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Cyro: the creepy autonomous robot jellyfish that could eventually patrol the oceans of the world

dailyalternative | alternative news - Cyro: the creepy autonomous robot jellyfish

Continuing the US military’s focus on developing robots that mimic animals, the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center and Office of Naval Research has funded a project that has already produced a prototype of a giant robotic jellyfish.

Other research includes insect-like drones capable of carrying out lethal missions, a silent drone inspired by owls, bird-like drones already used in the field, an amazingly fast robot modeled after a cheetah, a strange animal-like walking drone and more lifelike humanoid robots that can approach animal and human efficiency.

The prototype robotic jellyfish, dubbed “Cyro,” is 5 foot 7 inches, weighs in at 170 pounds and was created under a project funded by a $5 million grant.

The grant was funded by the same agency behind the insanely fast, GPS-guided projectile program, so while it may sound great that it could “be used to keep tabs on ecologically-sensitive underwater areas or to help clean up oil spills,” the reality is that the military applications will obviously be given priority.

The military doesn’t spend millions to develop robots just to help keep the environment clean, though the Virginia Tech promotional video (embedded below) does list “military surveillance” as the first possible application.

Virginia Tech: Autonomous Robotic Jellyfish from virginiatech on Vimeo.

“Imagine a fully-realized version of such a robot running underwater surveillance missions for the U.S. Navy — the marine version of a weaponless drone, in other words, perhaps poking around someone’s oceanfront property (or, heaven forbid, employed in a civilian capacity by ignoble paparazzi to stalk celebrities),” writes Matt Peckham for Time. “Cool, but a little creepy, right?”

“We intend to leave it in the ocean for as long as we can. So we’re talking weeks and months, and even more if we can,” said Alex Villanueva, a graduate student at Virginia Tech working on the project.

This jellyfish-like design would also have a massive advantage in terms of stealth, according to Danger Room.

“Mimicking a natural animal found in a region allows you to explore a lot better,” Villanueva said.

Yet the most noteworthy of all is that it is what Danger Room calls “a launch-and-forget robot” in that Cyro is not remote controlled but instead runs totally autonomously.

While Danger Room reports, “There’s no saying whether the Navy will purchase the ‘bot, and its inventors are comfortable emphasizing its civilian potential as an oceanographic research testbed,” Geek.com reports that the researchers were awarded a 5-year grant.

It seems that if the project is even remotely successful, the military will be quick to jump on the opportunity to have a long-term autonomous oceanic surveillance tool.

 

dailyalternative | alternative news – Cyro: the creepy autonomous robot jellyfish

via Cyro: the creepy autonomous robot jellyfish that could eventually patrol the oceans of the world

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Technology

Google Upgrades Digital Wallet to Pay by Facial Recognition

As we march steadily toward a cashless society, Google is naturally at the forefront of seeing it come to fruition as quickly as possible.

Despite the fact that several years ago Google had a major security scare with its first incarnation of the digital wallet smartphone app, which required a temporary shutdown, they are announcing a new system being tested which does not even require the smartphone at all.

A growing number of people apparently find that having to remove their smartphone is just such a hassle that they are prepared to embrace payment via biometrics – in this case, facial recognition.

As a perfect indicator of the target market, please read this sad quote:

“Imagine if you could rush through a drive-thru without reaching for your wallet, or pick up a hot dog at the ballpark without fumbling to pass coins or your credit card to the cashier,” Bhat said. (Source)

In one sentence, that quote might represent literally everything that is wrong with modern society.

The new system is being cleverly called Hands Free; and, as the second indicator of its potential mass appeal, it will be rolled out first at McDonald’s and Papa John’s fast food restaurants.

A second more serious component to this ties in with the recent rollout of citywide WiFi systems that keep people connected at all times. Layered on top of that is the arrival of billboards with hidden cameras built in that can film you, then track you through your mobile phone. This reality makes the following information more chilling than convenient:

The digital wallet uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections alone [sic] with location sensing capabilities in smartphones to detect when someone is near a store enabled with Hands Free payment technology.

“When you’re ready to pay, you can simply tell the cashier, ‘I’ll pay with Google,’” Bhat said.

“The cashier will ask for your initials and use the picture you added to your Hands Free profile to confirm your identity.”

At some locations, Google is experimented [sic] with using cameras in stores to recognize people with Hands Free digital wallets so they could pay without even pausing. (emphasis added)

The number of people already prepared to accept this system numbers in the millions, according to Google.

Although this announcement would appear to border on satire, please view the videos below to get an idea about a world where cash is seen as a major annoyance, and laziness is embraced as a virtue.

 

 

daily alternative | alternative news – Google Upgrades Digital Wallet to Pay by Facial Recognition

via Google Upgrades Digital Wallet to Pay by Facial Recognition.

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