Showing posts with label Drones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drones. Show all posts

May 28, 2019

Robots In Rockville


Had some fun driving around this cool little Robot in Rockville Town Center.

I like to try out the latest gadgets. 

It's funny people's reactions when they see these. 

They're still not quite sure what to make of these. 

Robots on the street.

Drones overhead.

Submersibles in the water.

Soon they will all be autonomous, ubiquitous, and essential.

And people will be the side attraction. ;-)

(Source Video: Dossy Blumenthal)
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November 28, 2018

Don't Just Sit There

Really liked this robot (Cubebot) in the store.

Love the colors and that you can change the pose in all different ways. 

This robot is pretty darn cute!

It's funny in this sitting position though.

Just want to say: 
Don't just sit there, do something!

Probably not that long before robots will be all over the place.

We'll wish for just a little privacy from the darn things, just like from our 24/7 computer gadgets that we can't let go of now.

Yes, we're hopelessly dependent on the technology--it's so helpful and we love it, but we can't turn it off. 

They won't be sitting for long. 

Robots--big and small, alone and in swarms, male and female, strong and intricate, smart and simple, worker and homemaker, doer and helper, companion and lover, where will it stop--it won't. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 25, 2018

Obsolesce Of Nuclear Weapons


This is one incredible video. 

It shows the killing power of micro killer drones. 

With a host of cameras and other sensors including facial recognition and GPS, plus a small amount of explosives, these drones can target individuals or critical infrastructure and take them out!

The drones can work alone or in swarms to get into and kill or destroy anything. 

No VIP (very important person) or CIP (critical infrastructure protected) is safe. 

We can wipe out entire cities or the nuclear infrastructure of our enemies. 

Despite the warning about artificial intelligence at the end of this video, rest assured these killer microdrones are coming. 

Big is the new small, and small is the new big. 

In fact, big things come in small packages--exactly!  

Iran and North Korea are chasing obsolete technology to harm the U.S. and Israel, and within a short time, they will see the error of their malevolent ways 

G-d foretells us all in the Bible and like David and Goliath--a slingshot to the forehead and the fight with the evil is over. ;-)

(Thank you to Itzchak for sharing this video with me). 
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June 9, 2017

Drones Vs. Man

I took this photo of this man and drone in Florida. 

Look how close this machine is flying to his head!

Aside from the surveillance capabilities and offsetting privacy issues, these are bringing some dangerous fighting capabilities anywhere and everywhere.

Just today, I read about how the U.S. shot down an armed Syrian drone--presumably made and deployed by Iran!

I guess it's not proprietary technology anymore!

As drones and robots become better, faster, and cheaper and ubiquitous on the battlefield and on main street, who will be (relatively) safe anymore? 

Unless of course, my drones are stronger than your drones!

It's going to be a war of technology and machines more than ever before. 

Small ones like insects, swarms of them like engulfing locust, and large ones like Godzilla. 

What was once human flesh against a steel blade, arrow, and then bullet is now going to be an superfast artificially intelligent, armed to the hilt "man of steel" (and they don't miss) against just regular everyday people.

Don't hurt your hand punching that Robot in the face. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 3, 2016

Last Man Standing Wins

So it has always amazed me how until modern times, armies would line up and face-off on the battlefield to basically bash each others skulls in. 

Whether in medieval times or in the civil war...it goes something like this. 


- Red coats line up on this side. 

- Blue coats line up on that side. 

- Everyone pull out their weapons.

- Scream your bloody heads off.

- And run towards each other swinging. 

- The last man standing from either side is the winning army!

How brilliant is that? 

Basically, mass suicide for both sides (like trying to take the hill running straight into machine gun fire). 

These days, there is a notion at least of using stealth, smart bombs, and sending in drones or robots, so as not to risk real people's lives unnecessarily. 

But I guess that takes the fun out of it--can't slice and dice and smash the enemy with your bare hands.

