Paramilitary: China Replaces Soldiers With Droids

A Chinese firm has designed and are offering for sale a new security robot. Called Anbot, it joins dozens of earlier, similar designs and apparently tries to learn from and improve earlier efforts. Anbot weighs 78 kg (172 pounds) is cylindrical and 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) high. It can operate eight hours on its internal batteries and automatically use a recharging station if it is available. Anbot can be programmed easily to patrol a specific area and has software which enables it to automatically respond to a wide range of situations. This includes being cut off from a human operator (that is normally used to decide what to do if the video and sound sensors on Anbot detect something requiring the attention of human operator). Anbot can be equipped with a weapon or, rather, non-lethal devices (like a Taser) to deal with unruly people or animals. Anbot is also equipped with two-way video and audio communication via a remote operator and someone near Anbot. Using three wheels to get around, Anbot can move up to 18 kilometers an hour (five meters a second, faster than most people can run) but is not very useful unless it is on a flat surface (preferably an indoor floor). What makes Anbot unique is that it is designed to deal with people, mainly to observe and communicate with. Devices like Anbot free a lot of soldiers from security duties and have growing more capable and popular since the 1990s. Continue reading

China ‘matching US’ in race to develop Chinese ‘Hyperloop’, says researcher

China and the United States are “neck and neck” in the race to develop military applications for an ultra high-speed “Hyperloop” transport system, according to a Chinese researcher involved in one of the projects.

The technology under development would involve loading passengers into pods and projecting them through vacuum tubes at high speeds.

The researcher said some of the research in China and the US was funded by the military as the technology may have defence applications. Continue reading