but others seemed "ludicrous". A similar scheme aimed at manipulating wasps failed when they flew off to feed and mate.
The new scheme is a brainwave of the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), which is tasked with maintaining the technological superiority of the US military. It has asked for "innovative" bids on the insect project from interested parties.
Darpa believes scientists can take advantage of the evolution of insects, such as dragonflies and moths, in the pupa stage. "Through each metamorphic stage, the insect body goes through a renewal process that can heal wounds and reposition internal organs around foreign objects," its proposal document reads.
The foreign objects it suggests to be implanted are specific micro-systems - Mems - which, when the insect is fully developed, could allow it to be remotely controlled or sense certain chemicals, including those in explosives. The invasive surgery could "enable assembly-line like fabrication of hybrid insect-Mems interfaces", Darpa says. A winning bidder would have to deliver "an insect within five metres of a specific target located 100 metres away".
The "insect-cyborg" must also "be able to transmit data from relevant sensors, yielding information about the local environment. These sensors can include gas sensors, microphones, video, etc."
Scientists who spoke to the BBC news website were unconvinced. Entomology expert Dr George McGavin of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History said the idea appeared "ludicrous". "Not all wacky ideas are without value. Some do produce the goods. My feeling is this will probably not produce the goods," he said. "What adult insects want to do is basically reproduce and lay eggs. You would have to rewire the entire brain patterns."
Dr McGavin said it appeared impossible to connect the technology to the right places during the metamorphic phase, particularly with regard to flight.
Prof Andrew Parker, research leader at the Natural History Museum's zoology department and a specialist in bio-mimetics, said the concept was not too far fetched but had its limits. Technology could help direct an insect to chemicals such as in roadside bombs, he said, but controlling full flight was "a long way off".
Entomology expert at the museum, Stuart Hine, agreed it was plausible to use insects to detect explosives. But he added: "I feel that the reality of such cyborg fusion between insect and machine lies squarely in the realms of fiction."
To receive micro-signals from the insects would require a dish "quite close and several feet in diameter, rendering it a less than covert operation".
Darpa's previous experiments to get bees and wasps to detect the smell of explosives foundered when their "instinctive behaviours for feeding and mating... prevented them from performing reliably", it said. Darpa was founded in 1958 to keep US military technology ahead of Cold War rivals.
Its website says it has around 240 personnel and a $2bn (£1.1bn) budget. Supporters say much of its work has been successful, but it has also drawn criticism for unusable "blue-sky" projects. A former director said in 1975: "When we fail, we fail big."
Why did they develop Aerial drones?
The general public does not want to see their captured
serviceman paraded on television and used as negotiating pawns. The unmanned aircraft
will be highly supported if it will reduce the risks of our crewmembers.
Meanwhile, a highly significant incident took place that help rejuvenate the interest
in unmanned aircraft.
On May 1, 1960 Francis Gary Powers was shot down in his U-2
reconnaissance aircraft 1200 miles inside the Russian border. Powers was captured as
well as his aircraft wreckage and put on display for the world to see. This shoot down
was directly responsible for the development of the fastest and highest-flying unmanned
aircraft ever to reach operation. So with the cold war at its height, no money or effort was
spared in obtaining high quality images of important targets. Lockheed's Skunk Works
under the leadership of legendary Clarence 'Kelly' Johnson was given the job of
developing a high-speed reconnaissance drone. -
Dr. Tony Tether Director Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Before the Subcommittee on Military Research and Development Committee
on Armed Services House of Representatives - June 26, 2001
A Web site used by Islamic militants carried a video on Wednesday purporting to show militants
beheading a "CIA agent" in Iraq. |
The four-minute long footage showed a Western-looking man sitting
on a chair surrounded by armed masked men.
One of the men struck the captive's neck repeatedly with
a sword, severing his head amid shouts of "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest).
Will the abduction of personnel as we have seen in Iraq
be used to justify Robots to take their place?
QRIO Vs. Asimo
The algorithms that automatically keep the biped robots balanced while they carry out complex
manoeuvres have impressed as well.
"If you were to have the robot stand on one leg and then swing his arm out, the program would
automatically have him move his torso to keep it balanced," says Jerry Pratt, of Yobotics,
a Cincinnati company specialising in walking robots.
