The American Navy’s Next Jet May Have Its Own Drone

The next generation Growler electronic attack plane may carry a drone as part of its payload.

The U.S. Navy’s EA-18G Growler electronic attack plane may get its own pet drone in a future update, FlightGlobal is reporting. The Dash X drone could be deployed by Growler aircrews over hostile airspace, collecting electromagnetic signals and sending them to the waiting jet for analysis. The Growler/drone dynamic duo would be used to identify, locate, and take down enemy air defenses.

The project, funded by the Office of Naval Research, involves stuffing a Dash X drone in a bomb-like capsule designed to hang off the hardpoints of a EA-18G Growler...

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AI and jobs: Where humans are better than algorithms, and vice versa

It’s easy to get caught up in the doom-and-gloom predictions about artificial intelligence wiping out millions of jobs. Here’s a reality check.

The 21st century’s longest shadow hanging over the technology industry, workers, and humanity in general, is the effect that artificial intelligence, robots, and automation are going to have on jobs.

The popular narrative is generally filled with lots of doom-and-gloom about AI wiping out whole industries and millions of people going unemployed, but let’s take a little reality check and look at where humans do a better job than AI, and vice versa, to give you some context for how the workforce of the future is going to change.

Where AI wins

It’s no secret that algorithms and robots can smoke humans at repetitive tasks and solving problems that inv...

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MIT Developing Mach 0.8 Rocket Drone for the Air Force

MIT’s AeroAstro labs is working to develop a drone that can fly at speeds up to Mach 0.8, or roughly 614 mph. Dubbed the Firefly, the drone is essentially a mini-rocket and has a similar shape to a zeppelin. It is designed to launch from a fighter jet and collect data or distract enemy weapons systems.

The Firefly is designed to meet a challenge presented by the U.S. Air Force: develop a UAV no more than 2.5 inches wide and 17 inches long that could be air-launched from a fighter jet and fly at Mach 0.8 for 2 to 5 minutes. After MIT’s recent success building the Peredix swarming drones that also launch from a fighter, the team feels confident they are up to the new challenge.

“There was no vehicle with this speed, at this size, that could deploy off an aircraft,” John Hansman, MIT profes...

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Military-Grade Killer Drones Are Beginning to Hit the Market

The battlefield drone can be operated by one man, drop its own precision-guided munitions.

The recent explosion of the consumer drone market has had far-reaching effects, the deadliest being their adaptation to weapons of war. Now, military-grade killer drones operable by a crew of one or two and capable of carrying precision-guided microbombs are starting to make their way into the global defense market. One of the first is Velvet Wasp, the drone that can carry anything from bombs to first aid supplies.

Developed by UK defense contractor SR, Velvet Wasp is a 37 pound drone with a carbon fiber frame. The drone can be packable but ideally is carried around by a vehicle...

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ESA seeks “missing link” between drones and satellites

For years, high-altitude unmanned aircraft and airships that can loiter on the edge of space have been under development, but who will use them when they come online? One major prospect is ESA, which sees these High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites as the “missing link” between drones and satellites

High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites are platforms that float or fly at high altitude like conventional aircraft but operate more like satellites

For years, high-altitude unmanned aircraft and airships that can loiter on the edge of space have been under development, but who will use them when they come online? One major prospect is ESA, which sees these High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites (HAPS) as the “missing link” between drones and satellites that can remain on station longer than the former while pro...

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Honda’s Disaster Relief Robot May Be a Lifesaver of the future

When future disaster strikes, the helpful hand swooping your way may be more machine than man. Honda R&D researchers detailed their latest disaster relief prototype robot, the E2-DR, in a paper entitled, “Development of Experimental Legged Robot for Inspection and Disaster Response in Plants.”

The robot stands a little over 5 feet 5 inches tall, and weighs just over 187 pounds. Adding to its weight is a 1000-Wh lithium-ion battery with 90-minute operational stamina. E2-DR displays 33 degrees of freedom, and can rotate its body 180 degrees. Honda swapped out conventional communication cables for optical fiber alternatives, in an effort to keep size to a minimum.

