Robots’ New Challenge: Pentagon Boot Camp

They have been portrayed by Hollywood as deadly Terminators. They have been vilified as future automaton armies, hunting humans without conscience.

But these imposing robots, their makers say, are just here to help.

If all goes as planned, machines named THOR, Valkyrie and Atlas will rush in where humans fear to tread, rescuing earthquake victims and turning off potentially catastrophic radiation leaks.

To help developers come up with the rescue robots of the future, the Defense Department has embarked on a multimillion-dollar campaign. Competitors squared off Friday on a Nascar racetrack in Florida, where they engaged in a kind of slow-motion robot contest for survival—and for more Pentagon money.

Read the rest of this post on the original site »


Must-Reads from other Websites

Panos Mourdoukoutas

Why Apple Should Buy China’s Xiaomi

Paul Graham

What I Didn’t Say

Benjamin Bratton

We Need to Talk About TED

Mat Honan

I, Glasshole: My Year With Google Glass

Chris Ware

All Together Now

Corey S. Powell and Laurie Gwen Shapiro

The Sculpture on the Moon

About Voices

Along with original content and posts from across the Dow Jones network, this section of AllThingsD includes Must-Reads From Other Websites — pieces we’ve read, discussions we’ve followed, stuff we like. Six posts from external sites are included here each weekday, but we only run the headlines. We link to the original sites for the rest. These posts are explicitly labeled, so it’s clear that the content comes from other websites, and for clarity’s sake, all outside posts run against a pink background.

We also solicit original full-length posts and accept some unsolicited submissions.

Read more »