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Subject: The Terminator
DarthAmerica    1/25/2007 1:19:48 AM
Wanna Make $652,000 USD? http://www.trainsaw.com/images/terminator.jpg"> A contest to build a robot that can operate autonomously in urban warfare conditions, moving in and out of buildings to search and destroy targets like a human soldier, was launched in Singapore on Tuesday. The country's Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) is offering one million Singapore dollars ($652,000) to whoever develops a robot that completes a stipulated set of tasks ? yet to be revealed ? in the fastest time possible. DSTA said individuals, companies, universities and research institutes are all welcome to participate in the contest, dubbed the TechX Challenge, although foreigners must collaborate with local partners. "Operation in urban areas represents a significant challenge," DSTA chief executive Richard Lim said at the launch of the contest. "Recent military experiences in Iraq, the Middle East and other locations have clearly illustrated these challenges." Remote control Currently, robots deployed for urban warfare missions are normally operated remotely by a human, tying up resources, Lim said. DSTA wants to create a robot that "must, on its own, be able to navigate both indoors and outdoors in an urban landscape and accomplish a set of assigned tasks within a stipulated time", he said. This robot must be able to negotiate a staircase and use the elevator to dash from one floor to another without the aid of satellite navigation, which may not be available indoors. Navigation without satellite help would require the robot "to have machine vision capabilities to identify visual cues along its intended path to serve as waypoints", Lim said. Robert Richardson at the University of Manchester, UK, says the competition could present a major challenge to even the most sophisticated robot. He notes that robots can navigate through an "unrestricted urban environment", by building a virtual map of a 3D space with relative ease. Different doors But Richardson adds that slightly more complex tasks, like opening a door or using an elevator, can present a huge problem. "How do you know which button goes where, or even what floor you're on?" he says. "It's very, very confusing." One solution, he says, is to train a robot by presenting it with hundreds of different doors and elevators. Some defence experts say the fight against terrorism has made urban warfare increasingly common, and believe that high-tech weaponry could help minimise casualties. Participants must submit their applications by the end of May 2007 and a shortlist of participants will be announced in June 2007. The robots will be tested in a qualifying round in May 2008 and a final round, in August 2008, will crown the robot warrior that can complete the assigned task in the fastest time. I personally find this amazing. I still remember watching the Terminator Movie. The thought of an invincible Arnold hunting somebody down was both terrifying and fascinating at the same time. Now, very soon, such machines could become a reality. Imagine how that would change modern warfare as we know it! DA
 
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BasinBictory       1/25/2007 9:50:24 PM
Well - we're already moving in that direection in other fields. While building a robotic infantryman presents numerous problems (as mentioned in the article) because there's a lot of things that infantrymen have to know how to do (just from basic life experience and not necessarily from military training) such as open a doorknob or lift a latch or press the right button for an elevator - it seems more straightforward to have robotic fighter planes (or perhaps just remote-controlled ones) and robotic tanks or tank destroyers because their mission profile (and programming requirements) would be more straightforward.
 
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DarthAmerica       1/25/2007 10:58:12 PM

Well - we're already moving in that direection in other fields. While building a robotic infantryman presents numerous problems (as mentioned in the article) because there's a lot of things that infantrymen have to know how to do (just from basic life experience and not necessarily from military training) such as open a doorknob or lift a latch or press the right button for an elevator - it seems more straightforward to have robotic fighter planes (or perhaps just remote-controlled ones) and robotic tanks or tank destroyers because their mission profile (and programming requirements) would be more straightforward.


It's been said by subject matter experts that AI will advance to the point of being able to pass the Turing Test in 2029. When that happens, War as we know it is over. EVERYTHING you saw the Terminator do, will be real. Except a real Terminator will be much more deadly. Until then...


...Automated AFV's are a good start. As are small robots for ISR/ELINT/Anti-Personnel...

<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3e/SWORDS_robot.jpg/180px-SWORDS_robot.jpg">

or try these videos

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WWVHja7oDY"

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5YftEAbmMQ"

It will start like this when AI is good enough for semi-autonomous operation. Then it will progress to near full autonomy in the 2020's. Again, once the AI gets to the point of passing the Turing Test, machines will dominate the battlefields.


DA

 
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AussieEngineer       1/26/2007 1:51:30 AM
A turing test is one thing, trusting it to shoot the right people is another.  I eagerly await the results of these sort of programs, they should be very interesting.
 
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DarthAmerica       1/26/2007 2:46:18 AM

A turing test is one thing, trusting it to shoot the right people is another.  I eagerly await the results of these sort of programs, they should be very interesting.


The Turing Test is one of the hardest imaginable task you could ask of a machine. Machines already shoot people. They have been doing that since the advent of the Booby Trap. Imagine a common mechanical device such as a land mine...

http://library.thinkquest.org/C008616/site/pics/Landmine.jpg">

...simple enough device operated by boolean logic. Yet, we trust these machines to kill autonomously and use them by the thousands. You know how we protect ourselves from them accidentally killing the wrong people?

http://www.alertnet.org/thefacts/imagerepository/LKminesign200.jpg">

Thats it. Thats the only thing stopping possible fratricide from these deadly effective weapons. Yet they still kill 15 to 20,000 people annually.



Today, through advanced software and appropriate sensors. An armed robot could be much more discriminatory than a mine with software available today and would not cause nearly the amount of collateral damage mines or frightened people do. Look at what we are doing with facial recognition software today. Such software could be modified to recognize firearms for example and engage people carrying them after a multiple IFF check...

Shoot...

http://www.x20.org/infrared/M1_homeland_Secirity_FLIR_thermal_detection_Infrared_image1.gif">

Don't Shoot...

http://www.x20.org/infrared/M1_thermal_FLIR_Imagery_010207-1002.gif">

...easy to code IMHO.


The real difficulty in Armed Robots is mobility and autonomous communications. The first applications will likely be a road vehicle like robot. While it's limited, it's takes care of a good percentage of operating environment.


DA


 
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DarthAmerica    Look   1/26/2007 2:52:58 AM
All thats left is integration...

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3W8dm5JxFc"

Hope this works...

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/y3W8dm5JxFc"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/y3W8dm5JxFc" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

 
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DarthAmerica    Look   1/26/2007 2:55:19 AM
...it didn't so just use the URL:

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3W8dm5JxFc"


Imagine putting comms, sensors, armor and a gun.

DA

 
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DarthAmerica       1/26/2007 3:22:23 AM
Another one...

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfaAiujrX_Y"

...doesn't look too far off. I'm thinking utility, logistics, MEDEVAC , EOD and NBC recon first. Followed by more direct combat roles and all that implies. It will be interesting to see the requirements from the DSTA.



DA

 
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Yimmy       1/26/2007 9:10:43 AM
Perhaps the minefields of the future will not have mines, but roaming hunter killer droids engageing everything in a certain grid reference.


 
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DarthAmerica       1/26/2007 10:55:32 AM

Perhaps the minefields of the future will not have mines, but roaming hunter killer droids engageing everything in a certain grid reference.



That threshold has already been crossed. Especially with naval warfare.

DA
 
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Yimmy       1/26/2007 1:16:57 PM



Perhaps the minefields of the future will not have mines, but roaming hunter killer droids engageing everything in a certain grid reference.




That threshold has already been crossed. Especially with naval warfare.

DA

Have you been dreaming again Darth?

 
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