Continuing the US military’s focus on developing robots that mimic animals, the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center and Office of Naval Research has funded a project that has already produced a prototype of a giant robotic jellyfish.
Other research includes insect-like drones capable of carrying out lethal missions, a silent drone inspired by owls, bird-like drones already used in the field, an amazingly fast robot modeled after a cheetah, a strange animal-like walking drone and more lifelike humanoid robots that can approach animal and human efficiency.
The prototype robotic jellyfish, dubbed “Cyro,” is 5 foot 7 inches, weighs in at 170 pounds and was created under a project funded by a $5 million grant.
The grant was funded by the same agency behind the insanely fast, GPS-guided projectile program, so while it may sound great that it could “be used to keep tabs on ecologically-sensitive underwater areas or to help clean up oil spills,” the reality is that the military applications will obviously be given priority.
The military doesn’t spend millions to develop robots just to help keep the environment clean, though the Virginia Tech promotional video (embedded below) does list “military surveillance” as the first possible application.
“Imagine a fully-realized version of such a robot running underwater surveillance missions for the U.S. Navy — the marine version of a weaponless drone, in other words, perhaps poking around someone’s oceanfront property (or, heaven forbid, employed in a civilian capacity by ignoble paparazzi to stalk celebrities),” writes Matt Peckham for Time. “Cool, but a little creepy, right?”
“We intend to leave it in the ocean for as long as we can. So we’re talking weeks and months, and even more if we can,” said Alex Villanueva, a graduate student at Virginia Tech working on the project.
This jellyfish-like design would also have a massive advantage in terms of stealth, according to Danger Room.
“Mimicking a natural animal found in a region allows you to explore a lot better,” Villanueva said.
Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan 2016-04-28 20:10
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North.
The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night.
A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked.
The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons 2016-04-28 20:48
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough.
Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield.
Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims 2016-04-27 2:23 St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants
Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July.
The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ 2016-04-27 2:09
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.
The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.
He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop 2016-04-25 23:10
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are.
London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race.
Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event.