Ever want to escape the earth? There are billions of other worlds out there, and while we don't know a lot about most of them, there's a good chance at least one is better than Earth itself. With the possible exception of Mars, it's extremely unlikely humans living now will ever make it to any of those distant worlds. What might, instead, is a Von Neumann self-replicating robot probe.
In life and death situations, a robot gives police options. Last week, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, in a standoff with an attempted murder suspect, did something unusual: they waited him out, and then sent in a robot to disarm the suspect. With the man's gun gone, the standoff ended peacefully.
There is little detail in the $1 million contract award posted yesterday. The award, from the Army, but through the Pentagon's brand-new tech-focused “Defense Innovation Unit Experimental” DIUx, is for a nine-month “prototype project in the area of Autonomous Tactical Airborne Drones.” Two other salient features stand out in the little, obligatory blurb attached to the notice. The contract comes from the Naval Special Warfare Command, which mostly oversees Navy SEALs, and the contract was awarded to Shield AI.
Drones exist in the low sky, an airborne camera attached by transmission to a human on the ground. It's a good altitude for watching ruins, as lifeless drone eyes glide over the mechanical wrecks below. On Wednesday, August 31, professional camera operator George Ivanoff took his Phantom 3 Standard to the Arthur Kill ship graveyard, and captured the rotting wrecks in all their decaying glory.