CODE Guardian

CeeGee Studios created an awesome compueter animated short about Nazi super robots (YouTube part 1, Part 2). It got me dreaming up possible propellerpunk (that’s my name for it, which I coined for a story called Heavensent, others call it Dieselpunk) battle scene dioramas.

Take the sort of robots and sci-fi subjects available through Hobbylink Japan, kitbash them with second world war era tank and plane parts then set them against some period tanks or ships. To give an idea of the size of the robot you’d really need to do it in a scale such as 1:144, or even smaller. Revell does a 1:200 oil rig, the destruction of which would be an opening scene from the giant robot movie. Mirage does a Polish harbour diorama in 1:400 or the Clyde, circa 1940 in the same scale. In larger scales 1:144 is well supplied. Here’s Hannants’ list, and that of interesting looking Japanese garage kit company Kami de Koro Koro.

I’m going to be on the lookout for giant robot kits now.

Technorati tag: , ,

Isaac Asimov would be proud
South Korea is to draw up a Robot Ethics Charter.

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Today, I are bin mostly listenin' to

Songs on streaming radio that have taken my fancy today-

Nathaniel Merryweather – Stroker Ace

Tricky – Evolution

Vincent Black Shadow – Metro

The Good, The Bad and The Queen – Herculean

Be Your Own Pet – October, First Account

Thievery Corporation – Liberation Front

Cat Empire – Sly

The Hold Steady – Most People Are DJs

Ima Robot – Creeps Me Out

kmfdm – These Boots Are Made For Walking

I also tried stations other than my two default Indie ones.  A journey into Ambient wasn’t very satisfying, and my cliche tolerance was used up within one and a half songs on the Country station.  I wish I could tell you the name of the learning English song on the JPop channel, but they weren’t putting up artist information.


A team of researchers at massachusetts institute of technology are working on what they call SCOUTS (Surface Crafts for Oceanographic and Undersea Testing). Built into kayaks, the robotic boats are intended to become parts of autonomous teams which can be used for mine clearing, rescue and other operations. Ultimately, the technology developed will also be used by autonomous underwater vehicles, so the military are obviously interested in the research.

“In order to be effective with robots in the water, you’d best not have a plan that relies on a lot of communication,” [MIT research engineer Joseph] Curcio said. “To be effective with a fleet of vehicles and have them do something intelligent, what you really need to do is have the software be so robust that communication between the vehicles can be kept to a minimum.”

via BoingBoing

Technorati tag: ,

Robot Crusoe

A robotic treasure hunter has found the haul of the century on Robinson Crusoe Island- named for the book that was inspired by the story of a sailor stranded there.

According to legend, a fabulous treasure haul was buried on the island in 1715 by Spanish sailor Juan Esteban Ubilla-Echeverria. The bounty is said to have been discovered a few years later by British sailor Cornelius Webb, who reburied it on another part of the island.

By some estimates the haul would include 800 barrels of gold ingots, silver pieces, gems and other riches worth up to $10 billion.

Technorati tag: ,

Top of the Stops

10 scientists predict ways the world might end in terms of likelihood over the next 70 years and danger to the human race.

7: Robots taking over

Hans Moravec is a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh:

“Robot controllers double in complexity (processing power) every year or two. They are now barely at the lower range of vertebrate complexity, but should catch up with us within a half-century. By 2050 I predict that there will be robots with humanlike mental power, with the ability to abstract and generalise.

“These intelligent machines will grow from us, learn our skills, share our goals and values, and can be viewed as children of our minds. Not only will these robots look after us in the home, but they will also carry out complex tasks that currently require human input, such as diagnosing illness and recommending a therapy or cure. They will be our heirs and will offer us the best chance we’ll ever get for immortality by uploading ourselves into advanced robots.”

Chance of super-intelligent robots in the next 70 years: High

Danger score: 8

I, for one, welcome our new metal overlords.

Technorati tag: ,