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This Robo-Dog Can Bring You A Beer And Won’t Poop On The Rug
Sometimes it seems as if advancements in robotic technology don’t bear any real impact on the daily life of the everyman. Well, not anymore.
Introducing the SpotMini, a goofy-looking robot dog that can fetch a can of beer, do the dishes, and pick itself back up after slipping on a pile of banana peels (because, of course, you leave those things lying around everywhere). It’s like a butler, but with four legs and no emotions.
The SpotMini has a robotic arm on the top of its frame that it uses to manipulate items and pick itself up. The claw on the end also serves a cosmetic function, giving the robot an unmistakable doglike appearance. Without it, SpotMini would be a headless robo-dog, which sounds like something that belongs on the cover of an Iron Maiden album, and not in your home.
With SpotMini, Boston Dynamics, a subsidiary of Alphabet, a Google holding company, clearly sought to create something non-threatening, if not downright cute. The robot certainly looks more relatable than some of the other prototypes the company has come up with, like the robotic mule it designed for the Marine Corps, before the program was cancelled in December 2015. Case in point:
So if you’ve ever caught yourself wishing your dog was smart enough to bring you a cold one and tidy up around the house after a long day of work, but not smart enough to plot an insurrection, then keep an eye on SpotMini.
Check out the video by Boston Dynamics below.
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
The Air Force is investigating whether an airman smoked weed at a missile alert facility for nuclear Minuteman ICBMs
The Air Force is investigating reports that an airman consumed marijuana while assigned to one of the highly-sensitive missile alert facility (MAF) responsible for overseeing 400 nuclear GM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Mark Mitchell is stepping down as the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, a position he has held since late June, a defense official confirmed on Tuesday.
No information was immediately available about why Mitchell decided to resign. His last day will be Nov. 1 and he will be replaced by Thomas Alexander, who is currently leading the Defense Department's counternarcotics efforts, the defense official told Task & Purpose.
The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.
Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.
Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 5.56mm round.
There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.
US troops withdrawing to Iraq from Syria can't redeploy there and have to leave in 4 weeks, Baghdad says
The 1,000 U.S. troops leaving Syria will be allowed to stay in Iraq for at most four weeks, Iraq's defense minister said Wednesday, in an embarrassing rebuff to President Donald Trump's plans for withdrawing from Syria.
Najah al-Shammari's comments to the Associated Press came shortly after his meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who went to Baghdad to negotiate the redeployment of U.S. troops in Iraq after they withdrew from Syria.