Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Chembots are Coming! It's Just Like "Terminator 2"!

No, not really.

"Pentagon Researchers Unveil Blob-Like Robot"
FOXNews (October 20, 2009)

" The Pentagon has unveiled a new 'chemical robot' that's half liquid, half solid…and all weird.

"The new robot — which scientist are calling a ChemBot — moves by inflating and deflating parts of its body via a process called jamming. This causes its skin to change between semi-liquid and semi-solid states. Researchers say it could one day help save lives on the battle field.

"Foxnews.com spoke with Ward Carroll, the editor of military.com, about the chembot.

" 'Jamming is simply introducing air into a membrane that's filled with particulate matter— BBs, if you will,' he explained. 'The plan is that this robot would go where other robots can't go, because it can change from a solid to a liquid-like state.'..."

I could write some 'scare' copy, comparing chembots to the living-metal robot from "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," but you can read that sort of thing in the more 'relevant' blogs.

Like so many prototypes, today's chembot doesn't look all that impressive:

(From FOXNews.com, used w/o permission)

(From FOXNews.com, used w/o permission)

Actually, it reminds me of a bean bag. That can flex.

As the article points out, these chembots are at the "proof of concept" stage now. Since the gadget actually does change shape on cue, technicians and researchers can go on to develop versions that'll do something more than just show they can move.

One of the obvious applications is intelligence-gathering.

Interesting days, these that we're in.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.