Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I have no words.

Michael Jackson is in discussions about creating a 50-foot robotic replica of himself to roam the Las Vegas desert, according to reports..

The pop legend is currently understood to be living in the city, as he considers making a comeback after 2004's turbulent child sex case.

It has now been claimed that his plans include an elaborate show in Vegas, which would feature the giant Jacko striding around the desert, firing laser beams.

If built, the metal monster would apparently be visible to aircraft as they come in to land in the casino capital.

It is the centre-piece of an elaborate Jackson-inspired show in Vegas, according to Andre Van Pier, the robot's designer.

Luckman Van Pier, his partner at the company behind the proposal, claims blueprints have been drawn-up for the show and seen by the star.

"Michael's looked at the sketches and likes them", he told the New York Daily News.

On the subject of the robot, he continued: "It would be in the desert sands. Laser beams would shoot out of it so it would be the first thing people flying in would see."

Friday, March 2, 2007

Someone, other than a detractor like myself, has finally said it out loud.

Well, I read this today at and it has ruined my weekend by ensuring that I will not sleep for days.

Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) are the smallest unmanned aircraft, with a wingspan of six inches or less. Power supply has always been one of the toughest challenges for this type of craft, as any kind of battery has a lifespan measured in minutes.But there are ways of dealing with the problem, and I examine a number of different approaches in this month's Defense technologyInternational.

Many of these approaches borrow directly from nature, and we can expect MAVs to behave increasingly like living things: perching in trees, basking in the sun and even consuming grass and leaves to top up their power supply.

That in itself was mildly disturbing, but then they had to go and post this:

One of the more dramatic proposals for micro-robots is the swarm of robot cockroaches which the Air Force is investigating as a means of attacking underground bunker complexes. One correspondent suggested that power supply would be the 'long pole in the tent' for the microrobots. In fact, in this situation power supply is ready to hand. All the robots need is an adapter plug and they can scavenge any electric outlet available, an option not available to machines operating in the great outdoors.

Alternatively, given the interest in gastrobots capable of digesting organic material, they might take their energy from the
most readily available food source in a command bunker: human flesh.
I don't think anyone has suggested the idea - and I doubt if it would ever be implemented - but an invading swarm of steel-jawed man-eating robot cockroaches would probably clear most underground facilities faster than you can say "get me outta here".

Emphasis mine, of course. But try as I might, I can't emphasize enough that someone spoke it out loud. I've been looking at HTML tutorial sites for about a half hour now, and I cannot find any capability of HTML that adequately expresses my horror.