Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Let's trade a 'bot for a bro' on the battlefield

Robot soldiers might someday replace the real thing, says the New York Times in a story syndicated around the world.

    "Robots in battle, as envisioned by their builders, may look and move like humans or hummingbirds, tractors or tanks, cockroaches or crickets. With the development of nanotechnology -- the science of very small structures -- they may become swarms of "smart dust." The Pentagon intends for robots to haul munitions, gather intelligence, search buildings or blow them up.

    "All these are in the works, but not yet in battle.

These battlebots couldn't be deployed too soon for me. My baby brother in the U.S. Marine Corp. just arrived in Iraq. He sent an e-mail to the family this morning ("It's a long line to get to the Internet out here") saying that he's enjoying the taste of sand inside the chow.

I wrote back, telling him of my desire that he have a completely dull time over there for the next year. "I'm talking boring. Very boring! I want you to go crazy with BOREDOM over all your desk jockeying!"

I also extended him an open invitation to tell NanoBot readers about some of the military technology he's using over there or some types of materials or weapons he and his fellow Marines wish they had. If he's smart and doesn't want to get into constant trouble like his big brother, he'll probably continue to write about the chow and little else. But, we'll see.

Meanwhile, my prayers are with LCpl Mickey Lovy for a dull time and a safe return.

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