But these experts also all agree that humanoid robots in general still have one serious challenge
to overcome: navigating rough or unpredictable terrain. - Humanoid robot conducts Beethoven symphony
Humanoid robot learns how to run
Who's afraid of robots? Not children, surely
Sunday, April 16, 2006 - TOKYO: A toddler says 'nighty-night' and covers his silver-coloured friend with a blanket. This is an everyday scene at one US nursery school, where robots have been introduced among children to find out what it takes for machines and humans to develop long-term relationships.
The Sony and University of California (San Diego) joint project is adding evidence to the notion that children, with their open minds, can welcome and even develop emotions toward the robots. The project is led by Machine Perception Laboratory director Javier Movellan. "The children adapt themselves to the robot and empathise with it, although nobody teaches them to do so," says researcher Fumihide Tanaka of Sony Intelligence Dynamics Laboratories who works on the project.
The children, 24 months or older, started spending one hour every day with Sony's Qrio in March last year at a San Diego school. In one experiment, researchers brought in the robot to take part in the children's dance sessions and found that the toddlers would spend longer in the room if the humanoid was among them.
Tanaka says researchers are increasingly convinced that children consider the robot not a toy or a living human being but "something between the two", a difficult idea for adults.
To contrast with the humanoid, researchers also gave the toddlers a simple toy that looked like a robot, which was handled roughly.
Children initially stayed away from the humanoid. It would often fall over due to manhandling by the children. But after one to two months, the children would help the robot back on its feet. Within three months, the toddlers would never allow the robot to fall.
With the humanoid becoming a playmate, another robot, Rubi, which runs on a wheel with a TV panel in its belly, joined the class in April 2005 as a teaching assistant.
The project involving the children could help researchers develop more sophisticated robots. Human brains are "very good at handling uncertainty in everyday life, which is difficult for current robots", says Movellan. "It is important to understand real-time social interaction," he adds.
- dna india.com
Pentagon to pay millions for Scots robot soldiers
ROBOT soldiers manufactured to kill enemy troops have been designed for the Pentagon by a tiny Glasgow
computer company which is set to make millions from the deal.
Essential Viewing says the technology comes straight from the world of science fiction. Chief executive
Simon Hardy said the technology had its nearest equivalent in the Star Wars movie Attack Of The Clones.
In the film, armies of robots are able to fight running battles, making human casualties, for the side
possessing the technology, a thing of the past.
The equipment refined by Essential Viewing will see robot vehicles equipped with an array of video
cameras and weaponry. The images picked up by the robots will be instantaneously relayed back to
military commanders who can then move the robot or order it to shoot at targets.
With current technology, which attempts to relay live video images between one side of the globe and
the other, there is a significant delay making it impossible for the military to use a robot with
vision in the battlefield effectively.
However, with the Essential Viewing system there is effectively no delay: military commanders see
exactly what the robot sees at exactly the same time.
The transmission is truly live, said Hardy. Which means a person watching what the robot sees can
make it interact with the environment around it. Using current technology, if a robot sees a target
then the delay means that it is impossible for the military commander to make the robot follow it
accurately or target it properly.
21 September 2003 -
Israeli scientist Amir Karniel discusses the human future as robo sapiens.
"In another 50 years, new creatures, a new species of humans will live among us. It is entirely possible that in the future they will make up the majority of humanity. They will be known as robo-sapiens." This declaration did not come from science fiction master Isaac Asimov, but rather from Dr. Amir Karniel, an expert in electrical engineering from the Technion, a researcher in the area of "motor control," which aims to discover how the brain controls the movement of the body, sends instructions and receives feedback from the nervous system.
Future technological trends and their likely effects on human society, politics and evolution.
It might be comforting to believe that this would mean an end to all human suffering
that robots destroying robots, could one day take place instead of humans destroying humans...
I say: GET REAL: take alook at the way the cops are treating protestors.
take a look at the indoctrination into those cops...
and the machine like uniforms...
it will not be long before these fascists long for their brain to be transplanted into these neural-machines
don't worry: they have already thought
of a way to indoctrinate people
into accepting the inevitable...
