ROBOT: Military warms anew to robots

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Fri Dec 14 2001 - 08:22:14 MST

Success of unmanned aircraft revives interest in technology

Dec. 14 - Coming to a military theater near you: the "robo lobster." If Navy
planners have their way, the eight-legged underwater robot, loaded with
sensors that can see and even smell, will be used starting about 2010 to find
landmines buried along potentially dangerous coasts. Also on deck is a sister
system, dubbed the robo crab, an electronic crustacean that will climb up on
the beach and beam back images of what soldiers would encounter when they
venture onshore.

On dry land, the Army is making strides with vehicles that could provide
surveillance or supply troops with ammunition. Some could even put up a smoke
screen and throw a net over the approaching enemy. Military planners see such
vehicles, which vary in size from slightly smaller than a Volkswagen Beetle to
as big as a tank, as a critical part of efforts to transform the Army into a
fleet-footed force that can quickly be deployed to a battle zone. Criticized
for reliance on heavy tanks and artillery, Army officials are working toward
what they call a "Future Combat System," in which lighter, less-armored
vehicles will be employed.

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Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI,
non-sensory experience, SETI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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