Robots in Space
The last ever launch of the space shuttle has reignited the old debate about manned vs. unmanned space exploration. We link to the Salon.com interview with author Stephen Pyne, who discusses the robot domination of the so-called “Third Great Age of Discovery,” and how we humans feel about it.
Speaking of humans, I never get tired of reading about soldiers emotionally bonding to their robotic buddies. A dated, but still relevant article in the Washington Post explores how “The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have become an unprecedented field study in human relationships with intelligent machines.”
Also in the Washington Post, a more recent article thoroughly discusses the US lead in weaponized unmanned systems. Many countries have ISR capabilities for their robots, but when it comes to the US ability to deploy lethal force, “No other country can match its array of aircraft with advanced weapons and sensors, coupled with the necessary satellite and telecommunications systems to deploy drones successfully across the globe.”
We probably lead in report generation as well. I recently read that Congress mandates over 500 reports from the DoD every year, and that doesn’t include roadmaps, visions, long-term plans, or the legendary Pentagon PowerPoint presentations. The recent release of CBO Policy Options for Unmanned Aircraft Systems inspired me to post various unmanned planning documents on AMREL’s corporate blog.
Finally, robot entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for a new application, and I have found one: whipping camels. Previously, Gulf States employed child slaves to ride camels in their races, but now they use robots dressed up as jockeys. We have videos.