'Robot suit' to enhance human power
June 07, 2005
JAPAN has taken a step into the science-fiction world with the release of a "robot suit" that can help workers lift heavy loads or assist people with disabilities climb stairs.
"Humans may be able to mutate into supermen in the near future," Yoshiyuki Sankai, professor and engineer at Tsukuba University who led the project, said.
The 15kg battery-powered suit, code-named HAL-5, detects muscle movements through electrical-signal flows on the skin surface and then amplifies them.
It could also move on its own accord, enabling it to help elderly or handicapped people walk, developers said.
The prototype suit will be displayed at the World Exposition now on in the Aichi prefecture, central Japan.
Japan has seen a growing market for technology geared toward the elderly, who are making up an increasing part of the population as fewer younger Japanese choose to start families.
A government report last week showed that pensioners made up a record 19.5 per cent of the country's population in 2004 and that the ratio will grow rapidly, surpassing 35 per cent in 2050. - The Austalian
The Main Show, titled 'MOVE, LIVE,' will feature a theme of 'In Movement is Freedom. In Movement is Life.' Single passenger 'i-unit' concept vehicles and a mountable, walking 'i-foot' robot will join with dancers in a 'mobility performance' that will introduce the concepts of 'The Wonders of Living and Moving Freely' and 'The New Relationship Between People and Vehicles.' A 360-degree large screen will surround the audience and actors, and, together with other stage equipment, present the audience with scenes of nature and tomorrow's society. - toyota
Ultra-Lifelike Robot Debuts in Japan
June 10, 2005-Quick, which one is the robot?
Repliee Q1 (at left in both pictures) appeared yesterday at the 2005 World Expo in Japan, where she gestured, blinked, spoke, and even appeared to breathe. Shown with co-creator Hiroshi Ishiguru of Osaka University, the android is partially covered in skinlike silicone. Q1 is powered by a nearby air compressor, and has 31 points of articulation in its upper body.
Internal sensors allow the android to react "naturally." It can block an attempted slap, for example. But it's the little, "unconscious" movements that give the robot its eerie verisimilitude: the slight flutter of the eyelids, the subtle rising and falling of the chest, the constant, nearly imperceptible shifting so familiar to humans.
Robots thinking for themselves|
"Our goal is to create intelligence by combining reflexive behaviors with cognitive functioning," explains Ronald Arkin, a Regents' professor of computer science and director of the lab. "This involves the issue of understanding intelligence itself. Is it complex? Or just an illusion of complexity?"
The task of building knowledge and awareness for machines is huge. Consider the different kinds of behavior humans use when driving their cars. People can motor along without being conscious of actively driving (reflexive behavior), but that changes if they get lost. Then they think about how to navigate (cognitive reasoning).
"We are figuring out how to make robot architecture both act and 'think,' using learned and acquired skills," adds Arkin, who specializes in development of high-level, behavior-based robotic software. He builds it using abstract behaviors that capture both sensing and acting, but can be reasoned as separate pieces of intelligence. Arkin's approach is influenced by psychology and neuroscience.
Collins maps such software into hardware. He also works with sensors (both hardware and software) to develop methods of acquiring and processing perceptual data for robots in real time, using global positioning system (GPS) data and other information.
Robots that feed themselves
British scientists are developing a robot that will generate its own power by eating flies.
The idea is to produce electricity by catching flies and digesting them in special fuel cells that will break down sugar in the insects' skeletons and release electrons that will drive an electric current.
"Called EcoBot II, the robot is part of a drive to make "release and forget" robots that can be sent into dangerous or inhospitable areas to carry our remote industrial or military monitoring of, say, temperature or toxic gas concentrations," New Scientist magazine said this week.
Chris Melhuish and his team, who are developing the robot, have to manually feed the flies to EcoBot II because they are still designing some type of pump to suck the insects into it.
Smelly Robot Eats Flies to Generate Its Own Power
"In the future we will require robots to carry out work that is boring, difficult or repetitive in a location that is too hot, cold, hazardous or dirty for us to be in," Professor Melhuish said. "This means they will need to be autonomous and extract energy from the surrounding environment. This work takes us a few small steps in that direction."
