Robotic Pursuit Squads are a Forgone Conclusion

October 28 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Technology   Year: 2013   Rating: 2

How likely is it that 5 years from now, sometime in 2013, the U.S. government will employ a pack of search robots to track human fugitives, enemy combatants or other persons of interest?

Though such an endeavor would mark a serious increase in up-front and maintenance cost, it could also make operations safer for pursuing officers or soldiers and gradually increase the capture success rate. At the same time such a scenario would also thoroughly freak-out an American population increasingly on edge about government intrusion and technological capabilities.

Here’s an example of what such a future might look like, drawn by MemeBox illustrator Lars Olson:

As it turns out, just a few days ago the U.S. Army put out this call for bids on exactly such a project. Their desired outcome is for some smart folks to:

Develop a software and sensor package to enable a team of robots to search for and detect human presence in an indoor environment. [and] Develop a software/hardware suit that would enable a multi-robot team, together with a human operator, to search for and detect a non-cooperative human subject.

If in fact you doubt the near-term likelihood of such a technology suite and program, then look no further than nascent functional technologies such as the surprisingly agile and stable Big Dog robot and already marketed aerial microdrone cameras.

A quick look at these prototype vids should quickly get you on the path to belief:

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Little Dog Robot, Kid Sibling of Big Dog Robot

March 28 2008 / by Accel Rose / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 1

Here’s a cool video of the Little Dog Robot, kid sibling of the Big Dog Robot that wowed the blogosphere last week. Also a product of Boston Dynamics “LittleDog is a quadruped robot for research on learning locomotion. Scientists at leading institutions use LittleDog to probe the fundamental relationships among motor learning, dynamic control, perception of the environment, and rough terrain locomotion.”

“LittleDog has four legs, each powered by three electric motors. The legs have a large range of motion and workspace. The motors are strong enough for dynamic locomotion, including climbing. The onboard PC-level computer does sensing, actuator control and communications. LittleDog’s sensors measure joint angles, motor currents, body orientation and foot/ground contact.”

Also be sure to check out this newer Big Bog Robot video (below the fold):

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