Sunday, December 1, 2019

Boston Dynamics

What follows is an excerpt from Ally Jarmanning's 11-25-19 article entitled "Mass. State Police Tested Out Boston Dynamics’ Spot The Robot Dog. Civil Liberties Advocates Want To Know More":

Cops have long had dogs, and robots, to help them do their jobs. And now, they have a robot dog.
Massachusetts State Police is the first law enforcement agency in the country to use Boston Dynamics' dog-like robot, called Spot. While the use of robotic technology is not new for state police, the temporary acquisition of Spot — a customizable robot some have called “terrifying” — is raising questions from civil rights advocates about how much oversight there should be over police robotics programs.
The state’s bomb squad had Spot on loan from the Waltham-based Boston Dynamics for three months starting in August until November, according to records obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and reviewed by WBUR.
The documents do not reveal a lot of details on the robot dog’s exact use, but a state police spokesman said Spot, like the department’s other robots, was used as a “mobile remote observation device” to provide troopers with images of suspicious devices or potentially hazardous locations, like where an armed suspect might be hiding.
“Robot technology is a valuable tool for law enforcement because of its ability to provide situational awareness of potentially dangerous environments,” state police spokesman David Procopio wrote.
To read Jarmanning's entire article click HERE

Compare the telltale movements of "Spot" (and friends) with Dion Fuller's sighting of a pack of robots in San Diego, as described to me in extensive detail back in 2003. What follows is an excerpt from my 2015 nonfiction book CHAMELEO (pp. 46-47): "The next night [they] saw what Dion described as a dozen or so robots marching down the beach, in jerky, stop-start motions like a Dynamation figure from a 1950s Ray Harryhausen movie. Dion said he wasn't sure how to describe it, but it looked like the things were leapfrogging sideways. For a moment it seemed as if the creatures were going to topple over, then they would suddenly leap up about fifteen to twenty feet in the air. These things appeared quite creepy marching along the moonlit beach, so Dion and his friend got the hell out of there quick."

Compare Dion's description with this Feb. 2009 video (which originated as a segment on the Army news channel The Benning Report) uploaded from the Boston Dynamics website. Note the comment made at 1:39 by Lieutenant Colonel Matthew England: "They're pushing the envelope on reality as we know it." It's doubtful that even Lt. Col. England understood the full implications of that statement.

While you're at it, review this 4-20-09 Boston Business Journal article entitled "Big Dog Maker Tests Humanoid ‘Petman’ Robot, Hopping ‘Bot":

Boston Dynamics Inc., maker of the YouTube sensation BigDog robot, reports it is developing two robots: A humanoid robot to test soldier uniforms and a hopping robot for navigating urban environments.

The humanoid robot, PETMAN (protection ensemble test mannequin), is planned to be used for high-fidelity testing of chemical protection suits under chemical warfare agent exposure conditions. The robot is intended to balance itself and walk, aim, crawl and perform suit-stressing calisthenics.  The robot will also mimic human physiology within the protective suit, simulating the act of sweating, for example.

The PETMAN robot is a $26.3 million U.S. Army project.  Boston Dynamics is working with the Midwest Research Institute, Measurement Technology Northwest, Smith Carter USA and HHI Corp. on the robot, which is expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2011.    

The Waltham robotics company also reports it has landed a deal from the Sandia National Laboratories to develop the Precision Urban Hopper, a four-wheeled robot with one leg to facilitate jumping over obstacles. The robot is intended to navigate autonomously and jump 25 feet in the air.  

Development of the robot is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Immediately below is an official Boston Dymanics video entitled "PETMAN Tests Camo" (uploaded to YouTube on 4-5-13) 

Here's Boston Dymanics' description of the above video: "The PETMAN robot was developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from the DoD CBD program. It is used to test the performance of protective clothing designed for hazardous environments. The video shows initial testing in a chemical protection suit and gas mask. PETMAN has sensors embedded in its skin that detect any chemicals leaking through the suit. The skin also maintains a micro-climate inside the clothing by sweating and regulating temperature. Partners in developing PETMAN were MRIGlobal, Measurement Technology Northwest, Smith Carter, SRD, CUH2A, and HHI."

No comments:

Post a Comment