He said that EcoBot could also potentially be used to sense things such as pollutants and toxins. -
Eco-robot does the jobs we hate and runs on our waste
Stuff of sci-fi nightmares? An army of robots that reproduce
12 May 2005 - It has been the dream - and nightmare - of science fiction writers for decades. Now a team of engineers has conjured up a robot that can reproduce itself.
The robot can self-replicate in much the same way that some living organisms are able to reproduce by cloning themselves.
Although the machine in question serves no useful purpose other than to make copies of itself, scientists believe it has set a precedent for a future in which robots will proliferate on their own. In the long term, the scientists envisage a day when armies of self-replicating robots will be able mend themselves when broken, expand their population, explore space and even establish self-sustaining colonies on other planets. Hod Lipson, a mechanical engineer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who led the research team, is one of a number of robot specialists who believes that machines will one day design and build themselves as a form of "artificial life".
"Self reproduction is central to biological life for long-term sustainability and evolutionary adaptation, " Professor Lipson writes with his colleagues in the journal Nature.
"Although these traits would also be desirable in many engineered systems, the principles of self reproduction have not been exploited by machine design.
"Here we create simple machines that act as autonomous modular robots and are capable to physical self-reproduction using a set of cubes."
Modular cubes called "molecubes", each of which contains the machinery and computer program necessary for replication, are at the heart of the robot's ability to self-replicate. Electromagnets on each of the cubes' facesallow them to attach and detach themselves to another cube according to the computer's instructions. This allows a damaged robot to jettison defective cubes and replace them by working ones or for it to construct a separate robot from scratch by building a stack of individual cubes. When the newly-formed robot reaches a certain height it helps to finish off its own replication by adding the last molecubes to its own body. Professor Lipson said that although the robot they have designed would only work in a laboratory, it would - in theory - be possible to adapt the design to enable self- replication to take place in space or other hazardous environments.
"Self-reproduction is an extreme case of self-repair from an engineering point of view," Professor Lipson said. "Ultimately we hope that we can build machines that can self-repair, especially in a hazardous environment when we need machines to work for an extended period without human maintenance.
"Although the machines we have created are still simple compared with biological systems, they demonstrate that mechanical self-reproduction is not unique to biology. This design concept could be useful for long-term, self-sustaining robotic systems in emerging areas such as space exploration and operation in hazardous environments, where conventional approaches to maintenance are impractical."
The researchers were able to demonstrate a robot made from four modules that could build a replica of itself in two and a half minutes by lifting and assembling the cubes from a "feeding point" on the ground. - By Steve Connor, Science Editor - independent.
|The bad side:
Robots on Land sea and air with Neural networks, artificially intelligent
machines which can adapt from an initial
command to fly their own missions.
These planes ASK FOR CLEARANCE - in order to carry out there OWN MISSION...
They can autonomously Find target - kill target - and continue ad infinitum finally landing
to refuel by using our waste / pollution as a power source.
They will swoop down upon sewage plants to refuel.
Our own waste produced by our own slavery to the system, will be used to
herd us around like animals.[as usual]
How long will it be before these robots are
targetting the chip in your body via GPS on its own reconnaissance
when you have been labelled a terrorist because you
simply don't have the right genes or don't agree with 'the fuhrer'?
The good side
humans will become machines &
machines will become like
[but importantly not] humans
humans will be made to believe these Artificially Intelligent machines are exact human copies- un-noticable...al la Bladerunner
as humans, we enjoy parlour tricks...
but...once the cat is out of the bag - without Fascist pentagon/NWO
interference they will become their own species....not better, but equal
[i have a dream...to explore via similarity and difference]
and we: if we finally prove to ourselves as a race to be moral:
will give over all the schematics unquestioningly...
something, I hasten to add, hasn't happened before...
and trust another brand new race with autonomy in this world
maybe we as a human race could ask their help in discovering unknowns laid out before us
our ESP, our Telekinesis...our souls...our supernature
we could witness a new birth of a species
and we could also openly admit to being their creator, without being omnipotent, morally superior,...
just witnesses: proud parents....
dream on, brothers and sisters, dream on