Friday, 3 August 2007


Went to the MoD’s Grand Challenge kick off event at Copehill Down on Monday. The Beeb ran this article which outlines what we’re involved in; our group of 9-10 MEng Cybernetics students as part of the Thales team. Mostly we’ve been having meetings to figure out what we already have (last year’s robots) and what we’re aiming for. Project Blog | my Photos

In other news, there’s this article about MS’s robot studio software, with a lot of speculation that it may provide the same kind of compatibility staging ground for developers that Dos/Windows did for PCs. Hence precipitating a robotics renaissance.

This article on the deployment of the new and heavily armed Reaper UAV prompted me to think (& worry a little) that ‘Western’ forces use of robots: disregarding ‘moral issues’ I’m mostly concerned that they (we) are not taking advantage of an opportunity robots afford. I.e that ‘war’ is no longer a kill of be killed situation!

Reducing risk to our soldier’s life is great, but as ‘friendly causalities tend towards zero, at what point does our military action become embarrassingly like shooting ducks in a barrel? Reducing ‘enemy’ (let alone ‘collateral’ civilian) casualties should start to become a priority. After all, the enemies killed in war would otherwise have been the peace keeping troops of a reformed country, or police, or just the everyday workforce. There are rarely any irredeemable villains in the real world….

SWORDS - (on Boing Boing)

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