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Friday, July 12, 2013

Freaky Friday - When Life Imitates Art

I recently reread I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. I'd read it years ago but became interested in it once again when I came across some research into the use of robotics in the military. The book was considered complete science fiction when it was first released. Those who thought robots could be in our lives some day thought it would occur centuries from now.

But the past fifty years - and even the last twenty - have shown us tremendous strides in all area of science and technology.

Robots are routinely used in detecting improvised explosive devices (IED's), originally in Iraq and Afghanistan, saving an untold number of lives. The device doesn't look anything like us - it's on wheels, is small, and boxy. But to the guys who routinely work with them, they care about their robot.

Then there's the work DARPA is doing. In my latest book, The Pendulum Files, I needed a scene involving the military and advanced technology. Enter DARPA. A real government agency, DARPA stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Their research is truly something out of Isaac Asimov's books: exoskeletons for our soldiers, robots that look more like humans...

Their work employs some of the brightest minds in the world in biology, chemistry, medicine, physics, astrophysics, engineering and mathematics, to name a few. Their work involves ground, sea and space, including superiority in outerspace.

Below is a fascinating video of just a few of the robots DARPA has developed. Imagine sending robots into battle in future years instead of men; with speeds exceeding 18mph, no human could outrun them. With robots capable of jumping heights of two stories, no human could climb faster in an attempt to escape. Just imagine what our future holds...