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Robot Selfie of the Month

Below is a selfie taken by the Rosetta spacecraft, as it approaches a comet. Not only can you see the dumbbell-shaped comet in the upper background, but one of the spacecraft’s solar arrays are visible. Rosetta will deliver its lander, Philae, to  the comet on November 12.  This is the first-ever attempt at a soft touchdown on a comet. […]

End-users want UGVs now

Ground wars are winding down (kind of, maybe), so the speeded-up acquisition process for Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) is slowing down.  However, American soldiers are still performing explosive ordnance disposal.  Not only do they want their UGVs, but they also want them souped-up with more reliable communications, common controllers, and delivery trucks that automatically unload.  And they […]

Will the unmanned future be American?

The unmanned community has been demoralized by the tightening of the Defense money spigot. Specifically, many are concerned that American leadership in this important field will fall behind as the Defense funding decreases. In a previous post, this blog reviewed “The Looming Robotics Gap” (Foreign policy) and found its fears of failing American unmanned superiority […]

Warrants for UAVs?

Along with 6 other states, California is considering mandating warrants for police surveillance by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).  Exceptions include “fires, hostage crises, chases, and search and rescue.” What about crowd control? Policemen once told me that this was the number one application for which they wanted UAVs. Observing a demonstration (especially if it’s legal) […]

Counter IED training & Mobile Devices

When I researched this article about Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) training, I couldn’t help thinking about communities near Tijuana in which the the homes are built out of discarded garage doors.  Garage doors aren’t the first thing anyone thinks of when building a house, but the people near the border didn’t have building materials.  […]

What military technology will disrupt future markets?

Recently, someone asked a question on Quora about which military technology is more advanced than its commercial counterpart.  How would you have answered this question?  What military technology will disrupt future commercial markets? A modified form of my answer follows: I think the question is based on a premise that may be outdated. Traditionally, the […]