Last weekend, I watched people who like to fight the old fashioned way, dress up in medieval gear, take their sides on the field in the park, and go at it. 

They had swords, and clubs, and javelins, and bow and arrows, and more.  

They even had roles, and one guy I talked to was actually the king for one side of the fight--and apparently you have to earn that role in battle and in council vote. 

On the battlefield then the people get together and go at it hitting each other with some pretty scary weapons that fortunately are (mostly) padded, but still they seemed to get some pretty good zets!

Honestly, it sort of looked like a lot of fun and good exercise, but probably (more than) a little dangerous too. 

I saw one combatant coming off the field, taking off his outfit as it was pretty hot out, and he literally had layers of shielding on, so aside from seeing them take hits again and again, I could see that they felt they needed the protection. 

What was also interesting watching this--and I understand sometimes they get about 150 people on the field at a time to go at it--is that people seem to really want to go back in time to the way things were...more natural, more real, and even more deadly--up close and personal!

We are so much in a virtual world or like Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX and Tesla) said living in a simulation, that there is just a wild yearning and craving to get back to nature, basics, and what's tangible and real. 

Even if it means bashing heads on a hot Summer's day...and reenacting the times of lore...put your smartphones down and pull out your swords and clubs--it's a new day and age. ;-) 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 13, 2016

2016 Technology Advances - Doing Well Sir

In just the last few days and weeks, I have been astonished at the progress already being made towards the important technology advancements mentioned in Technology Forecast 2016

On the front for medical technology to fight cancer, just today it was announced that the foundation from Sean Parker (of Napster and Facebook) is providing a $250 million grant for a new cancer institute to advance the field of immunotherapy to boost the body's natural defenses (i.e. immune system) to fight the cancer.

In terms of space technology, famed astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking and venture capitalist, Yuri Milner are teaming up with a $100 million for research to develop "Starchips" (a nanocraft robot on a chip) for a voyage to another solar system 25 trillion miles away. 

Finally, there are advances for counter-terrorism technology on display with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announcing in February a pilot of new biometric technology kiosks to capture and compare facial and iris biometrics for travelers exiting the U.S. to compare with their entry data and ensure an end-to-end visitor entry/exit solution.  

I am pleased at the commitment and progress we are making in these critical technology areas, and sincerely hope that these efforts will flourish for us all in the not too distant future. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 8, 2016

We Just Keep Giving It All Away

How do these things keep happening to us?

We lost a high-tech Hellfire air-to- ground missile, accidentally sending it to Cuba, likely compromising critical sensor and GPS targeting technology to China, Russia, and/or North Korea. 

But it's not all that different from how many other examples, such as: 

- Chinese cyber espionage snared critical design secrets to the 5th generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

- Iran captured and purportedly decoded an RQ-170 Sentinel high-altitude reconnaissance drone.

- Russian spies stole U.S. nuclear secrets helping them to build their first atomic bomb.

We are the innovator for high-tech bar none, which is beautiful and a huge competitive advantage. 

But what good is it when we can't protect our intellectual property and national security secrets. 

The U.S. feeds the world not only with our agricultural, but with our knowledge.

Knowledge Management should be a mindful exercise that rewards our allies and friends and protects us from our enemies--and not a free-for-all where we we can't responsibly control our information. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to James Emery)
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October 13, 2015

Fantastic Drone Capabilities Coming


Exciting video by Futurism on what drones can and will do. 

Swarming.

Wall landings.

Acrobatics.

Drone on drone landings.

Playing catch.

Juggling.

Building a rope bridge. 

These little drones are so versatile and dexterous that perhaps what they can do is only limited by our imagination. 

Soon drones will do everything from caring for people's personal needs to building our cities, fighting diseases from within our very bodies, and conducting open warfare on the battlefield and behind enemy lines. 

Small and many is big and powerful! ;-)
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August 30, 2015

King Kong Puzzle

I took this photo in the local hobby store. 

It's a 3-D puzzle of the Empire State Building and at the top, King Kong holding onto the antenna!

