robotics

A US Air Force B-52 flies over the Pacific on a flight out of Guam. Bombers like this one challenged the Chinese air defense one earlier today.

WASHINGTON: Arsenal plane. It’s a great name, no? And the Hyper Velocity Projectile. Whoa. Fast flying swarming micro drones. Neat! There’s much more being developed, but it’s classified. Where is all this coming from? The Strategic Capabilities Office, or SCO for short. Defense Secretary Ash Carter talked up the new office in his 2017 budget preview speech… Keep reading →

Navy photo

ARMY & NAVY CLUB: As the Pentagon prepares to roll out its 2017 budget, one strategically crucial piece is the so-called Third Offset Strategy. That’s the US military’s high-tech, high-stakes plan to keep our edge over Russia, China, and other rapidly advancing rivals. This morning, the Chief of Naval Research outlined some of what the Navy’s… Keep reading →

Terminator army: Warner Bros.

WASHINGTON: The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called today for an international debate about the use of intelligent weapons and of boosted human beings. “Where do we want to cross that line, and who crosses that first?” asked Gen. Paul Selva — considered one of the brainier occupants of an office that… Keep reading →

Sorry, real robots won't be this cute and friendly.

WASHINGTON: I haven’t seen the new Star Wars movie yet — no spoilers in the comments section, please — but its vision of high-tech warfare is already looking quaint. Always at heart a fairy tale in space, the series puts humans in the cockpit and on the front lines, with droids as adorable sidekicks. Meanwhile,… Keep reading →

russian-troops-parade-in-st-petersburg

WASHINGTON: The Defense Department’s Third Offset Strategy is designed to create new advantages over adversaries now that Russia and China are developing stealth fighters, cyber weapons, and precision missile arsenals of their own. With studies well underway and up to $15 billion budgeted for experimentation in 2017, the emerging answer is a cluster of technologies related to… Keep reading →

The Navy's UCAS demonstrator made history as the first drone to take off and land from an aircraft carrier. Its proposed successor is called UCLASS.

PENTAGON: The Navy’s new offices for unmanned systems — that’s drones or robots to you and me — are a long-overdue reform, two top experts tell us. But, as emphasized by both our outside sources and the new Navy officials themselves, it’s equally important to understand the initiative’s limits. This is not an overhaul of the… Keep reading →

Submarine launched cruise missile

WASHINGTON: Two years ago, Capt. John Zimmerman and his award-winning Navy team were testing a software upgrade for submarines when they ran into a surprising problem. When they changed the code controlling the Tomahawk missile launchers, the torpedo tubes stopped working. Fortunately, this all happened in a laboratory ashore before the upgrade got anywhere near the… Keep reading →

Wikimedia Commons

[UPDATED with TRADOC & additional Work comment] We’ve talked a lot in these pages about drones and robots, networks and swarms. But there’s new way of looking at these weapons that Bob Work made clear is at the heart of the Defense Department’s high-tech “Third Offset Strategy.” It’s an approach that relies not just on technology… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD: Pax River is a robot zoo today, showcasing unmanned vehicles from micro-mini-submarines — so small you can throw one like a football — to what appears to be a solar-powered canoe. More than 40 systems here from 30 projects and six nations were gathered by the US Office of… Keep reading →

CSBA slide

Washington’s gotten used to war on easy mode. Policymakers may debate the strategic value of air campaigns in places like Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, but they assume the smart bombs will hit their targets. One bomb, one target, one boom. That assumption is no longer safe, says a new study from the influential Center for… Keep reading →

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