• KILLER DRONES'Killer Robots': Will They Be Banned?

    By Nina Werkhäuser

    A UN panel in Geneva remains split on whether to ban autonomous weapons, which don’t need a human to pull the trigger. Increasingly, these sorts of weapons are the stuff of a manufacturer’s promotional materials rather than science fiction movies. The war in Ukraine is complicating the conversation.

  • ROBOTSInsect-Inspired Robots Can Monitor Hard-to-Reach Spots

    There aren’t many spaces that are off-limits to an insect. Researchers have created tiny bug-inspired robots that can carry out tasks in hard-to-reach spaces and inhospitable environments.

  • BORDER SECURITYSend Surveillance Robot Dogs to the Pound, Not the Border

    By Matthew Guariglia

    Last week, DHS said that robotic are “one step closer” to deployment on the U.S.-Mexico border. Covered with sensors and cameras that can relay information and footage in real time to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), these machines are less cute-video or selfie fodder and more of a civil liberties-invading hellhound.

  • BORDER SECURITYRobot Dogs Soon to Be Deployed at the Border

    DHS ST is offering a helping hand (or “paw”) with new robotic dog technology that can assist with enhancing the capabilities of CBP personnel, while simultaneously increasing their safety downrange.

  • ROBOTICSAutonomous Air and Ground Vehicles Swarms Take Flight in Final Field Experiment

    DARPA’s OFFSET program envisions future small-unit infantry forces employing large-scale teams of unmanned air and/or ground robots to accomplish diverse missions in complex urban environments. OFFSET specifically focused on advancements in collaborative swarm autonomy and human-swarm teaming capabilities.

  • KILLER ROBOTSUN Fails to Agree on “Killer Robot” Ban While Nations Pour Billions into Autonomous Weapons Research

    By James Dawes

    Autonomous weapon systems – commonly known as killer robots – may have killed human beings for the first time ever last year, according to a recent UN Security Council report on the Libyan civil war. History could well identify this as the starting point of the next major arms race, one that has the potential to be humanity’s final one.

  • Killer robotsNew Armed Robot to Patrol Battlefield, Border

    An Israeli defense contractor on Monday unveiled a remote-controlled armed robot which can patrol battle zones, borders, track infiltrators, and open fire. The robot can also be programmed to make decisions on its own, without human intervention, about opening fire.

  • InfrastructureRobot Dog Helps Infrastructure Maintenance Researchers

    A mobile robotic dog named “Spot,” able to climb stairs, navigate rough terrain, and respond to commands, offers researchers an autonomous technology for innovations in infrastructure maintenance and repair.

  • Search & rescueAn Expert on Search and Rescue Robots Explains the Technologies Used in Disasters Like the Florida Condo Collapse

    By Robin R. Murphy

    Different types of robots may be used to search and rescue victims of disasters, such as the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida. A robotics experts says that the current state of the practice for searching the interior of rubble is to use either a small tracked vehicle, such as an Inkutun VGTV Extreme, which is the most commonly used robot for such situations, or a snakelike robot, such as the Active Scope Camera developed in Japan. Teledyne FLIR is sending a couple of tracked robots and operators to the site in Surfside, Florida.

  • RoboticsTechnique Enhances Robot Battlefield Operations

    Army researchers developed a technique that allows robots to remain resilient when faced with intermittent communication losses on the battlefield. The technique, called α-shape, provides an efficient method for resolving goal conflicts between multiple robots that may want to visit the same area during missions including unmanned search and rescue, robotic reconnaissance, perimeter surveillance and robotic detection of physical phenomena, such as radiation and underwater concentration of lifeforms.

  • Autonomous aircraftThe Future of Autonomous Aircraft

    Imagine a world of aerial delivery drones bringing goods right to your door, small air taxis with fewer than six passengers flying about cities, supersonic airliners crossing continents and oceans, and sixth-generation fighter aircraft patrolling battle zones – and all without the intervention or even supervision of a human pilot. That may sound like the far-off future, but it’s already arriving thanks to autonomous flight systems that may one day make pilots an optional extra.

  • RobokillersLethal Autonomous Weapons May Soon Make Life-and-Death Decisions – on Their Own

    With drone technology, surveillance software, and threat-predicting algorithms, future conflicts could computerize life and death. “It’s a big question – what does it mean to hand over some of the decision making around violence to machines, and everybody on the planet will have a stake in what happens on this front,” says one expert.

  • RobotsRwanda Has Enlisted Anti-Epidemic Robots in Its Fight against Coronavirus

    Rwanda has introduced robots as part of its fight against coronavirus. With 314 confirmed cases of the virus as of May 22, the East African country has enlisted the help of five anti-epidemic robots to battle the virus. Aisha Salaudeen writes for CNN that the robots were donated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to the Kanyinya treatment center that treats Covid-19 patients in the capital city, Kigali. The robots — named Akazuba, Ikirezi, Mwiza, Ngabo, and Urumuri — were received by the country’s Minister of Health and Minister of ICT and Innovation last week. hey will be used for mass temperature screening, monitoring patient status, and keeping medical records of Covid-19 patients, according to Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation.

  • RoboticsEmulating Snakes for Building Better Robots for Search-and-Rescue Missions

    Snakes live in diverse environments ranging from unbearably hot deserts to lush tropical forests. But regardless of their habitat, they are able to slither up trees, rocks, and shrubbery with ease. Mechanical engineers design a snake robot based on the climbing technique of the kingsnake. The new design could help advance search-and-rescue technology.

  • Killer robotsRobotics Researchers Have a Duty to Prevent Autonomous Weapons

    By Christoffer Heckman

    Robotics is rapidly being transformed by advances in artificial intelligence, and the benefits are widespread. But our ever-growing appetite for intelligent, autonomous machines poses a host of ethical challenges.