Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

DARPA’s Bullet of the Future Follows Its Targets

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Welcome to the future, kids. DARPA has just released video of its first actual test of EXACT (Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance) 50 caliber bullet.

Big deal, right?

Read that acronym again. Mainly the part that says ‘Tasked Ordinance’. EXACTO bullets are bullets that’ve been given instructions. Bullets that will come find their targets.

Here’s the write-up from DARPA’s site:

For military snipers, acquiring moving targets in unfavorable conditions, such as high winds and dusty terrain commonly found in Afghanistan, is extremely challenging with current technology. It is critical that snipers be able to engage targets faster, and with better accuracy, since any shot that doesn’t hit a target also risks the safety of troops by indicating their presence and potentially exposing their location.

The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) system seeks to improve sniper effectiveness and enhance troop safety by allowing greater shooter standoff range and reduction in target engagement timelines. The objective of the EXACTO program is to revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet. The EXACTO 50- caliber round and optical sighting technology expects to greatly extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems. The system combines a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track and deliver the projectile to the target, allowing the bullet to change path during flight to compensate for any unexpected factors that may drive it off course.

Technology development in Phase II included the design, integration and demonstration of aero-actuation controls, power sources, optical guidance systems, and sensors. The program’s next phase includes a system-level live-fire test and technology refinement to enhance and improve performance.

That just about covers it.

The phrase ‘Dodged a bullet” is about to become a thing of the past.

[Topless Robot]

Dog Poop Transmitter Used By Millitary in Vietnam!

Monday, January 27th, 2014

You’re walking with your buddy in the woods and one of you steps in what you thought was a dog mine only it cracks instead of squishes.

During the Vietnam War, what looked like dog dookie could possibly be an Air Force homing beacon in disguise…like a sad Transformer toy no one’s going to ever want to play with…ever. Officially called the T1151 Dog Doo Transmitter, this T1000 version of your standard dog dropping would relay movement of supply vehicles during the night and even transmit and receive morse code messages.

According to someone who actually worked on the project, these nuggets of espionage were customized to resemble the fecal matter of local animals so…you know…they wouldn’t stand out in an area full of non-local dog spam.

We’re betting there could be enough material for a book from all the prank-pulling that took place with these things.

[Sploid]

Skynet’s Future Soldiers on Display at Fort Benning

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Over a weekend at Fort Benning, human inventors of automated robotic war machines showed off the devices that Skynet will probably use against us when it goes live.

Sorry ’bout your first rule, Asimov.

[Computer World]

Robot Learns to Throw…Humanity Flinches!

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Anyone who’s been following the evolution of Boston Dynamics has been creeped out at one point by their BigDog robot. BigDog is a quadraped robot that has learned a lot of tricks since it was a terrifying little puppy of a machine. It balances itself even when an engineer makes an attempt at cow-tipping it, it ambles over the most diverse terrain ever laid out in front of a robot, follows humans like an obedient pack-mule and even understands what humans are saying to it.

Each stage in BigDog’s learning process has brought with it a level of creepiness.

But BigDog’s newest trick just put the nail in the coffin of humankind’s demise.

BigDog now throws things.

And what it’s throwing isn’t a spitball. It’s not a paper airplane. It’s not throwing Mardi Gras beads. It’s not a fun frisbee.

Nope. Not anything even remotely associated with enjoyable OR fun…

It’s throwing cinder blocks.

30 pound, concrete cinder blocks…

And it’s throwing them easier and more accurately than you could ever hope to throw one.

Which once again goes to prove that we shouldn’t be worried about the robots taking over in the future…

We should be worried about our own fellow humans helping them.

[Boston Dynamics YouTube Channel]

Real Cloak of Invisibility? Company Develops Stealth Material!

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Harry Potter had one. Frodo Baggins had one. Even Max from Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place had one.

In fact, just about every single geek on the planet at some point in their life has probably hypothesized about how cool it would be to have some kind of a cape or blanket that you could cover yourself in and become instantly invisible.

Right?

Well that might soon become a reality.

While we’re still going to have to keep to our hypothetical invisible scenarios in our grinning heads, it won’t be long until soldiers, special ops agents and even….uh…submarines…begin using something called ‘Quantum Stealth’ to get all Predator-like.

Guy Cramer, the president and CEO of Hyperstealth Biotechnology in Canada, is vaguely but loudly declaring that he’s developed an invisibility cloak-like material!

After checking his site and looking at the ‘mock-up’ photos on display, we’re secretly hoping this is a serious technology that’s about to put old-school camouflage in the closet. Poking around online to see if there was ANY hint at what Cramer is developing turned up nothing that actually shows off the technology. He’s claiming that if a soldier were wearing his top secret material you wouldn’t know he was there until you tripped over him.

Pretty bold claims considering we’ve seen this kind of promise before.

But if we know our audience? We’re guessing you’re all crossing your fingers, doing some kind of little victory dance and hoping it’s true too.

