Uh Oh, They Strapped a Sniper Rifle to a Robot Dog

Ghost Robotics

For years, we’ve been warning that it was only a matter of time — and now, the inevitable has happened.

Somebody strapped an honest-to-god sniper rifle to the back of a quadrupedal robot dog.

An image shared on Twitter by military robot maker Ghost Robotics shows the terrifying contraption in all its dystopian glory.

“Keeping our [special ops] teams armed with the latest lethality innovation,” the caption reads.

 

It’s a nightmare come to life, a death machine designed to kill with precision on the battlefield.

“This is sad,” one Twitter user commented. “In what world is this a good idea? I bet police is salivating at the chance to use these.”

There’s a lot we don’t know about the machine, but according to an Instagram post by Sword International, a gun manufacturer, the machine is called the SPUR or Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle.

“The [SPUR] was specifically designed to offer precision fire from unmanned platforms such as the Ghost Robotics Vision-60 quadruped,” reads Sword’s website. “Due to its highly capable sensors the SPUR can operate in a magnitude of conditions, both day and night.”

We don’t know what level of autonomy the robot has or if it was designed to be fully remotely operated. We also don’t know who the machine was developed for.

The four-legged robot is lugging a sniper capable of shooting 6.5 millimeter Creedmoor cartridges, a rifle ammunition, which was developed with long-range target shooting in mind.

It’s a troubling new development. Any new robot built with the intent to kill should have us worried.

When it has a gun rack plus a place to attach a gun mount……….


Will This Jetpack Fly Itself? Startup aims to make piloting a jetpack as easy as flying a drone

Jetpacks might sound fun, but learning how to control a pair of jet engines strapped to your back is no easy feat. Now a British startup wants to simplify things by developing a jetpack with an autopilot system that makes operating it more like controlling a high-end drone than learning how to fly.

Jetpacks made the leap from sci-fi to the real world as far back as the 1960s, but since then the they haven’t found much use outside of gimmicky appearances in movies and halftime shows. In recent years though, the idea has received renewed interest. And its proponents are keen to show that the technology is no longer just for stuntmen and may even have practical applications.

American firm Jetpack Aviation will teach anyone to fly its JB-10 jetpack for a cool $4,950 and recently sold its latest JB-12 model to an “undisclosed military.” And an Iron Man-like, jet-powered flying suit developed by British start-up Gravity Industries has been tested as a way for marines to board ships and as a way to get medics to the top of mountains quickly.

Flying jetpacks can take a lot of training to master though. That’s what prompted Hollywood animatronics expert Matt Denton and Royal Navy Commander Antony Quinn to found Maverick Aviation, and develop one that takes the complexities of flight control out the pilot’s hands.

The Maverick Jetpack features four miniature jet turbines attached to an aluminum, titanium and carbon fiber frame, and will travel at up to 30 miles per hour. But the secret ingredient is software that automatically controls the engines to maintain a stable hover, and seamlessly convert the pilot’s instructions into precise movements.

“It’s going to be very much like flying a drone,” says Denton. “We wanted to come up with something that anyone could fly. It’s all computer-controlled and you’ll just be using the joystick.”

One of the key challenges, says Denton, was making the engines responsive enough to allow the rapid tweaks required for flight stabilization. This is relatively simple to achieve on a drone, whose electric motors can be adjusted in a blink of an eye, but jet turbines can take several seconds to ramp up and down between zero and full power.

To get around this, the company added servos to each turbine that let them move independently to quickly alter the direction of thrust—a process known as thrust vectoring. By shifting the alignment of the four engines the flight control software can keep the jetpack perfectly positioned using feedback from inertial measurement units, GPS, altimeters and ground distance sensors. Simple directional instructions from the pilot can also be automatically translated into the required low-level tweaks to the turbines.

It’s a clever way to improve the mobility of the system, says Ben Akih-Kumgeh, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at Syracuse University. “It’s not only a smart way of overcoming any lag that you may have, but it also helps with the lifespan of the engine,” he adds. “[In] any mechanical system, the durability depends on how often you change the operating conditions.”

The software is fairly similar to a conventional drone flight controller, says Denton, but they have had to accommodate some additional complexities. Thrust magnitude and thrust direction have to be managed by separate control loops due to their very different reaction times, but they still need to sync up seamlessly to coordinate adjustments. The entire control process is also complicated by the fact that the jetpack has a human strapped to it.

“Once you’ve got a shifting payload, like a person who’s wobbling their arms around and moving their legs, then it does become a much more complex problem,” says Denton.

In the long run, says Denton, the company hopes to add higher-level functions that could allow the jetpack to move automatically between points marked on a map. The hope is that by automating as much of the flight control as possible, users will be able to focus on the task at hand, whether that’s fixing a wind turbine or inspecting a construction site.

Surrendering so much control to a computer might give some pause for thought, but Denton says there will be plenty of redundancy built in. “The idea will be that we’ll have plenty of fallback modes where, if part of the system fails, it’ll fall back to a more manual flight mode,” he said. “The user would have training to basically tackle any of those conditions.”

