Warner Bros. Pictures
A still from the "Terminator" series -- science fiction's worst-case-scenario.
Is bigger better? When it comes to machines, vehicles, robots and Ferris wheels, the answer is almost always, yes. But take a look at these enormous contraptions and decide for yourself.
The Belarus-based earthmoving equipment manufacturerBelAZ
turned heads with its hulking hybrid-diesel 75710 truck design. Scheduled to be released in 2015, the efficient earthmover will have 23,000 horsepower and a payload capacity of nearly 500 tons.11 Insane Inventions You Didn't Know Existed
T. Leonard, Nevada Lightning Laboratory
When NASA unveiled designs for a new 320-foot-tallDeep Space Exploration System
in 2011, the plans called for a launchpad capable of sending astronauts farther into space than ever before. Work on the enormous system continues and will include testing the rocket engines this summer.
Washington State Department of Transportation
National Reconnaissance Office
The U.S. National Reconnaissance Officelaunched
the world’s largest satellite to orbit the Earth from a Delta 4 Heavy rocket in Cape Canaveral on November 21, 2010. The NROL-32’s mission was secret but it has likely been keeping a close eye on the planet.
Zollner Elektronik AG
Tradinno is a fire-breathing, 51-foot-tall dragon made by the German companyZollner Elecktronik AG
that snagged the 2014 Guinness World Record for world’s largest walking robot. The remote-controlled beast also contains 21 gallons of fake blood.Better Than 'Transformers': Real-Life Robots
The race to erect the world’s largestFerris wheel
is on. TheSingapore Flyer
observation wheel is more than 541-feet tall but will soon have competition from Las Vegas, Staten Island and Dubai, where a new project calls for a nearly 689-foot wheel called the Dubai Eye.A Motor Car And Other Mind-Blowing LEGOs
Those worried about a Terminator-style rise of the machines scenario have more to fret about this week. At a defense industry conference on robotics, a representative from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) discussed the possibility of deploying military robots capable of acting on their own in combat situations.
Current DoD policy requires that a human being make the final decision to use lethal force when deploying robotic and semi-autonomous weapons systems. For example, a robotic turret gun might acquire and lock onto targets by itself, but an actual soldier must always make the decision to “pull the trigger.”
However, future scenarios might warrant exceptions to that policy, said Melissa L. Flagg, deputy assistant secretary of defense with the DoD’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Directorate. Flagg’s comments on the issue were delivered at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Ground Robotics Capabilities conference in Springfield, Va.
In a report posted at National Defense magazine, Flagg described hypothetical scenario in which a remotely controlled weapons system, in a battle behind enemy lines, has its communications links disrupted. Should a combat robot be allowed to deploy weapons independently in such a scenario?
“These are hard questions and a lot of people outside of us tech guys are thinking about it, talking about it, engaging in what we can and can’t do, Flagg said. “That’s important. We need to understand and know that it doesn’t necessarily need to happen, but we also have to put the options on the table because we are the worst-case scenario guys.”
DoD officials stressed that there is no “book” being written at this point regarding official defense policy concerning automated weapons systems. But the military is looking ahead at potential situations for both armed aerial drones and ground robots.
Military officials are currently planning a concept-of-operations report, to be delivered to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in May, concerning military robotic systems in the year 2035.