[HyperStealth.com]

Mission Accomplished: WWII Carrier Pigeon Finally Delivers Message

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

We all watch movies like National Treasure and secretly hope that something cool like that might actually be out there in the world or even better that it might, out of some cosmic chance, actually happen to us.

David Martin of England had a small bit of such wishful awesomeness fall into his lap when he began renovating his 17th century fireplace. Inside the chimney were the remains of a pigeon….but not just any pigeon…

David Martin uncovered the remains of a carrier pigeon…and not just ANY old remains of some random carrier pigeon…

These particular remains were attached to a small red cylindrical container…and not just ANY small red cylindrical container…oh no, kids…Mr. Martin had found the remains of a World War II carrier pigeon that was still clutching a little red container which held a small, cigarette paper-sized encrypted message!

Martin found this mysterious container in 1982 and sent it off to have it solved. Intelligence officials believed that it was impossible to break because the code books from back then that might hold the answers to this particular code had been lost or gone missing.

Addressed to the mysterious “X02″ from the more mysterious “Sjt W Stot”, the message, sent during the Allied invasion, continues to baffle codebreakers who are working on the message. Bletchly Park, once a highly secretive location where the Nazi’s Enigma Code was broken and now features a museum about pigeons’ role in the war, has more than 30 messages carried by pigeon and not a single one is written in code which causes many of those involved to believe that this message was of utmost importance and urgency.

Just how important was the information this little bad-assed bird o’ war was carrying?

When Martin showed the bird to a counter-espionage specialist who was actually THE inspiration for Ian Fleming’s infamous agent 007?

“When I showed the bird and code, the blood drained from his face and he advised us to back off. He said nothing would ever be published.”

[Discovery News]

DARPA Robot Navigates Obstacles – Strolls Into Your Nightmares!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Remember that weird and completely creepy mule-like, self-stablizing robot that’s been swimming around the internet for a while now called the BigDog from Boston Dynamics?

Well BigDog just got out-weirded and out-creeped by DARPA’s newest step toward removing the word ‘human’ from ‘humanity’.

Designed as a part of DARPA’s Robotics Challenge, the robot ‘thing’ in the video above, known as the Pet-Proto, will be let loose in a series of environments designed to replicate the conditions of a natural disaster. Several other teams are working on similar robots to compete in the challenge. They will all be competing to gain access to a more advanced version of the Pet-Proto called the Atlas which will be used in the 2013-2014 live disaster-response event.

We don’t know what’s worse…being trapped in a natural disaster or being saved from natural disaster from something that looks like this.

[DARPAtv]

South Korea’s Deadly New Border Weapon!

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Because there’s not enough tension already in North and South Korea, a company has now developed what’s being hailed as a ‘super gun’ to help keep an eyeball on the demilitarized zone between the Hatfield/McCoy-style rivalry amongst the two countries.

The Super aEgis II is one of the most intimidating weapons ever to back up someone’s ‘No Trespassing’ policies. Featuring a thermal camera, a laser range-finder and can nail and destroy a human-sized target from almost 2 miles away. Because it’s designed as a modular system, the aEgis II’s ‘gun pod’ can be replaced and fitted with various other life-destroying joys like surface-to-air missiles or similar goodies yet to be revealed by its manufacturer.

What’s disturbing about the Super aEgis II isn’t that it can destroy a target before the target’s even aware it’s being destroyed…it’s that once Skynet takes over or some 12 year-old hacker decides to add them to their toybox? We’re all in a lot of trouble.

[Reuters]

“Transformers! Roll Out!” Life-Saving, Wind-Powered Landmine Destroyer!

Friday, October 19th, 2012

The Mine Kafon (teaser) from Callum Cooper on Vimeo.

Looking like a cross between a Transformer sea anemone robot and a giant 1960s-styled light fixture in some swank space-lounge of that era, this strange-looking object is set to save a lot of lives on the battlefield.

What you’re looking at is the Mine Kafon. Created by Massoud Hassani, the Kafon is made to do something that, if we didn’t tease it in the headline for this article, you wouldn’t expect…it’s a landmine clearer.

Powered by the wind, the Kafon can take quite a bit of punishment before being retired. In the center of the porcupine-like ball is a small core ball containing a GPS sensor to track the Kafon’s whereabouts.

Designed to clear up to up to 4 landmines, Hassani is looking to begin mass-producing the Kafon once a contract is approved. Before that begins, Hassani is about to open a KickStarter to help move production of the Kafon forward. Currently it costs about $1200 (USD) to get rid of a single landmine. The cost of the Mine Kafon? Just shy of $90!

The cost of saving civilians and soldiers’ lives? Priceless.

[MassoudHassani.Com]

Military Weaponizes Lightning! Hell Yeah!

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Here’s your ‘Hell Yeah!’ moment of the week!

If you enjoy phrases like “a device that shoots laser bolts” or “50 billion watts of optical power” you may want to continue reading about how the military is weaponizing lightning with a device called the Laser-Induced Plasma Channel, or LIPC.

