Robot Ships - using self driving car technology, robotic cargo ships are the next step in the evolution of autonomous / remote piloted vehicles. Environmental concerns are limiting the maximum speed at which Earth’s ocean going vessels can travel, prolonging travel time and leading to a shortage of qualified captains willing to spend the majority of their life at sea. Now the same technology used to enable self driving cars or flying drones is being extended to allow navigating a behemoth cargo ship from the comfort of your land based office.
If artificial intelligence is sophisticated enough to guide a car through Bay Area traffic, surely it can pilot a ship safely from port to port on the open sea. That’s the premise of a European Union-funded project called MUNIN tasked with designing largely automated cargo ships by the beginning of 2015.
The project got a push from Rolls-Royce plc, the major British military contractor that splintered from the car company with the same name in 1973, when an executive hinted that Rolls-Royce may design such systems and that they would bring down the industry’s costs. “Sometimes what was unthinkable yesterday is tomorrow’s reality. So now it is time to consider a roadmap to unmanned vessels of various types,” Oskar Levander, the company’s vice present of innovation, engineering and technology said in a recent company publication.
Levander indicated that Rolls-Royce would begin supporting vessels that can be sailed from an onshore office. “When ‘fleet optimization’ is considered, the advantages compound. The same person can monitor and steer many ships. As conditions ashore are often preferred, it will also help retain qualified and competent crew, and is safer,” he said.
It may seem like the stuff from spy and superhero movies but scientists have created “thefirst room-temperature light detector that can sense the full infrared spectrum” which, according to researchers at the University of Michigan,can be made so thin that it can be easily stacked on night vision contact lenses.
[The U.S. Navy’s] latest weapon is an electromagnetic railgun launcher. It uses a form of electromagnetic energy known as the Lorentz force to hurl a 23-pound projectile at speeds exceeding Mach 7. Engineers already have tested this futuristic weapon on land, and the Navy plans to begin sea trials aboard a Joint High Speed Vessel Millinocket in 2016.
Would You Do as a Robot Commands? An Obedience Study for Human - Robot Interaction
Snip from Fast Co:
In the future, we will have robot overlords. This uncomfortable experiment (captured in hilarious video) shows just how easily humans will roll over when we work for the machines.
University of Manitoba:
Would you do as a robot commands? Robots are beginning to play a larger role in society, finding their way into hospitals, the military, and our daily lives; it’s not too far off to think that they may one day be put in positions of authority over people. We know all to well the dark side of authority from classical psychology experiments such as the Milgram and Stanford Prison Experiments, but one question remains: can the authority figure effect apply to robots as well as people? As a preliminary study we decided to test this theory out; we had our robot pressure participants to continue a highly tedious (and unpleasant) task, and compared the results to having a human experimenter. Did they obey the robot? Check out the paper and project video to find out!