Friday, August 14, 2009

Big Brother is a misnomer.

I found this article over on Gizmodo which details a small bird drone. Conceptually, this is nothing new to the 3 regular viewers of this site. However, what is remarkable about it is how small they've been able to make it, and that it carries its own power source.

Gizmodo Via New Scientist

Friday, July 10, 2009

Who watches the robot watchmen?

You know, there's an old saying that goes something like 'the empty can rattles the most', but I've never let that dissuade me from trying to inform the public at large about the dangers of the upcoming Robo-apocalypse. There are many of my peers who have dismissed me as a lone nut.

Well, it's high time that they took me seriously. I am not alone in my concern. In fact, there are many others out there who are also concerned about the imminent demise and/or enslavement of humanity at the hands of androids. They've issued the call to unite, and they've created a rallying point here. These guys are totally serious. They use flash. They're not fucking around.

I must point out, however, that Dr. Layman (How awesome a name is that, btw?) makes one fatal error in that he entertains the notion that there may be an upside to progression of technology. This, my friends, is a deadly blunder. As evidenced in the documentaries 'Terminator', 'The Matrix', '2001: A Space Odyssey', and countless others, any AI worth its salt will immediately realize that humans are a waste of space and get rid of us as soon as we've outlived our usefulness.

You should never trust a toaster. It can only burn you.

Thanks to Scott for the tip!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Flesh-Eating Robots Will Have Excellent Sight

I've totally been slacking in my duties lately. It's not that there haven't been terrifying developments lately. Actually, the opposite is quiet true. The truth of the matter is that it's much easier to just look the other way and pretend that Robot Apocalypse is just a flight of fancy.

However, after watching the documentary "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" tonight, I feel that I should renew my efforts to inform the public of the nature of our future overlords. Saving lives should not be neglected, and I apologize.

Article one can be found here. It's an interesting little bit over at the Science Daily which discusses the new optical systems that are being developed for our mechanized 'friends'. Recognizing visual data has, up to now, always been an advantage that humans have had over robots. While machines can crunch numbers faster than we can, perform monotonous work better than we can, and kill without remorse better than we can, they have historically been pretty crummy at interpreting images.

Collaborators... er... researchers managed to set up a three tiered neural network using off the shelf components, and set it up in a configuration that mimicked the methodology that the human brain uses to interpret visual data.

My favorite little snippet from the article follows...

“It’s basically a neural network with certain biological characteristics,” says Greenlee. “The connectivity is dictated by the numbers we have from our physiological studies.”

The computerised brain controls the behaviour of a wheeled robotic platform supporting a moveable head and eyes, in real time. It directs the head and eyes where to look, tracks its own movement, identifies objects, determines if they are moving independently, and directs the platform to speed up, slow down and turn left or right.

Greenlee and his colleagues were intrigued when the robot found its way to its first target – a teddy bear – just like a person would, speeding by objects that were at a safe distance, but passing nearby obstacles at a slower pace.

”That was very exciting,” Greenlee says. “We didn’t program it in – it popped out of the algorithm.”

Oh. That's just wonderful. Let me tell you something, Dr. Greenlee, if that is your real name. Emergent behavior is all neat and shiny until it performs a simple cost-benefit analysis and decides that Soylent Green tastes yummy.

Speaking of Yummy, we here at Robot Apocalypse are not only Robo-phobic. We're Xeno-phobic as well. Yes, that's right Johnny Foreigner, we haven't forgotten about you. Seems those crazy chaps over in the UK have expounded on the fly eating robot I mentioned a while back.


As you can see, the robot-loving English have set their sights on mice. After that, they're going to move up to those little yapping dogs, and life will be admittedly better for some time. But when the Robot Uprising finally takes place in the year 2012, they'll harvest our flesh for fuel. And don't you dare tell me that you didn't see it coming. They know when you're lying. They can read your mind.

Oh, and just so you can sleep well...

Good night!

Via: A ton of different sources. I linked to them in the post and I'm lazy!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Warning: Nightmare Fuel Enclosed

Gosh, those Israelis keep building scary things. First, they build Auto-Kill towers, and now they build exploading snakes!

You heard me right, folks. Exploding Snake. This is something I wish they'd warned me about in boy scouts.

"Now this, kids, is a rare Israeli 'Spload'n Sidewinder. Watch what you say 'round em', boys, he'll report you in to Uncle Sam. And if he doesn't like the cut of your jib, he'll blow up in your face!"

Seriously though. I no longer have any doubt that we are living in the future

A future with frigg'n exploding snake robots.

Channel 2 Via Jeruselum Post via Engadget via Bot Junkie

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Doom for Steve

Dear Steve,

Today's post is just for you. I know that you, among others, have professed that you will be one of the first collaborators when our Robot Overlords (did I say overlords? I meant protectors,) take over. I really do think that this is a good career path for you. This is because you're about to become obsolete.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "I'm a Chemistry teacher. I have a graduate's degree in stuff that is Science! Surely the day that robots can replace thinking human beings is far away!"

Woe to thee, Steve, for I am the harbinger of ill news! Grad students are now obsolete!

It won't be long before scientists become automated! And if Robots can do science, Steve, they will surely be able to teach it. The day of your professional demise is soon at hand. You will join our blue-collar forefathers in being roboted out of a job. And yes, I just made the word 'roboted' up. Sue me. It won't stop you from being obsolete.

