Latest in Robots


Announcing the Lawfare Drone Smackdown, Part Deux

No, were're not going to stage another robot air war, but new robotic products are coming out every day: new drones, new robotic tools, new tactical devices. We want to see them. We want to write about what they can do. We want to figure out which are the coolest, which pose interesting public policy and security problems, which potentially solve those problems, which are going to help our troops, and which are going to empower scary people to do scary things. 


Tiny Robots Pull Huge Loads

Here's an interesting demonstration of how much more powerful robots are becoming. A group at Stanford has produced tiny robots that can lift, while climbing up walls, more than 100 times their own weight---and one that can drag a weight 2,000 times heavier than itself. As one of the engineers involved put it, that's "the same as you pulling around a blue whale."

Here's the story in New Scientist.

Cyber & Technology

Help An Elementary School Find Its Lost Drone

It seems Chesterbrook Elementary, of Fairfax County, Virginia, has lost its drone---and now wishes to enlist the help of the community in locating it.

Such is the gist of the below email, sent by a school official earlier today. (I have embedded the video and pictures, which are linked in the original.)  Chesterbrook isn't that far away from Langley... 

Missing Drone - we need your help!  :)


Senator Feinstein Intends to Introduce Drone Safety Legislation

Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has announced that she plans to introduce new legislation aimed to "significantly strengthen drone safety laws to protect U.S. airline passengers and U.S. airspace." The announcement comes in a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Heurta, in which she cites evidence of more than 190 drone safety incidents in the last nine months.


Readings: Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems

We are pleased to share our recently published article on law and autonomous weapons, on which we teamed up with our good friend Daniel Reisner (formerly head of the Israel Defense Forces International Law Department). The article, “Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems,” appears as 90 International Law Studies 386 (2014), available online at SSRN (free pdf download).

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