Imagine using unattended ground sensors to provide continuous weather reports and surveillance of critical targets in enemy areas. The Defense Department thinks the idea is sound enough to pursue. The agency includes it among nine projects it will fund this fiscal year under its Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program. The other projects are: a networked early warning system for biological threats, a method for detecting coordinated attacks on computer networks, a "joint continuous strike environment" using combined suites of weapons on targets, a system for moving weapons and other materiel from ship to shore in heavy seas, an interface between major tactical data links on the ground and in the air, an advanced forward looking infrared system for precise target location and identification, a markedly improved capability for precise counterfire at the battle-theater level, and a line-of-sight system for high-speed destruction of many tanks at once.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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