welcome to the future

by twit

it turns out Gary Larson was right…

Any kid who grew up with a PlayStation will be able to come in here and learn this in seconds,” reports the Associated Press on April 28, 2008:

https://i2.wp.com/www.defense-update.com/images/guardium-M-guard.jpg NES TZIONA, Israel (AP) – Israel’s newest “soldier” can see at night, never nods off on sentry duty and can carry 660 pounds without complaining.

The Guardium, a remote-controlled, unmanned vehicle commissioned by the Israeli military and shown to The Associated Press on Monday, is among the first such machines to be ready for the battlefield. The army said it had not yet entered service, however, and declined further comment.

The four-wheeled vehicle is designed to replace human soldiers in dangerous roles, and sometimes tedious missions, cutting casualties.

Like the pilotless drones that have become a mainstay of air forces in Israel, the U.S. and elsewhere, the Guardium is operated from a command room far from the front line. It can carry cameras, night-vision equipment and sensors, as well as weapons like machine guns.

The Guardium even has a limited capability to operate on its own. Following preprogrammed routes, it can navigate alone on patrol along a barrier fence or make its way through a city – the vehicle knows how to deal with intersections, traffic and road markings.

Relying on cameras that scan 360 degrees at all times, the vehicle’s sensors send alerts of anything suspicious to the remote operator, who can take control at any time.

[…] The operator works with two large video screens and a joystick as well as a steering wheel and gas and brake pedals that lend the control console the look of a video arcade game.

the current costs include:

A single Guardium costs approximately $600,000. With the control system, the price runs to several million dollars, depending on what equipment is installed on the vehicle.

which apparently means:

Robots like this are potentially the future of ground warfare, Pike said.

“A robot does what it’s told, and you’ll be able to get them to advance in ways it’s hard to get human soldiers to do. They don’t have fear, and they kill without compunction.”

More importantly, he said, “A robot means you don’t have to write a condolence letter.”

so long as they don’t, you know, spin wildly out of control

update: From Wired on August 2, 2007:

The SWORDS — modified versions of bomb-disposal robots used throughout Iraq — were first declared ready for duty back in 2004. But concerns about safety kept the robots from being sent over the the battlefield. The machines had a tendency to spin out of control from time to time.

update: From the Associated Press via the Raw Story, a video of “the latest in military hardware,” also known as remote-controlled robots…

update: From 7 Gadgets via Weberence:

BAE Systems will lead a team of scientists that will develop miniature robots to improve military situational awareness. The company signed a $38 million agreement with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to lead an alliance of researchers and scientists from the Army, academia and industry.

https://i2.wp.com/www.7gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/porchsssppple.jpg

3 Responses to welcome to the future

  1. k@th says:

    In some ways, it may be safer living in Israel than here. We have a massive border and airspace to defend, and 9/ll showed we could have taken some tips from Israeli airport security practice. Not to mention we’re quickly becoming about as popular in certain circles.

  2. I’m not attempting to specifically critique Israel with this post. The issue is the development of armed robots, which is something the United States and other countries are also working on. It is the future of warfare, essentially a new arms race. I think that whether it makes us safer remains to be seen.

    For example:

    … the report about armed robots being deployed to Iraq last year, the ones that had just a teensy glitch:

    “The SWORDS — modified versions of bomb-disposal robots used throughout Iraq — were first declared ready for duty back in 2004.

    But concerns about safety kept the robots from being sent over the the battlefield. The machines had a tendency to spin out of control from time to time.”

    http://blog.wired.com/defense/2007/08/httpwwwnational.html

    I also think the human rights issues raised by the development of remote-controlled armed robots are staggering.

  3. ancientwitch says:

    so apocaliptic!!! that vehicle “Guardium” is like “Combine APC” a vehicle of the game Half Life 2 is the same thing! israel military remember me the Combine Forces, someone is trying to conquer the earth? you are warned!

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