It might be sometime before you can start basic training, though, as the company has yet to fly their turbine-powered jetpack. Currently, flight testing is being conducted on an scaled down model powered by electric ducted fans, says Denton, though their responsiveness has been deliberately dulled so they behave like turbines. The company is hoping to conduct the first human test flights next summer.

Don’t get your hopes up about commuting to work by jetpack any time soon though, says Akih-Kumgeh. The huge amount of noise these devices produce make it unlikely that they would be allowed to operate within city limits. The near term applications are more likely to be search and rescue missions where time and speed trump efficiency, he says.

I wonder why gun grabbers were pushing RFID in ‘smart guns’………..


Military Units Track Guns Using Tech That Could Aid Foes

Determined to keep track of their guns, some U.S. military units have turned to a technology that could let enemies detect troops on the battlefield, The Associated Press has found.

The rollout on Army and Air Force bases continues even though the Department of Defense itself describes putting the technology in firearms as a “significant” security risk.

The Marines have rejected radio frequency identification technology in weapons for that very reason, and the Navy said this week that it was halting its own dalliance.

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Banned Chinese Surveillance Tech is Being Used by US Authorities to Track Criminals in Realtime

In an eight-month pursuit of a young couple from Minnesota suspected of arson during the George Floyd riots last summer, law enforcement might have used blacklisted facial recognition technology, reported The New York Times.

According to federal authorities, Jose Felan, 34, set a fire at a Goodwill in Minneapolis and other fires at a school and gas station. His wife, Iraq-born Mena Yousif, 22, helped him avoid arrest by law enforcement authorities. The couple was on the run from mid-June 2020 to February this year, when they were arrested in Mexico.

According to the report, the eight-month hunt for the young couple “exposed an emerging global surveillance system that might one day find anyone, anywhere, the technology traveling easily over borders while civil liberties struggle to keep pace.”

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Second Amendment will be Nullified if ‘Common Use’ is Restricted to ‘Popularity’

“The Second Amendment protects modern weapons,” Judge Roger T. Benitez observed in his landmark Miller v. Bonta ruling striking down California’s so-called “assault weapons” ban. He was citing Caetano v. Massachusettsa 2016 United States Supreme Court decision vacating a woman’s conviction for carrying a stun gun for self-defense.

“The Court has held that ‘the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,’” the High Court, citing the Heller case, unanimously held. “In this case, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts upheld a Massachusetts law prohibiting the possession of stun guns after examining ‘whether a stun gun is the type of weapon contemplated by Congress in 1789 as being protected by the Second Amendment.’”

Aside from the obvious, no-nonsense assertions of Founding-era voices such as Tench Coxe (“every terrible implement of the soldier”) and James Madison (see “militia” observations in Federalist No. 46), it helps to understand another gun-grabber lie, that the Founders only had single-shot muskets and couldn’t have imagined technological advancements leading to more lethal weaponry.

Firearms technology from long before their time included Fourteenth Century multiple-barreled volley guns and a design by Leonardo DaVinci for a rotating triple-barrel breech-loading cannon. The Founding Era had already seen pepperbox revolvers, Kentucky/Pennsylvania rifles, cartridges to combine shot and powder, the British breech-loading Ferguson rifle, the 11-cylinder crank-operated Puckle gun, and the Girandoni air rifle, capable of firing 22 .46 caliber balls and that had actually been used by the Austrian army 11 years before the Bill of Rights was ratified. And the above is by no means an exhaustive list.

The Founders were enlightened men, schooled in classical, political, and legal history, aware of current developments (and in cases like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, innovators and inventors themselves), and visionaries with eyes toward the future, and to “secur[ing] the Blessings of Liberty to … Posterity.”

Oblivious to that, Constitutional and historical illiterates, like the head of the oxymoronically named “Texas Gun Sense,” are getting ink spreading astonishingly ignorant assertions like “There weren’t automatic weapons or 100-round magazine capacities in the guns 100 years ago.” And, like useful idiots, they’re making such moronic pronouncements for Chinese communist propagandists (who want Americans disarmed and live Chairman Mao’s maxim that “Political power grows from the barrel of a gun”).

That’s bad enough, but the grabbers then bring those arguments into court cases and equally corrupt judges then create “settled law.”  As the Brady Center argued in a brief supporting the State of Maryland’s semiauto and magazine ban:

“Suppose, for example, that a new, unregulated and highly lethal weapon were developed before a statute was enacted. When first offered for sale, the weapon would not be protected because it would not be in common use. However, under Plaintiffs’ theory, if sales of the weapon grew explosively over the next year, prior to any legislation, then the weapon would, within that short time frame, become constitutionally protected, even though a ban would have been permissible had the legislature acted just a few months earlier. Such an approach makes little sense.”

That’s the crux—if new developments in weaponry can be denied to We the People, then it’s just a matter of time before the disparity between what the government has and what the people have will be as wide as if we were relegated to Brown Bess muskets and flintlocks against modern infantry. Unless “in common use at the time” is held to mean by soldiers in the field, with real “weapons of war,” as opposed to a sporting arms popularity contest,  the Second Amendment will be nullified as a last-resort defense against foreign and domestic tyranny.

To argue otherwise is to argue the Founders thought sending an outmatched yeomanry to their slaughter was “necessary to the security of a free State.” That’s insane.

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