Looks like a few pieces fell out of the building about 3/4 of the way up.

Or is that where ISIS terrorists blow their next hole in our skyscrapers again (G-d Forbid). 

With our retrenchment from the front lines all over the world--with the exception of some targeted drone strikes (actually very well done)--we are again at risk of letting the terrorists get the upper hand. 

We need strength and resolve--not lifting of sanctions, closing of Guantanamo, and withdrawal from the fight. 

Take them down, before they come to our shores--this is a fight that is multigenerational and there is no retreat from the top of the world when fighting for freedom and human rights. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 22, 2015

Drones Made Easy


OMG, this is awesome.

This Lily Camera Drone is "throw and go" and simply lands in your hand. 

You can set it to follow you--almost like a guardian angel-- or to lead you where you need to go. 

Records video, sound, can do slow motion, and takes photos.

It has a tracking device.

It's waterproof.

Awesome for extreme sports or personal surveillance.

Would like to be able to communicate with it by voice command, and also see what it sees and hear what it hears with augmented reality glasses or on a smartphone or wearable.

Finally, if only it would come with a laser to zap anybody or anything bad that may come at us--that could be reassuring. 

Costs = $619 and ships in May 2016.

That was easy.  ;-)
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June 8, 2015

The Robotization Of Society

First, it's people--just us, living and loving. 

Then, we welcome robots into our society for automation, industrialization, and services--they are here to help us.

Finally, it's just the robots--we, the people, are obsolete, replaced, maybe even completely gone!

Think about it. ;-)

(Source Comic: Andy Blumenthal)

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May 9, 2015

From Vintage to Modern Threats

Just wanted to share this short video captured of vintage fighter planes flying over the Washington Monument in D.C. on Friday, May 8.

This was in commemoration of 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. 

My father (A'H) used to tell me about when he was in England during the war and the Nazi bombers would fly over and carpet bomb them in a blitzkrieg.

This happened night after night, and so adaptive as people are, they sort of got used to the bombardment, if that is possible to say. 

After a while, instead of taking safety behind closed doors at home, people returned to go to the movies and dancing at night, even while the buildings next door were still being blown up--to the right and the left of them. 

In the morning, those who survived would get up, and see what was knocked down and what still standing. 

Hard to imagine living that way!

Now with new more destructive weapons (WMD, ICBMs, EMPs, etc.), we can only imagine that the destructive aftermath of WW II would be nothing in comparison to what a round III would be like.

It is crucial that we maintain our innovativeness and military superiority and not only offensively to defeat the enemy, but defensively so that we can stop whatever is coming at us whether a dirty bomb in suitcase, an ebola-type virus in an infected person or food, a drone carrying anthrax, or malware over the network.

We have come a long way in the last 70 years technologically, but the risk and stakes have also never been higher. ;-)

(Source Video: Minna Blumenthal)
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January 27, 2015

Trouble In Protection Land

The Secret Service is one of the finest agencies in the Federal government, but unfortunately, the "recreational" drone crash landing at the White House was a protection disaster this week.

(And it comes on the heels of knife-wielding assailants running wild through the front doors of the White House, people taking pot shots at the White House, and even planes crash landing there). 

This time it was perhaps, a small drone innocently passing low without a significant radar signature unto the White House grounds, but next time it may be a miniaturized drone the size of an insect that attacks the President or his senior staff in the White House itself. 

This could happen with a pin prick of poison or a small drone carrying explosives, biological, or chemical weapons. 

We are entering a new dimension of threats that are not easily addressed with existing technology. 

It is said the the President is proverbially protected by a bubble of defenses around him, but where we are going is that this bubble may need to become an actual physical bubble that nothing, not even an insect drone can get through. 

It may sound ridiculous, but it may be the only way (for now) to really protect against these threats that literally fly beneath our radar!

Perhaps at some future time, we will have our swarms of defensive drones that go after any attack drone, no matter how small or how many, but in the meantime, we must protect our critical leadership and assets. 

