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.”
Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change
Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”
Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.
However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.
The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.
“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.
“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.
“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”
“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.
Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.”
“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.
Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.
On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.
“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.
According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.
However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.
“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.
Man Finds Out His Grandparents’ Home Once Belonged To Girlfriend Of Serial Killer Ted Bundy
A user of Reddit has seemingly Adiscovered that his grandparents live in the same home where infamous serial killer Ted Bundy once lived.
In a post to the social platform, a photo of the user’s grandparents’ fireplace can be seen along with a picture displayed on a phone that shows a couple appearing to be posing in the same living room. The post reads: “Ted Bundy dated someone who used to live in my grandparents’ house.”
The well-known photo shows Ted Bundy embracing Elizabeth Kloepfer, who dated Bundy during his brutal killing spree that claimed about 30 lives between 1974 and 1978.
Klopfer later reported her boyfriend to the police after recognizing his face in a composite sketch. However, the police failed to apprehend him at the time due to the large influx of tips regarding possible suspects of the serial murders.
She later reported Bundy again after realizing that women were disappearing near Salt Lake City, Utah – not far from where the couple lived, and quite possibly where the home on Reddit is located.
However, this attempt also failed after a witness couldn’t identify the serial murderer in a line-up.
Bundy later allegedly scorched the head of one of his victims in the fireplace presumably pictured in the Reddit post before ditching the body in a mountain.
Bundy told then-detective Robert Keppel: “Of all the things I did to [Kloepfer], this is probably the one she is least likely to forgive me for. Poor Liz.”
Bundy was given the death penalty for his crimes and was finally executed on Jan. 24, 1989.
Redditors were convinced that the fireplace shown in the post was the same one that belonged to Kloepfer.
“That’s not ‘someone,’” one user wrote. “That’s THE one. He dated Liz for a majority of his active years.”
Another user added: “Right. And wasn’t he with Liz when he said he’d burned some body parts of a victim in a fireplace? Could this be THE fireplace?”
The original poster eventually returned to the thread to explain that they learned that the home did, indeed, once return to Kloepfer.
“The house was built for a doctor and his family who turned out to be Liz,” the poster wrote. “Liz dated Teddy for a good part of his active years and they broke up when he got arrested and had to leave the state I believe.”
“My family bought the house a few years ago with zero relation to ‘ol Teddy,” they added. “Just crazy coincidence!”
New York Times Publishes, Then Pulls, Strange Article About ‘Fields of Watermelons on Mars’
The New York Times has long been known as the “Grey Lady of Journalism,” reflecting the newspaper’s institutional identity as a credible and respectable source of daily news.
However, on Tuesday an extremely bizarre claim graced the pages of the “paper of record”: that fields of watermelons had been discovered on Mars, a discovery made by police.
The story, which appeared as a stub, was pulled within an hour of publication. However, an archived snapshot of the “scoop” still remains.
“Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons,” read the story, according to a cached copy from Google News. “The FBI declined to comment on reports of watermelons raining down, but confirmed that kiwis have been intercepted.”
“This story is terribly boring,” it read.
The article has been replaced with a message noting that the story had been “published in error.”
The fact that the publication was likely the result of either a prank or human error is clear based on the byline, which attributes the story to a “Joe Schmoe.”
According to Futurism, the newspaper hasn’t yet addressed the strange incident. However, the website speculates that it may well have been an erroneous publication of a some test of the company’s backend content management system.
It goes without saying that while NASA missions and a Chinese rover are scouring Mars for native life, no large melons or kiwis have been discovered on the Red Planet.
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