Researchers for the U.S. Army are hoping to formulate a new shape-shifting material that can heal itself on its own in hopes to achieve the kind of futuristic killing technology famously depicted in the 1991 science-fiction film, Terminator 2.
In fact, the film’s villain, the T-1000, directly provided the inspiration to one of the Army engineers working on a project to develop “soft robotic” drones and unmanned aircraft based on flexible, self-repairing and self-reconfiguring materials, reports Military.com.
“We want a system of materials to simultaneously provide structure, sensing and response,” said Frank Gardea, an aerospace engineer at the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s (CCDC) Army Research Laboratory.
Gardea hopes that the U.S. Military will soon have future platforms for air and ground combat that possesses the “reconfiguration characteristics of the T-1000 character in the Hollywood film, ‘Terminator 2,'” he said in an Army statement.
In the blockbuster film, the T-1000 created by Skynet is described as being an “advanced prototype” made of a “mimetic pollyalloy” or “liquid metal.” The villainous cyborg portrayed by actor Robert Patrick was able to transform its arms into sword-like stabbing weapons and self-heal after sustaining various types of wounds ranging from pistol shots to 12-guage shotgun blasts and even a direct hit from a 40mm grenade launcher.
Gardea’s team, which worked alongside scientists at Texas A&M University, is hoping to develop a new epoxy material capable of “massive reconfigurability,” the ability to heal autonomously in the air or underwater, and embedded intelligence that would grant it the ability to adapt to its environment free of any direct external control.
.@USArmy researchers and our Texas A&M University partners explore self-healing materials https://t.co/AYJddNMLBn This material has a dynamic bond that allows it to go from liquid to solid multiple times, which allows it to be 3-D printed and recycled. @armyfutures @usarmyccdc pic.twitter.com/ZEIUv89JuP
— U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory (@ArmyResearchLab) August 17, 2020
Fortunately, the team working out of the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground facility in Maryland hasn’t yet devised the sort of unstoppable killing machine depicted in the Terminator series – however, they have developed a 3D-printed, flexible polymer with a “unique shape memory behavior” that can be programmed to remember and snap back to certain shapes, and can even be repeatedly melted down and reused.
“Most cross-linked materials, especially those that are 3D printed, tend to have a fixed form, meaning that, once you manufacture your part, the material cannot be reprocessed or melted,” Gardea explained, adding that the material has a “dynamic bond that allows it to go from liquid to solid multiple times, which allows it to be 3D printed and recycled.”
Gardea says that the development provides “a first step along a very long path toward realizing the scientific possibility for deep future platforms.”
This isn’t the first time that U.S. military technologists have compared their developments to the artificial intelligence-equipped cyborgs depicted in James Cameron’s Terminator series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, which revolved around time-traveling military robots that “can’t be reasoned with [and] doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear,” as one character in the original film says.
'An Army engineer working on soft robotics says that his work is directly inspired by the T-1000, the shape-shifting (and fictional) robot villain from the 1991 James Cameron blockbuster “Terminator 2.”'
— Sarah O'Connor (@Sara_Lisabeth) August 20, 2020
The U.S. Navy has worked on developing a 135-ton autonomous unmanned surface vehicle (USV) named the Sea Hunter, which would provide an autonomous platform for anti-submarine and electronic warfare as well as serving as a decoy in any live-fire clash involving human forces.
The prospect of AI-guided warfare has alarmed critics, who believe that an overreliance on computerized and autonomous weapons on the battlefield poses the risk of leaving complex ethical choices about who lives or dies in the hands of algorithms, rather than humans.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has been at the forefront of these concerns, raising concerns over how autonomous weapon systems “would decide who lives and dies, without further human intervention, which crosses a moral threshold,” according to its website.
Last year, former top Google engineer Laura Nolan told the Guardian that she had joined the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots because the robot systems envisioned by Big Tech firms and militaries could potentially do “calamitous things that they were not originally programmed for.”
Video Showing UFOs Swarming Navy Warship is Real, Pentagon Confirms
Late last month, reports emerged that a number of U.S. Navy guided missile destroyers sailing off the coast near Los Angeles encountered a swarm of strange unidentified flying objects or drones in 2019. While Navy investigators looked into the strange incident, no explanation has since been given.