Almost two years ago, I blogged about robots, drones, and commandos in exoskeletons attacking the White House and our not being prepared with adequate defenses and counter-measures.

This week's drone crash should be making the alarm bells go off on this issue big time now!

We must move past reactive steps and a failure to anticipate and become true forward-thinkers, strategists, planners, enterprise architects, and futurists. 

The protection of our leaders, institutions, critical infrastructure, and people depend upon true out of the box thinking, not doing the same thing but on a different day. 

The time is now to think about protections from much more than traditional attack patterns to the wildest and craziest we can imagine--because our enemies are not hampered by the past and won't rest until they see what we won't. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to David Illig)
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November 27, 2014

Drones Neighbor Against Neighbor

Fascinating perspective in the New York Times today on the future diabolical use of drones.

Yes, drones can be used for defense, law enforcement, search and rescue, neighborhood watch, agriculture, and even Amazon or Pizza Hut deliveries. 

But what about the darker side of drones--used neighbor against neighbor, where anyone can buy a fairly sophisticated drone for merely hundreds of dollars and use it against others in the community.

- Want to use the (surveillance) camera to spy on your neighbor?

- Want to use its claws to pick up and steal something?

- Want to airlift and plant evidence or contraband and frame someone unjustly?

- Want to distract someone or cause an accident or fatality?

Ok, I am going a lot further than the NYT article...but really what prevents people from doing these things and more?

The article does mention new FAA policies "prohibiting drones from flying [over stadiums] near major sporting events."

But think about a drone in the hands of a terrorist with a dirty bomb or G-d forbid, even a WMD, and the drone swooping into a densely populated area like a stadium or even Times Square...what would prevent this--perhaps, nothing?

Think about it...this is about to become a lot more dangerous world because drones are not just for the good guys anymore, and the bad guys may not care about FAA regulations and penalties. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to outacontext)
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September 24, 2014

Dexterous Drones


Ok, after the da Vinci System that uses robotics to conduct surgeries this many not seem like such a feat, but think again.

While da Vinci is fully controlled by the surgeon, this Drone from Drexel University that can turn valves, or door knobs and other controls, is on the road to doing this autonomously. 

Think of robots that can manipulate the environment around them not on a stationary assembly line or doing repetitive tasks, but actually interacting real-time to open/close, turn things on/off, adjust control settings, pick things up/move them, eventually even sit at a computer or with other people--like you or I--and interface with them. 

Drones and robots will be doing a lot more than surveillance and assembly line work--with artifical intelligence and machine learning, they will be doing what we do--or close enough. ;-)
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August 9, 2014

Robots, Who's Telling Whom What To Do

There was an interesting quote about jobs of the future by Tom Preston-Werner in Bloomberg Businessweek:

"In the future, there's potentially two types of jobs: where you tell a machine what to do, programming a computer, or a machine is going to tell you what to do. You're either the one that creates the automation or you're going to get automated."

Already, we've seen manufacturing get outsourced by the millions of job to cheaper labor oversees or automated in factories by machines and robotics.

Similarly, agriculture has seen a large decrease in small family-owned farms, in lieu of mega farms run by multinationals and run by automated farm equipment with GPS and drones. 

The military is moving quickly to warfare by drones, robotics, and people geared-up in high-tech exoskeletons. 

Now in the sacrosanct service sector, where it has been said that it could never be done by anyone by local people within their communities, services are moving in the direction of robots. 

Perhaps we can ask if even in government, can there be a future where robots can govern better than we can--and get things done speedily and efficiently!

In one Sci fi hit after another, from Star Trek to Battlestar Galactica to Terminator, a future of humanity embattled by cyborgs predominates. 

Like in the show, Lost in Space, where the robot in wont to say, "Crush, Kill, Destroy," perhaps we can understand this as not jsut a physical threat as people's lives, but also to their ability to earn a living in a world where automation challenges us with the children reframe:

"Everything you can do, I can do better. I can do everything better than you. Yes you can, no you can't..."

