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Packs of Robots Will Hunt Down Uncooperative Humans 395

Ostracus writes "The latest request from the Pentagon jars the senses. At least, it did mine. They are looking for contractors to 'develop a software/hardware suite that would enable a multi-robot team, together with a human operator, to search for and detect a non-cooperative human subject. The main research task will involve determining the movements of the robot team through the environment to maximize the opportunity to find the subject ... Typical robots for this type of activity are expected to weigh less than 100 Kg and the team would have three to five robots.'" To be fair, they plan to use the Multi-Robot Pursuit System for less nefarious-sounding purposes as well. They note that the robots would "have potential commercialization within search and rescue, fire fighting, reconnaissance, and automated biological, chemical and radiation sensing with mobile platforms."

Lockheed Martin Tests New Spacecraft Prototype 93

Hmmzis writes to tell us that Lockheed Martin is using Spaceport America to test a new prototype spacecraft. The prototype is only about one-fifth the size of the projected production model which promises to deliver satellites into orbit at a cheaper cost. "It looks a bit like the space shuttle and would fly to space and return the same way. But even the big version would not carry people, just satellites. The goal is to get to orbit faster and cheaper thanks to an automated reusable spacecraft run by its own computers and just a handful of people for a launch crew."

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