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RE: Robots
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Ethical implications of robots in war

This report has provided the motivation, philosophy, formalisms, representational requirements, architectural design criteria, recommendations, and test scenarios to design and construct an autonomous robotic system architecture capable of the ethical use of lethal force. These first steps toward that goal are very preliminary and subject to major revision, but at the very least they can be viewed as the beginnings of an ethical robotic warfighter. The primary goal remains to enforce the International Laws of War in the battlefield in a manner that is believed achievable, by creating a class of robots that not only conform to International Law but outperform human soldiers in their ethical capacity.
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Intelligent robot vendor iRobot this week licensed Laser Radar or Ladar technology for use in its line of military robots, a move that could result in a new line of machines that can see and operate more effectively in dangerous situations. Such small, advanced robots could be deployed in less than a year, experts said.
Specifically the robot-maker is licensing Advanced Scientific Concepts' 3-D flash Ladar which uses laser beams to scan and process targets. The system has the ability to create a virtual 3D picture of an entire area.

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A new US Defence Department report reflects military needs and goals in acquiring improved unmanned systems during the decades ahead, a senior official told Pentagon reporters here today.
Titled, Unmanned Systems Roadmap: 2007-2032, the report looks at how the U.S. military should proceed in developing, acquiring and integrating air-, land- and sea-based unmanned technology over the next 25 years, Dyke Weatherington, deputy director of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force, said at a news conference. The task force is within the office of the undersecretary of defence for acquisition, technology and logistics.

The publication of this most-recent roadmap will further our strategic planning and our overall objective of developing, procuring and integrating unmanned systems into the force structure of the Department of Defence to support our various military mission capabilities - Dyke Weatherington.

The document is the result of more than 18 months of work between the department, the services and other military and government agencies.

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Pleo
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Ugobe spent years developing its first robot, a journey pockmarked with missteps, delays, and unfortunate production surprises. Yet, the time spent appears to have paid off. The company's pricey robotic dinosaur, Pleo, will charm and wheedle its way into your heart like a real live pet, and it could help pave the way for a robot renaissance.
Weighing 3.5 pounds and standing roughly 7.5 inches high, Pleo is a brightly coloured, fully articulated and autonomous robot dinosaur that expertly responds to touch, visual stimuli and physical positioning (am I standing up, lying down, being hung by my tail?). Its bright blue eyes open and close to simulate life, though they can't actually see anything. Pleo's main image sensor, a colour camera, is in its nose. There are also infrared sensors in its snout and mouth.

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Pleo is the exciting, adorable baby robot dinosaur, or artificial life form, that is taking the world by storm. Unlike other robot toys, Pleo has feeling and desires of his or her own. Pleos endearing lifelike movements and wonderfully realistic emotions will capture your imagination and steal your heart away.
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We're not used to thinking of them this way. But many advanced military weapons are essentially robotic -- picking targets out automatically, slewing into position, and waiting only for a human to pull the trigger. Most of the time. Once in a while, though, these machines start firing mysteriously on their own. The South African National Defence Force "is probing whether a software glitch led to an antiaircraft cannon malfunction that killed nine soldiers and seriously injured 14 others during a shooting exercise on Friday."

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RV Kaharoa
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Ocean robots to hit target thanks to New Zealand
It has travelled over 65 000 nautical miles, endured big seas, and even survived a harbour-side raid by pirates, all to deploy ocean-profiling Argo floats. Now another Argo deployment from the NIWA research vessel Kaharoa is almost certain to mark a feat of worldwide scientific importance.
The global ocean observing network, Argo, is nudging its target of 3000 operational floats taking the pulse of the worlds oceans. The 3000th float is almost certain to be one of the 64 being deployed by NIWAs RV Kaharoa on its Argo3000 voyage from Wellington to Valparaiso, Chile.

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In the kingdom of floor-hugging artificial intelligence, the one-eyed robot is king
Who could stay away from a keynote promising to demonstrate the latest in home robot technology? Not me. It doesn't matter whether the robots have been elegantly crafted to delicately perform surgery on the human body or if they've been bolted together with the sole purpose of destroying anything in their path (remember the show Robot Wars?), I hear the word robot and I'm automatically interested. I suspect most technophiles feel the same way.

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The WD-2 robot is a pretty amazing piece of technology. It can't walk, talk, compute awesomely complex equations, or carry heavy objects. What it can do, however, is morph to look like anyone's face. Created by researchers at Tokyo University, the WD-2 has "17 facial points, for a total of 56 degrees of freedom".



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Here is video from Popular Science of Ugobe's new robotic lifeform, Pleo



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