At this point, I am not sure it is really a debate anymore, and that Preston-Werner is predominantly right...technology is the future--whether we are end up being eaten alive by it or are its earthly masters. ;-)
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July 12, 2014

Robots Reach The Clouds

So robots have reached the clouds before many of our government agencies have--who would've thought? 

Bloomberg Businessweek reports how robotic activities are being stored in the cloud and are then accessible to other robots to learn from and repeat as necessary. 


The "cloud servers essentially [are] a shared brain" where memories and experiences are uploaded and accessed by other robots with a need to know the same thing. 


The cloud is the means of transfer learning from one robot to the other.


It serves like a master neural network where the Internet provides the how-to for everything from serving juice to patients in a hospital to functioning as autonomous warbots in battle. 


Like the Borg on Star Trek with a collective brain, the cloud may become the mastermind for everything from day-to-day functioning to taking over the species of the universe. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 22, 2014

From Pepper Spray to Champagne

Shhh! This is the story of drones. 

Drones continue to go from battlefield to backyard. 

Initially, developed for advanced persistent surveillance and later weaponized for targeting terrorists, we heard the like of Jeff Bezos promise drones for Amazon delivery. 

Once again, the double-edge of drones continues...

This week we saw the introduction of scary, "Riot Control Drones" developed by Desert Wolf (a military contractor) that can shoot 4,000 rounds of pepper spray, paint balls, and non-lethal plastic projectiles, employs bright strobe lights and blinding lasers, and issues commands and warnings through loud speakers, and monitors crowds of protesters by high-definition and thermal vision cameras. 

At the same time, we saw drones being used as Flying Bel Hops in the luxury Casa Madrona hotel and spa in California for delivering champagne, treats, toys, and even sunglasses to their $10,000 a night guests on their guest deck or even to a boat out on the bay. 

And we are still only at the beginning, with drones, and robotics in general, moving to revolutionize our world.  

Robots will surveil, they will attack and kill, and they will serve people everywhere from restaurants and retail to hospitals and homes.

You can't shush the robots, they are on the march and they will have the means to help and hurt people--it won't be simple, but it definitely will be completely invasive. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 12, 2014

Surveillance Society {Funny}

This was funny photo my wife and I took in a medical practitioner's office. 

Above the floodlights, was a picture of these staring eyes.

And it was simply thumbtacked onto the wallpaper. 

One of the receptionists asked why we were taking the photo.

We sort of giggled--uh, this was not exactly the typical surveillance scenario in the 21st century of CCTVs, drones, hidden mics, tracking devices, and big data--not even close!

But maybe it's just a reminder that someone is ALWAYS looking. ;-)
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March 14, 2014

Guns And Roses

This was an interesting student portrayal showing decision on whether someone is a friend or foe--I like it!

On the face of it, is a computer screen "head" with pictures of a drone for surveillance and a fighter jet for carrying out battle. 

In the right hand is a rose for the friend, and in the left hand is a gun for the foe. 

On the bottom, it says "You Decide" with little pieces of hanging paper marked "Friend"or "Foe" and you pick one.

To me, the kid that designed this is pretty smart--smarter than a lot of adults today,

Why? 

To many people, everything is black or white--for example, liberals may default to everyone as good and trustworthy until shown otherwise, while conservatives may take the alternate track where they assume people are bad and we should be cautious with them and be prepared to defend ourselves. 

Neither is simply right or wrong--it's just how we approach things--although for me, it's definitely you have to earn trust, and still it's important to verify!

The kid that made the friend or foe robot apparently realizes that we have to discriminate between those people that are friends and those that are enemies--and act accordingly. 

Surveillance is a good thing and being ready to defend ourselves is a very good thing. 

Sometimes, those that masquerade as friends are really foes, and those that challenge us may really be our best friends. 

We must be very discriminating in determining who is who--and be ready with both rose and gun. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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