Your Cart

Why The Military Wants Robots With Legs (Not To Run Faster Than Usain Bolt)

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Why is the military’s elite research arm so interested in robots with legs? It isn’t speed. Boston Dynamics’ Cheetah robot, funded by DARPA, made headlines after it broke its own speed record yesterday and became the first robot to run on legs faster than the fastest human, track star Usain Bolt. Cheetah got up to… Keep reading →

read entire article

Rise Of Robot Boats: How The Navy Might Hunt Sea Mines

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


LAS VEGAS: “Keeping the sailor out of the minefield,” the Navy’s new mantra for mine warfare, means sending the robots in. As part of an annual exercise in July called “Trident Warrior,” the fleet experimented with an unmanned ship developed by Textron subsidiary AAI and known blandly as the Common Unmanned Surface Vessel (CUSV). The… Keep reading →

read entire article

FAA Drone Chief Enthusiastic About Plan For UAVs Over Alaska, And Beyond

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


LAS VEGAS: Getting America’s National Airspace System (NAS) ready for unmanned aircraft by 2015 will be hard going, but one good sign is that the FAA’s point man positively vibrates with enthusiasm. “I actually volunteered for this job,” said James Williams, head of the FAA’s recently created Unmanned Air Systems Integration Office, right at the… Keep reading →

read entire article

Military ‘Aggressively Working’ To Ease Drone Sales Abroad

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


LAS VEGAS: As US defense spending ramps down, both the military and the aerospace industry want to sell more drones to friends and allies overseas. Right now, however, export controls and arms control treaties make that awfully hard. “The foreign sales aspect of these RPAs [remotely piloted aircraft] is potentially huge,” Maj. Gen. James Poss,… Keep reading →

read entire article

Army Chief Wants Grey Eagle Drones In All Divisions, But Can’t Buy More

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


LAS VEGAS: As the Army institutionalizes robotic systems that began as ad hoc expedients for Iraq and Afghanistan, the Chief of Staff wants drones in every combat aviation brigade and every division — even at the price of spreading them thinner across the force. The Army’s first company of Grey Eagle UAVs, a variant of… Keep reading →

read entire article

Less Money, More Bureaucracy: Military Robotics After Afghanistan

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


LAS VEGAS: “We’ve been spoiled,” the colonel said. Since 9/11, the military has had “giant pots of money” to throw at urgent problems without going through the full acquisition process. It’s been a bonanza for contractors with innovative technology to offer. But as the war winds down, Lt. Col. Stuart Hatfield of the Army Capabilities… Keep reading →

read entire article

FAA, ICAO Scramble To Get Drones Flying In Civilian Airspace

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


LAS VEGAS: As military spending shrinks, makers of unmanned aircraft are looking to civilian customers to pick up the slack — but getting ready to fly drones in civilian airspace is a big technological and regulatory challenge. On Tuesday, acting Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta became the first FAA chief to address the annual conference… Keep reading →

read entire article

Too Many Screens: Why Drones Are So Hard To Fly, So Easy To Crash

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


LAS VEGAS: The US military depends on drones. But amidst the justifiable excitement over the rise of the robots, it’s easy to overlook that today’s unmanned systems are not truly autonomous but rather require a lot of human guidance by remote control — and bad design often makes the human’s job needlessly awkward, to the… Keep reading →

read entire article

‘Killer Drone’ Demo Marks HASC Chair McKeon’s Speech

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Defense conferences rarely attract much notice from the American public but we saw a spark today as a demonstrator leapt onto the stage while Rep. Buck McKeon spoke in favor of a strong defense and robust funding for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. “These drones are playing God,” the slight, middle-aged woman shouted, trying to unfurl… Keep reading →

read entire article