JG Randall for The National Interest: Things tend to happen in threes. An unlikely triumvirate on the surface, it would appear that Asimov’s laws on robotics and the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) will outflank the Third Offset—the nation’s search for its next silver bullet in war fighting is robotics—knowing that many nations will agree on moral grounds. These nations will reject Asimov based on semantics, and though the debate might be perceived as strictly academic, or even rhetorical, it is worth discussing for the sake of a good cautionary tale. Because, whether we like it or not, killer bots are coming to a theater of operation near you. Before we get deep in the weeds, let’s get some clarity. First, let’s outline Asimov’s robotic laws. The Three Laws of Robotics are a set of rules devised by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov. They were introduced in his 1942 short story “Runaround,” although they had been foreshadowed in earlier stories. Cont'd...
Bomb robots were designed to help detonate and remove Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), not to deliver payloads. But the Dallas police improvised and attached a bomb delivery system to the robot.
The CCS prototype was developed for the U.S. government and its goal is to simultaneously control multiple unmanned assets in various environments (water, air and ground).
TORC's unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) conversion kits, which maintain the ability for optionally manned operation, offer the proven capabilities and modularity necessary for AFRL to scale from one prototype to production quantity.
While today's technology is highly advanced and offers sufficient end user applications, there is room for advancement in both the areas of research in the current technology as well as new and unique solutions in applications that have not been tried before.
Overall the unmanned systems industry is healthy and growing, even in this fiscal climate. Commercial applications of unmanned systems in mining, agriculture, and health care continues to grow, as the robustness and maturity of unmanned systems increases.
Smart phones and new apps will dramatically improve the way unmanned systems distribute and deliver situational awareness to our troops while at the same time significantly reducing the command and control costs of unmanned systems.
To validate and demonstrate our Through-the-Earth capability, we developed a full-duplex MI Modem (MIM-1000) and installed it on a Pioneer 3-AT R&D robot. Initial field trials were carried out at an abandoned coal mine in Nova Scotia, Canada, where we successfully demonstrated the robot - we call her "Maggie" - being driven and maneuvered remotely by an operator located on the mine's surface with Maggie located in an underground mine shaft separated by over 100 feet of geological overburden.
Will today's developers of military UGVs be tomorrow's manufacturers of autonomous civilian cars? Probably not. However, it is clear that the technologies developed for one will be adapted for another.
STOPS engineers found the native Galil programming language easy-to-use, which helped enable them to incorporate several safety routines into the operating system. For example, whenever the controller does not receive a data stream, it goes into a fail-safe routine that brings the vehicle to a stop.
Silvus Technologies demonstrated its MIMO radio repeater capability integrated into QinetiQ's TALON and iRobot's FasTac robots at the Army Expeditionary Warfighters Experiment (AEWE) Spiral G. TARDEC's Ground Vehicle Robotics group requested Silvus to integrate its SC3500 MIMO radio into both robotic platforms as part of TARDEC's ISR Mission Concepts platform.
QinetiQ is primarily focused on the defense and security markets today; however, we are seeing growing interest in robotics for the agricultural and mining industries where robotics can provide more efficient operations in harsh environments.
Advanced wireless capabilities have not been available to bomb squads, who have had to rely on a tethered approach, until now. With Silvus' cutting edge MIMO radios, EOD UGV operators can now wirelessly examine suspicious objects with 3D HD video and haptic feedback precision from safe NLOS distances of a few hundred meters.
Exceptional image quality, including the ability to transport this high-bandwidth video in real time, is absolutely essential to protecting our war fighters, as well as civilians who may be in harm's way.
We are in the early stages of unmanned systems being used on the battlefield. While robots are being used in a growing number of missions, work continues on the research side to integrate new systems and capabilities to continually expand their value on the frontlines.
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Harmonic Drive LLC, a leader in high precision motion control introduces new lightweight versions of select gearhead products. The new gearheads are ideal for designs where weight is a critical factor. Building on the success of Harmonic Drive LLCs current gear units, new lightweight versions were the next logical evolution of the CS/ SH product lines. With weight reductions of 20-30% without any reduction in torque ratings, the Lightweight (LW) gear units provide exceptional torque density.