Risk
4/24/2012
04:14 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Slideshows
50%
50%

U.S. Military Robots Of The Future: Visual Tour

Meet robots that fight fires, climb ladders, search for bombs, and race across the battlefield. The technological singularity is near, say military strategists.
Previous
1 of 15
Next


You haven't seen flying, swimming, and fighting robots like these before. The Department of Defense is expanding its robotics research with new initiatives to develop machines that can drive, climb, extinguish fires, or perform other automated tasks. The ultimate goal includes using robots in dangerous situations that would otherwise put U.S. soldiers at risk.

In two recent developments, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) launched a "grand challenge" for robot builders, and the Naval Research Laboratory opened its Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR), which will focus on cutting-edge research in robotics and autonomous systems.

DARPA is offering a $2 million prize to build a robot capable of using human tools and navigating disaster-response scenarios. Contestants' robots will be required to travel across rubble, remove debris from a blocked entryway, and climb a ladder, for example. A humanoid form isn't required in the challenge, but DARPA does plan to provide a hardware platform with arms, legs, torso, and head to some entrants.

A previous DARPA challenge produced several automobiles that were capable of driving themselves. And a four-legged robot called Cheetah, developed by Boston Dynamics with DARPA funding, recently achieved a galloping speed of up to 18 miles per hour, a new record for legged robots.

The new Naval Research Laboratory facility will be used to develop robots for use by the Navy, Marines, and other branches of the DOD. Its work is consistent with the National Robotics Initiative, a federal effort to develop robots to help solve problems in defense, space, health, and manufacturing.

The U.S. military has been working on humanoid robots for years. Students at Virginia Tech College of Engineering's Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa), with funding from DARPA, produced CHARLi. The human-looking, five-foot-tall robot can walk upright.

In many cases, military robots have applications outside of the battlefield. Last year, CHARLi helped Virginia Tech take home the gold from the Robocup soccer tournament in Istanbul.

Take a look at the other futuristic robots en route.

Image credit: RoMeLa

Previous
1 of 15
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-4440
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 generates weak non-tty passwords, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the password via a brute-force attack.

CVE-2013-4442
Published: 2014-12-19
Password Generator (aka Pwgen) before 2.07 uses weak pseudo generated numbers when /dev/urandom is unavailable, which makes it easier for context-dependent attackers to guess the numbers.

CVE-2014-2026
Published: 2014-12-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the search functionality in United Planet Intrexx Professional before 5.2 Online Update 0905 and 6.x before 6.0 Online Update 10 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the request parameter.

CVE-2014-2716
Published: 2014-12-19
Ekahau B4 staff badge tag 5.7 with firmware 1.4.52, Real-Time Location System (RTLS) Controller 6.0.5-FINAL, and Activator 3 reuses the RC4 cipher stream, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain plaintext messages via an XOR operation on two ciphertexts.

CVE-2014-6395
Published: 2014-12-19
Heap-based buffer overflow in the dissector_postgresql function in dissectors/ec_postgresql.c in Ettercap before 8.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted password length value that is inconsistent with the actual length of the password...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.