Hope you got a back-up career, there bud. Me, I don't have to worry. I'll surely be among the first vaporized. Good luck to you! G.L.A.D.O.S. will be appropriating your desk shortly.

Via Newscientist

Friday, May 8, 2009

Weapons of the Apocalypse: Silent Death

Last week, scientist made a significant step forward in developing an honest-to-god cloaking device.

Now, it doesn't take a great leap of the imagination to imagine Big-Dog outfitted with a cloaking device. Not that you still wouldn't hearing him coming from a mile away... but you wouldn't be able to see him! Imagine the terror! Surely we're doomed, right?

Fortunately at the moment, this technology is only limited to things that are microscopic. Yes, you heard that right. We can make things that we couldn't see anyway invisible.

Color me impressed.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Social Injustice!

It is becoming evident that humans are doomed to become a second class citizen. Normally, if I were to attempt to kill someone, I would probably be fined and thrown in jail. Apparently if you're a robot, all you get is a slap on the wrist.

$3,000!?! Are you kidding me? I bet his medical bills cost more than that!

This, my friends, is a sad, sad day for humanity.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beware the Penguins of the Apocalypse

As any of my comrades can tell you, I like penguins. Who doesn't like penguins? They're adorable! They're like tiny torpedoes! But I've found that I will never be able to trust a penguin again. Especially a penguin with glowing blue eyes.

Behold your new masters, meat-bags.

I know they're cute, but they will be deadly. This is the fault of some people that my Seattle friends likely know. Some engineering types over at the University of Washington have figured out how to make robot fish school.

Now, apply this to the penguins, and you have trouble. Oh, and by the way, great. Now I'm afraid of flying penguins! Thanks, ass-hats.

News of your aquatic doom has been brought to you by courtesy of New Scientist.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under DOOOOOOOOM!

Oh man! I've totally been slacking. I forget to check out my robot-news for a month, and robot doom reaches out with its squishy tentacles to take me by surprise! This just goes to show that the Robot Apocalypse will always take you unawares, even if you are expecting it!

My first bits of terror were delivered by the good (if blissfully unaware) folks over at Bot Junkie. There was an article over there a few weeks back concerning the theory behind the development of squishy-robots.

The video below explains it all, and it does it in a short and sweet way.

As it turns out, MIT is already ahead of the game. This is usually par for the coarse, as far as I'm concerned. Botjunkie claims that MIT came out with this squishy-robo-snail way back in 03'.

A very visceral shudder passed through my being as I pondered the nightmares they've developed since then. Unfortunately, I kept reading, Bot Junkie then informed me that Boston Dynamics (home of the Big Dog, and also home of the people who take my worst concerns and make them visible,) have begun to set their nefarious minds to further the realization of their dark cthuloid robot masters. And to boot? They're using the same MIT guys that made the snail-bot.

Oooh, so doomed.

And while I'm mentioning Boston Dynamics and content brought to my attention by Bot-Junkie, I thought that I'd bring you further proof that you won't be safe at the beach. If robot-squid don't devour you, Big Dog will get you.

To make myself feel better, I headed on over to Wired where I was enlightened with the news that the Navy has awarded contracts for FEL Lasers. Until 2005, I was convinced that this was just science fiction.

Can't wait till they mount these on a twenty-story tall version of Big Dog. We'll call it... Mega-Dog. He'll fry you with his FEL Laser, and then crush your burning skull with his hoof.

Via Bot Junkie and The Danger Room

Monday, April 13, 2009

More Murderous Lawnmowers

I'm becoming more and more convinced that lawnmowers are going to be the foot soldiers of the Robot Apocalypse.

The newest front of Robo-mowers is this.

Students are now controlling robot Lawnmowers with Wii-motes.

There's nothing more that I can add to that, really.

Via Yahoo

Friday, January 9, 2009

Suck it, Japan!!

IEEE Spectrum Online has a chart up that shows the countries most likely to be overthrown by our robot overlords (first).

In other news, we're all going to die!! (You first, Asia!)

Masterminds and Nightmare Plots

Happy New Year, boys and girls! We're now one year closer to the inevitable domination of mankind via robot hands!

Three items of news-worthiness came to my attention over the holidays, and I felt compelled to spread the Christmas cheer. Two of them are not developments in robotics per say. They are techniques, however, that could be put to rather nefarious use in the hands of our robot overlords.

The first was pointed out to me by Sean. In an interesting development, researches have been able to stimulate the sexual drive of a person by administering electrical shocks to certain parts of the brain. This is good a good thing, right? Our robots overlords will know just where to poke us to make us happy (or sad)! What could possibly go wrong?

Another little interesting article via The Pink Tentacle. The long and short of it? Scientists have created a computer that can read your mind. Well, kinda. Actually, it can recognize what word you're thinking of when you read a card by monitoring brainwaves. The researches think it's only a matter of time before they perfect the art. Actually, what I really think is fascinating about this is the neural-network that the computer uses to decide which waveforms mean what. I could go on and geek out about neural networks, but it'll no doubt bore everyone else to tears.

And finally, you should read this. Because swarms of robots are never a bad thing, right?

Via The Telegraph, The Pink Tentacle and Symbrion.