Honda specifically designed E2-DR with a 25-cm (9.8-in) “thickness,” so it can fit through 30-cm (11.8-in) gaps...

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Drone Captures Hurricane Maria’s Devastation in Puerto Rico Aerial View

Hurricane Maria tore across Puerto Rico last Wednesday but communities across the Caribbean are still reeling from its wrath. The commonwealth lost all electricity and most communications after violent winds and rains washed away power lines, cell towers and roads. At least 16 people have died, and many more individuals are left without homes, drinking water, or ability to contact or find loved ones.

The sweeping destruction is almost impossible to fathom, which is why AFP photographer Ricardo Arduengo shot it from above with a drone. It’s how he captured this apocalyptic scene just west of San Juan where a stretch of four-lane highway lay in ruins after a nearby river washed it away. “It was shocking,” says photographer Ricardo Arduengo...

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China is poised to dominate robotics markets far sooner than some had expected

Faced with rising labor costs, China is making a strong move to establish itself as the world’s leading manufacturer of robots.

The country is already the world’s largest buyer of industrial robots, but it’s lagged behind Japan, its perennial Asian market rival, when it comes to technology development.

There are big signs that’s changing rapidly. According to a report from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), China will triple its sales of robots by 2018. By 2019, the IFR predicts that more than 1.4 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world, and China will account for 40 percent of global robotics sales.

The trend makes sense...

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This chart shows Top 10 Countries by Robot Density.
A robot is a machine especially one programmable by a computer capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically. Robots can be guided by an external control device or the control may be embedded within. Robots may be constructed to take on human form but most robots are machines designed to perform a task with no regard to how they look.
Robots can be autonomous or semi-autonomous and range from humanoids such as Honda’s Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility (ASIMO) and TOSY’s TOSY Ping Pong Playing Robot (TOPIO) to industrial robots, medical operating robots, patient assist robots, dog therapy robots, collectively programmed swarm robots, UAV drones such as General Atomics MQ-1 Predator, and even mi...
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In our research, we found 3 broad approaches that scholars use to define robots. These are (1) as artificial humans, (2) programmable machines, and (3) machines that can sense, think, and act on the world. None of these approaches offers a definition that works for all of the ways we already use the word. But they’re a start.

Welcome to the Robotic Future, in which we explore the many fascinating machines that are transforming society. And we can’t do that without first defining what a robot even is.

When you hear the word “robot,” the first thing that probably comes to mind is a silvery humanoid, à la The Day the Earth Stood Still or C-3PO (more golden, I guess, but still metallic). But there’s also the Roomba, and autonomous drones, and technically also self-driving cars...

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Like this Hobby Drone Becomes an Awesome Military Sniper

What is it, how does it work, and is autonomous war using AI drones such a good idea?

There’s a new kind of killer drone. Called TIKAD, it isn’t like any lethal drones you’re seen before. Because unlike the effective-yet-cumbersome MQ-9 Reapers, these multicopters can carry a sniper rifle, a grenade launcher, or a machine gun—the inevitable convergence of hobby drones and military weapons.

Big drones like the Reaper and its predecessor, the Predator, are controlled from thousands of miles away, orbit at five or ten thousand feet, and watch everything happening below. They strike with laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, which are precise but hardly surgical, causing collateral damage and loss of life...

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HPE, NASA are going to launch an awesome supercomputer into space

The year-long experiment will determine a supercomputer’s ability to function in space, with the idea of sending one to Mars.

(19 Feb. 2010) — Backdropped by Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space, the International Space Station is featured in this image photographed by an STS-130 crew member on space shuttle Endeavour after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 7:54 p.m. (EST) on Feb. 19, 2010.

The Spaceborne Computer, a joint experiment between NASA and HPE, will travel to the International Space Station (seen here).

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is teaming up with NASA to launch a supercomputer into space on Monday, with the ultimate aim of building computing resources that could serve on board a mission t...

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