Mars Curiosity descent

Mars Curiosity

There have been a great number of photos and videos released since NASA’s Curiosity rover touched down on Mars on 06 August 2012.  The video above is – without question – the very best of the bunch.   Continue reading

Vision of the future includes embedded augmented reality

Sight Systems

It has been a few weeks (okay, two months) since I last posted to The Road Not Taken but when I saw the video below I knew I had to repost it as soon as possible.  The futuristic film comes from creators Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo as a part of their graduation project from Bezaleal Academy of Arts that illustrates some provocative uses for embedded augmented reality.   Continue reading

Robotic stair master

Boston Dynamics stair master

I had meant to post this video some weeks ago but got caught up in a number of other social media related discussions that were a bit more salient at the time.  That said, I’ve been a big fan (and critic) of some of the more recent innovations in robotics and this new clip shows some interesting advancements in the anthropomorphic sector of the field.   Continue reading

Parrot’s AR.Drone 2.0

Parrot AR.Drone 2.0

As I mentioned back on 13 December 2011, about once a month a robotics or cybernetics related article crossed my inbox that really piques my curiosity.  True to my word, I was perusing some of the myriad updates from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that’s kicked off today in Las Vegas and I came across the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0.   Continue reading

PETMAN: a new chapter in anthropomorphic robotics

HAL 9000Roughly once a month an article about robotics crosses my inbox that strikes me as so curious (or concerning) that I rush over to WordPress and fire off a diatribe about our fascination with creating machines that emulate those things we see in nature.   Continue reading

The age of robotic warfare

Wired for WarA military expert reveals how science fiction is fast becoming reality on the battlefield, changing not just how wars are fought, but also the politics, economics, laws, and ethics that surround war itself.

P. W. Singer’s previous two books foretold the rise of private military contractors and the advent of child soldiers – predictions that proved all too accurate. Now, he explores the greatest revolution in military affairs since the atom bomb – the advent of robotic warfare. Continue reading

WASP drone: the next chapter in cyber-terrorism

WASP drone: the next chapter in cyber-terrorism || “DIY Spy Drone Sniffs Wi-Fi, Intercepts Phone Calls”

Like all things technological in nature, the first prototypes are large and often unwieldy so it is no surprise that the Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform (WASP) drone is nearly six feet in length although it cost a mere $6,000 to build.  It can sniff and intercept Wi-Fi and mobile phone signals while simultaneously launching denial of service attacks.  I will give it less than 24 months before the same capabilities can be found in a delivery mechanism one-fifth the size with the ability to remain aloft for over three hours.  Whether it would be used for true cyber-terrorism or garden variety industrial espionage, this heralds a new era of hacking.

WASP drone

Boeing launches their autonomous unmanned aircraft

Boeing launches their autonomous unmanned aircraft – “First flight of the Phantom Ray

Darpa to make cybernetics a reality

Darpa to make cybernetics a reality – “Darpa Looks to Fuse Nerves With Robot Limbs, Make Prosthetics Feel Real”

Monkey controls robot arm with its brain

I’ll avoid rambling on and on about how interesting this is from a scientific perspective or what this could mean for the future of those people with severe spinal injuries (or that it could lead to Avatar-like control of machines or even a genetically-related homunculus):