However, new footage has been leaked to documentary filmmaker Jeremy Corbell that shows the strange flying objects swarming above one of the ships, and the Pentagon has confirmed that the videos are authentic.
“I can confirm that the referenced photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel,” a Department of Defense spokesperson told Futurism.
In the brief footage, which appears to have been recorded with night vision cameras, triangular or pyramid-shaped objects can be seen hovering above the deck of a Navy destroyer.
According to Corbell, the Pentagon has gone to great lengths to disavow any connection to the swarming UAVs.
“This was taken on deployment from the USS Russell,” Corbell told Mystery Wire. “It shows what they described as vehicles. And they made a great distinction. They made sure in this classified briefing, they made a great distinction that this is not something that we own either a black project, this is not something of a foreign military, that these were behaving in ways that we did not expect.“
“And that they were you know shaped non aerodynamically,” he added. “Like pyramids, these are flying pyramids!”
The video, as well as a number of photos from the incident, have all been gathered by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, a group tasked with investigating encounters between the different service branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and a number of unidentified flying objects.
While officials have been baffled by the unknown flying objects, in recent years the Pentagon has been more vocal about past encounters, which they describe as having been frequent. Officials have also discouraged the use of the acronym “UFOs,” instead opting to describe them as unidentified aerial phenomena or UAPs.
Prince Philip Joke About Reincarnating as Deadly Virus to ‘Solve Overpopulation’ Resurfaces
The Friday announcement of the death of Prince Philip elicited a range of reactions on social media, with some users eulogizing the late royal while others used the occasion to heap mockery upon the British monarchy.
However, others also shared an old quote from the Prince Philip where he bizarrely suggested that after he died, his wish would be that he is reincarnated as a deadly virus in order to help solve the so-called problem of overpopulation.
The decidedly anti-social quote was taken from a 2009 article published by The Guardian that listed out a number of controversial and generally distasteful quotes from the Queen’s husband on various subjects.
The full quote read: “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.”
Tweeting a screenshot of the quote, user Riya said: “WHAT THE F*CK.”
While others replied to the misanthropic quote with a reference to the ongoing pandemic:
The Daily Express notes that the quote originates from a joking comment about deadly viruses that the prince made in a 1988 interview with Deutsche Press-Agentur. The quote was also widely shared during the initial outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Buckingham Palace announced the death of Prince Philip, royal consort to Queen Elizabeth II, on Friday morning.
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the announcement read. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
Company Sells Sex Robot ‘Clones’ Of Dead Partners Using 3D-Modeling Technology
For many people who have lost their significant others, sex dolls have provided one way to ease the pain of grief and loneliness.
However, sex robot company Lux Botics is taking things one step further – by offering a clone of dead partners using state-of-the-art three-dimensional modeling.
With demand for sex dolls booming amid the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns across the world, Lux Botics is offering “ultra-realistic humanoids” to satisfy the carnal needs of the singles without any other recourse.
The company’s flagship “Adult Companion” model called Stephanie goes for USD $6,000 on the Lux Botics website.
The model includes speech control, facial recognition, a “hyper realistic eyes” option and even the option of implanted real hair, as well as limited AI capabilities.
However, the company also offers the option of creating a facsimile of a lost loved one.
The company can either create a 3D model through detailed modeling prior to it being printed in ultra-fine resolution, or it can rely on photos of the individual.
A mould would then be constructed based on the 3D model, complete with a robot skeleton. The robot is then painted and fitted with the lips, nails, eyebrows and other features the customer chooses.
“We can make robots that talk but we have not made robots that truly walk on their own,” Lux Botics co-founder Bjorn told Daily Star UK. “We hope to develop this in the near future. We can make a large number of body parts that can move in a realistic manner.”
While the company hasn’t yet created body doubles, Lux Botics is offering the choice to customers.
Since the start of the pandemic, people have been desperate to cope with the solitude of self-isolation and lockdown measures. While many have resorted to traditional measures like purchasing a pet or using dating apps, sex doll sales have also skyrocketed as people seek an emotional crutch.
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