Shoot to Kill: Autonomous Robots Developed By DARPA Will Not Question Orders
by Susanne Posel
September 4, 2012
The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program seeks to find ways to utilize different remote robotic manipulation systems that are controlled by humans. This program is divided into 3 aspects:
• Hardware: to design dexterous multi-fingered robotic hands
• Software: develop complex algorithms for grasping, manipulation and sensory perception
• Outreach: beta-testing robotics in public forums to further study robotic autonomy
In 2010, DARPA revealed a robot at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Conference in Denver that was interactive in a public forum. Participants would write software and have the robot preform specified tasks. The goal of this event was to show that robots were being developed by the US government to preform “dangerous tasks” such as disarming an explosive device thereby reducing “significant human interaction”.
Universities and other government-controlled agencies such as Carnegie Mellon University, HRL Laboratories, iRobot, NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SRI, and the University of Southern California, provided teams of researchers to write software for DARPA.
Boston Dynamics, Inc., has been awarded a $10.9 million contract to manufacture humanoid robots that are bi-pedal, built like humans and have a sensor head with on-board computing capabilities.
These robots are being created to assist in excavation and rescue missions, according to DARPA.They could also be employed to evacuation operations during either man-made or natural disasters.