military

  • Air Force creating training program for UAV pilots


    I always wondered about this. Flying a drone is unlike flying a regular plane, and unlike telepresence in other arenas because of, well, the killing aspect. I figured they used a Last Starfighter type system to select likely candidates, but the actual training program will be much more practical (and less exciting). Non-pilots will be trained in flying an actual small plane over six weeks… Read More

  • Navy designing UAV-borne drug-sniffer bots


    Do they have so many boats to inspect that they can’t just hover over them to detect the good stuff? I guess so, because the Navy is spending a mint to create a “sensitive miniaturized sniffer” that can be placed on board (or stowed away in, or fired onto) suspicious vessels. After only six seconds, it’ll relay its findings back to the mothership or whatever… Read More

  • High-tech bomb squads in Iraq and Afghanistan

    The methods for detonating bombs, IEDs, mortars, missiles, and so on have multiplied and become more technologically advanced; it follows, then, that a bomb squad should be a high-tech outfit prepared for any tech contingency. This is a very interesting and in-depth article about the lucky soldiers (Army and Navy) whose job it is to detect, disarm, and collect unexploded ordnance and… Read More

  • Robot Apocalypse Day continues: Army orders $60m worth of robots

    What is it about today? First hunter-killers, then Terminator spare parts, and now the machines are infiltrating our armed forces. Actually, it’s not such a big deal; the United States Army is simply continuing to take advantage of its contract with iRobot, which provides the Army with hundreds of Packbots, small robots suited for dirty or dangerous jobs. They’re pumping out about… Read More

  • UAV drone crashes in Pakistan


    I’m sure there are more of these scattered, undiscovered, throughout the Kush but it seems that Pakistan has found and captured an armed UAV during its reconnaissance of South Waziristan. “A surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), while flying over the Pak-Afghan border yesterday [Tuesday] night, crash-landed on this side of the border… apparently due to… Read More

  • Finally, the long-range plane-mounted tactical laser cannon we've been waiting for


    You guys may have seen our many previous reviews of long range plane-mounted tactical laser cannons, but let’s be honest: none have really lived up to the hype. Like Ultra HD or mobile TV, long range plane-mounted tactical laser cannons have just been impractical and difficult to recommend — until now. This latest long range plane-mounted tactical laser cannon being promoted by the… Read More

  • Pilots of remote-controlled Predators suffering PTSD

    http://www.liveleak.com/e/7bb_1210698031 Interesting article over on Military.com about how some Predator pilots are beginning to show signs of psychological stress even though they’re not technically fighting on a battlefield. The pilots spend most of their time in air-conditioned trailers in front of an array of monitors, piloting the remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)… Read More

  • WANT: Spray on laser shielding

    Well, I don’t want it, the U.S. Air Force does. I don’t think I have much practical use for a coating that would shield me from laser blasts. Yet. Real life laser weapons are a reality. Maybe not a common reality, but they do exist. As such, at some point the military will want to protect their missiles. If the Air Force gets what it wants, the tech will only need to be able to… Read More

  • Carbon fiber used in wings of new Airbus A400M

    Owners of super-light laptops can appreciate the miracle of carbon fiber, a strong but light material being used more and more in high-end notebooks. Airbus is now using the same carbon fiber material in the wings of its new A400M military aircraft. The reduced weight of the wings “cuts the fuel consumption by at least 20%," said Dave Phipps, head of the Airbus carbon fiber… Read More

  • Explorer Jöl Jönson attempts to talk to the natives with a VRT

    http://p.castfire.com/Xu7m0/video/13954/bbtv_2008-06-03-180404.flv VRTs are used in Iraq to converse with folks who might not speak English and or/might want to kill you. Jöl uses the gear in the mean streets of Brooklyn where he amuses the local populace with Democracy-bringing phrases like “Down on your knees.” Read More

  • Army suit increases human strength by 20 times

    A U.S. Army contractor has developed an Iron Man-like suit that can amplify human strength by up to 20 times. (You’d almost be able to lift Biggs, then!) The suit, developed by Salt Late City-based robotics house Sarcos, is expected to go into trials next year. If all the bugs are worked out—the battery currently only lasts about 30 minutes per charge—the Army says it may one… Read More

  • Humans:1, Machines:0 in Korean robo-soldier tests


    Chalk one up for humanity. Although IPv6 (AKA Skynet) is just around the corner, we have yet to accomplish the other technological advancements that will pave the way for the inevitable robotic apocalypse. We may have autonomous navigation, bee-powered nightmare dogbots, and Aliens-esque exoskeletons, it seems that we can’t create a decent murder machine. I guess it’s time to… Read More

  • Lot of slightly used US Military F-14 components NO RESERVE!


    It seems a bunch of current military gear is showing up for illicit sale online. I’m not really surprised, given how shoddy the military’s bookkeeping is. Investigators found F-14 parts as well as hazardous materials suits and accessories for sale on eBay and Craigslist. I don’t think Craig would approve. They guess the stuff was stolen from the Defense Department, but it… Read More

  • Hand-held lie detector Afghanistan-bound

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/24020044#24020044 In order to save American lives, which I’m all for, the Pentagon will employ a hand-held lie detector in Afghanistan. The device, which was developed by a team at Johns Hopkins (the algorithm, at least) and sold by Lafayette Instrument, Co., costs $7,500 a pop and goes by the name Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System. Read More

  • Place your photos in meat-world

    Have a box of old photographs of people in places no one can remember? Viewfinder is a new project designed to “place” photos in the geographical location they were taken in less than a minute. While this might seem really nice to “place” Grammy in Times Square in 1972 it’s also a great way to “place” Osama Bin Laden next to a tree in Outer Burri… Read More

  • Navy freaking out over the "Holy Grail of Lasers"


    Lasers are already being used in the field to shoot down missiles and such, but they are limited in their applications because they require volatile chemical agents or fragile crystal arrays — neither one something you want in a battlefield situation. But the Free Electron Laser uses a “turbocharged stream of electrons” to start the reaction that fires the laser. For… Read More

  • For your protection: Pentagon okays development of new radio system

    [photopress:newpentrad.jpg,full,center] The Pentagon would like you to know that it has approved the development of a new type of radio system to be used in our future weapons of war. It goes by the acronym-friendly name Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS, not to be confused with JSR) and will be developed by either Boeing or Lockeheed Martin, which has “who would have guessed?”… Read More

  • Military going forward with brain-controlled weaponry

    [photopress:augcog_boeing.jpg,full,center] We’ve seen mind-reading game controllers, but the military is still searching for the perfect mind-controlled weapon, and is spending big money to find it. At issue is that different parts of the brain can do the same thing at the same time, so targeting the specific centers is difficult. In addition, some actions require parts of the brain to… Read More

  • Dell announces new military-grade rugged notebook

    Dell’s gone rugged. Like, super rugged. Like, military rugged with the Latitude XFR D630. Starting at just under $4,000 and weighing in at almost nine pounds (just shy of a regular consumer laptop from Dell — hay-oh!), the D630 comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, XP or Vista, 14.1-inch outdoor-viewable screen (at 500 nits), and shock-mounted components. It meets the… Read More

  • Robot soldiers pose threat to human life

    [photopress:killerrobots.jpg,full,center] An artificial life expert warned today that robotic soldiers (like the one pictured here) pose a threat to human life, and not just the bad guys’ lives. The robots, said the dude from the University of Sheffield, are currently safer in that they need a human being to give the final go-ahead to open fire. As the technology improves, however, this… Read More