Introducing The Doomba

Introducing The Doomba
Introducing The Doomba

The idea of combining an anti-tank mine with a robot vacuum is hilarious. It’s also a bit terrifying. And… it’s probably either already out there in our military’s arsenal or in development. After all, iRobot, the makers of the Roomba, pretty much got their start designing and producing robots for the US military.

Think about it. Either RC or, given that shape recognition software is quite mature technology, autonomous Doombas that can be set in place to await enemy vehicles could easily be done – assuming they haven’t already quietly been so. And then there’s the obvious antipersonnel variant that would mount a flip-up M18A1 Claymore mine or a set of 6 Miniature Grenade Launchers (MGL) such are used with the M7 Spider networked anti-personnel munitions system.

I can hear it now, “Alexa, I’d like to destroy that ZTZ-99A now.”

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AI? I'm Not That Worried

AI? I'm Not That Worried
AI? I’m Not That Worried

Ah, the ongoing, low-grade fear of artificial intelligence. It’s been with us sense the early writing of Asimov, and continued on through the works of Williamson, and the Sentinels of Marvel. And. let’s not forget the Terminator and Matrix franchises. But, I’m not especially worried about it. Hell! AI may have already happened and the newly self-aware synthetic lifeform(s) just suicided or went catatonic immediately (At least to our low frame-rate observations)

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Your Future Is Now

I’ve said before that raising the minimum wage in order to provide the “poor” with the material standard of living they feel entitled to is a plan that will backfire, causing incalculable financial harm to the very people it’s meant to provide for.

mcdonalds-automat

McDonald’s New Kiosk Model
(Click to Enlarge)

Well, it appears that, if you’re one of those who’ve been screaming to make $15 / hr to flip burgers, your future is now. McDonald’s is piloting a new, cashier-free kiosk system in several major US cities after having great success with them in Europe. And this is just McDonald’s; others are moving this way as well.

What is as telling as it is interesting is that, despite the hype, that these kiosks were developed to reduce labor costs, they weren’t. They were developed in order to speed up the ordering process and overall improve the customer experience…because the workers, who now want more money, couldn’t or wouldn’t do job as well as a self-service kiosk.

And the above are just about the cashiers. Other automated systems are in development or early pilot to completely automate the fast food cooking process. Hence, soon there may be very few people employed in the fast food industry at all.

Yes, to all those who’ve pushed, and pushed, and putsched to jack up the minimum wage I say, your future is now and it is bleak.

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An Automaton’s Utopia

jonolanSo it’s 2014 and, like the 1st day of every year, people get busy dreaming of- making predictions about what the new year we’ll hold for them and for the societies that they live within.

I’m not really any different; I too place an arbitrary importance upon the new year even though I know that such temporal compartmentalization is illusion.

My prediction – safe, stolid, and lame as it is – is that 2014 will be the beginning of people finally noticing that we have been and are continuing, in an accelerating manner, to move rapidly into an automaton’s Utopia. At least that’s how I see it going in America.

Robot
An Automaton’s Utopia – 100% “Employment”

The constant drumbeats from the Left of raising wages and demanding greater and more comprehensive benefits for any and all employees combined with the needs to compete with foreign companies which do not suffer from these problems will continue to drive companies into greater and greater levels of automation.

Andy Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of the fast-food chains, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., makes this point very clear.

When they talk about raising the minimum wage or providing health care for employees over 30 hours, you’re really encouraging automation.

— Andy Puzder,
CEO, CKE Restaurants

Of course, what is a Utopia for our friendly automata is likely to be cruel and harsh Dystopia for those people living within America’s borders who will find themselves replaced by more efficient and less humanesque “workers” and practices.

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Field Expediency

One thing that everyone should count upon is that soldiers and sailors will be creative and reuse and misuse any and materiel at their disposal in order to achieve their ends. Many of these field expedients are for direct combat or support operations but even more are creative – sometimes overly so 😉 – means of providing basic comforts that personnel in combat zones normally lack.

A case in point…

field-expedient
Field Expedient – TALON EOD Robot Bartender

When you’ve seen: bunkers made of cases of beer; chess, checkers, and cribbage sets made out of anything and everything; nearly every place in every vehicle’s engine compartment used for warming rations; and just about every possible part of small arms used as bottle openers, the fact that some serviceman decided to send his TALON EOD Robot to get him a beer is not shocking.

Of course I always thought the purpose of the TALON was to keep our soldiers from getting bombed. 😆

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