Picatinny Arsenal scientists and engineers in New Jersey have developed a lightning bolt weapon by sending a ridiculously fast laser pulse that basically rips the air apart causing a narrow, electromagnetic channel. Immediately following this moment of scientific awesomeness, a lightning bolt is sent along that channel straight to the unfortunate target.

George Fischer, lead scientist on the project gave one of our favorite statements about a developing military weapon. Fischer stated, “We never got tired of the lightning bolts zapping our simulated (targets).”

Can’t really argue with that.

[Army.Mil]

Possible UFO activity on the freeway?

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Twitter began buzzing that something straight out of a UFO conspiracy film was taking place late at night on a freeway in Washington D.C. Pictures were being uploaded and retweeted of a large flatbed truck, a military-looking escort and some kind of strange craft being transported along the Capitol Beltway.

Arm-chair conspiracy posts were lobbed in response to the Twitter photos.

Now for the still cool, but really not-so cinematic truth….it’s a drone.

Built by Northrup Grumman, the drone was being transported from West Virginia to Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland.

That’s it…just a drone…being transported to a base…right?

[Fox News]

Video: The Navy Invented a Flying Segway in 1955

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Along with the jet packs we were supposed to be sporting by now and the hover cars easing our commute was the military’s Flying Platform.

In 1955 a film was shot showing one of the airborne Seqway-like contraptions in operation. Originally developed by the Navy, the US Army deemed them impractical and development halted.

Looking at this now, after six decades have gone by? All we’d need is some PVC, a lawn mower engine, an arduino controller and one of those mini-trampolines.

And maybe a Kickstarter account.
[YouTube]

Navy Gives the OK to Install Laser Weapons

Friday, May 11th, 2012

laser gun navy.jpg

Oh hell yeah.

The most powerful Naval force in the history of the world is about to add the most coveted weapon in science fiction. Laser cannons.

Although they won’t fire pulse blasts that explode enemy targets, the weaponized lasers can do severe damage to small vessels that might aim to do harm to U.S. ships.

That’s right, the Office of Naval Research is moving forward with a plan to arm ships with solid state lasers capable of taking out small enemy vessels that could be used in swarming attacks or suicide bombing mission against American warships.

“We believe it’s time to move forward with solid-state lasers and shift the focus from limited demonstrations to weapon prototype development and related technology advancement,” said Peter Morrison, program officer of the Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation program in a May 8 press release announcing the effort.

Check out the link below to find a video of a test laser totally engulfing a boat’s engine in flame.

[Defense Tech]

UK Government Might Put a Missile Launcher on Your Roof this Summer

Monday, April 30th, 2012

skitched-20120430-165329.jpg

In many apartment buildings throughout big cities around the world, roof access is off limits. But only in London this summer, will it be because they might be firing a missile off of it to destroy an airborne terrorist attack.

The British Ministry of Defense is considering building surface to air missile launchers on residential buildings during the Olympic Games.

An east London estate, where 700 people live, has received leaflets saying a “Higher Velocity Missile system” could be placed on a water tower.

A spokesman said the MoD had not yet decided whether to deploy ground based air defence systems during the event.

But estate resident Brian Whelan said firing the missiles “would shower debris across the east end of London”.

How else are you going to shoot down a wayward Nazi pilot who became caught in a time vortex during a bombing raid on London during World War II only be spit out in 2012?

[BBC]

[Video] Spy Plane or UFO? Russian Pro-Democracy Protesters Spot Silent Flying Craft

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

[UFO Casebook]

Google Founders Offer to Save Historic Hangar One if They Can Store Private Jets Fleet There

Monday, December 12th, 2011
Google founders offer _100 percent_ funding to save Hangar One, NASA considering offer - San Jose Mercury News.jpg

As of now NASA’s historic Hangar One will be destroyed. Victim of a budget cut. One of the largest free standing structures in the world and historic landmark in the aviation history of this country will be completely demolished and lost to the sands of times.

Unless Google’s Larry Paige, Sergy Brin and Eric Schmitt are allowed to foot the full bill for refurbishment, roughly $33 million. In exchange they ask for rights to house their private jet fleet, eight in total. The government will retain the ability to lease out the rest of Hangar One for whatever they please.

As of now, NASA’s response is: maybe.

Bob Jacobs, a NASA spokesman, said in an email Saturday that “it would be premature to discuss the merits of the proposal until we have had time to review the details.

“It has not yet been completely vetted,” he added. “We understand the interest and historic nature of the facility and we have to weigh that against the reality of constrained resources and use. We are giving all options thoughtful consideration as we prepare our funding proposal for the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.”

skitched-20111212-100815.jpg

Hangar One was built in 1933 and occupies roughly six football fields worth of land spanning eight acres. The Navy is currently in the process of removing contaminated skin from the structure, which means reapplication would have to take place in 2012.

Page, Brin and Schmidt first submitted their proposal in September.

Below, check out a more recent use of Hangar One. The Mythbusters attempt to fold a football field sized piece of paper more than seven times. SAVE OUR BASIC CABLE HISTORY!

[Mercury News]