Sunday, March 31, 2019

India Shot Down a Satellite

(AGI simulation of the intercept)
At a little over 11.10am Wednesday, a 13 metre-long, 19-ton missile took off from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island launch complex off the coast of Odisha. Three minutes and 10 seconds later, it struck the 6,900mm-wide heart of a Microstat-R satellite — orbiting 268km above the earth — over the Bay of Bengal, blowing it to bits. India launched the satellite almost two months ago to the day, on January 29.

A little over an hour later, at 12.20 pm, after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a rare address to the nation that with the success of Mission Shakti, India had become only the fourth member of an exclusive club of nations — with the US, Russia and China — to have anti-satellite missile capability.

Soon after the missile struck the satellite, Modi and national security adviser Ajit Doval were informed by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) chief Satheesh Reddy and Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chief K Sivan over the phone, using a pre-decided coded message.

Jane's weighs in.  As does Space News.

The US military was immediately aware of India's test.

Reuters factbox.

India claims the test was deter others from attacking its sats.

PM Modi hailed the test as proof of India's military prowess.

India's election commission is investigating if the test was actually an election ploy.

Some companies are condemning the test.

India's test was rather different than China's.

The Indian project was called "Project XSV-1" and India has been working on it for at least 31 months.

Launch to kill was 168 seconds, supposedly.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Robopocalypse #114


Airbus drones will deliver to ships offshore first.

The Drone Racing League will air on NBC and Twitter.

Drones are the future of flying, even in airliners.

Harman has patented drones with speakers.

Koala spotting drones do a better job at counting the marsupials in the wild than people do.

An integrated battery in the wing greatly increases drone flight times.

Meet MetaFly.

The Drive took Sikorsky's self flying helicopter for a fly.

Quadcopters are being used to catch winged drones at sea.

Sikorsky's self flying helicopter hints at the future.

UPS is delivering medical supplies between hospitals via drone.

Self Driving Cars:

AAA states 75% of Americans are scared to ride in self driving cars.

Autonomous vehicles could be a boon or bust for the environment.

Self driving cars might hit darker skinned people more often than light. Yikes.  Or click bait?

Self driving car safety steps into the unknown.

Self driving shuttles are coming to New York and California.

How would hacked self driving cars affect New York traffic?

The complex problem of writing a driving test for self driving cars.

BMW and Daimler will collaborate on self driving car tech.

Designated Driver is the latest entrant into remotely driving cars. may be looking for a buyer.

E/Nride demoed driving a delivery truck 1,200 miles away.

Ford's self driving cars may be headed to Texas.

German automakers are set to spend $60 billion on self driving and electric car tech.

GM is investing $300M in a Michigan autoplant for EV and autonomous cars.

GM is doubling the size of its Cruise self driving car division.

A new nighttime camera will improve the productivity of self driving trucks.

Nuro will start delivering groceries with its self driving cars in Houston.

Proterra's self driving buses will leave a place for the driver.

Stanford's latest self driving car prototype handles the unexpected better.

Tesla is being accused of shifting the goal posts on declaring its cars able to fully self drive and that 'full self drive' is not what you think it is.

Tesla has angered self driving car experts with its claims they are offering a truly self driving vehicle.

Some are countering back the experts are missing the point.

A dashcam showed a Tesla steering for a center lane divide again.

Tesla is suing a former employee that left and went to XiaoPeng Motors, a self driving company, for supposedly stealing 300k lines of Autopilot code.

Tesla is also suing Zoox.

Tesla has created an enhanced Summon mode.

Toyota has been testing if cameras can map cities for self driving cars.

Toyota will also test its self driving car tech in an Nvidia's virtual environment.

Trump apparently wants nothing to do with the 'crazy' self driving cars.

Uber will not face criminal charges for the death of the homeless woman in Arizona.  10 lessons from the lethal accident.  One year later, self driving cars soldier on.

USC is making self driving cars safer.

Volvo is testing two self driving buses in Singapore.

Waymo self driving cars will respond to police hand signals.

Waymo is selling its lidar tech.

Waymo is opening a servicing center in Phoenix for its self driving cars.

3d Printing:

Boeing has 3d printed a satellite antenna allowing for savings in material, time and cost.

Brown University has come up with a 3d printable hydrogel.

California State University researchers have been 3d printing ceramic/titanium matrix composites.

Chemists are trying to streamline 4d printable material technique development.

Cranfield University engineers have 3d printed large scale tungsten parts.

Finding "keyholes" in 3d printed metal.

LBNL researchers have been 3d printing liquid in liquids to create 3d fluidic devices.

Mexican researchers have been 3d printing alginate/hydrogels.

A scooter has been made with a 3d printed stainless steel.

Occular implants are being 3d printed.

The oil and gas industry is getting into 3d printing.

ProtoCAM has 3d printed spare parts for carpet looms from the 1930s.

Rutgers has developed a 4d printed material that changes strength based on temperature.

Scientists use light to print with multiple materials.

Singaporean researchers have been printing magnesium scaffolds for bone.

South Korea researchers have successfully 3d printed corneas.

South Korean researchers can 3d print cancerous tissue.

Turn your kids' drawings into 3d printed sculptures.

Scientists have developed an implantable, 3d printed material meant to be a scaffold for bone healing.


Boston Dynamics' Handle robot has been tested in the warehouse.

The Digit robot could be the future of delivery.

Fedex turned to the developer of the Segway for the development of a delivery robot.

A French airport is using robots to park cars.

A Kaiser Permamente doctor told a patient he was going to die via a telepresence robot.

The microorganism, Euglenia, could inspire soft robotics.

Microrobots with legs could walk inside the human body.

MIT's Cheetah bot can now do backflips.

MIT has developed a robotic arm that can pick up objects its never encountered before.

MIT also developed a robotic gripper that acts like a venus flytrap.

Mitsubishi has created an autonomous fire fighting bot.

Mountainview, California's library will be testing a book return robot developed by Google.

The 2020 Olympics in Japan will have robots deployed to help visitors.

Robot camel jockeys are real...

Robots have been developed that act as 'cells' and do not require central control for certain behaviours.  A predecessor to "gray goo?"

A robotic leg learned walk without any prior knowledge.

Using robots to control weeds...autonomously.

Robots are finally learning to run.

Sandia National Labs is using robots to decommission munitions.

Spider silk might be possible to use for robot muscles.

In Switzerland, robots built a house that generates more power than it consumes.

University of Washington researchers developed a robot capable of using a fork.

The US put a record number of robots to work in 2018.

An autonomous UUV is being used to map where phytoplankton is.

Veo Robotics has developed sensors so robots can safely work beside people in factories.

A new fuel cell developed in Washington University at St Louis will greatly extend the range of autonomous robots, drones and UUVs.

A UUV sneaks up on fish.

A Wired writer used haptic feedback gloves and other tech to teleoperate a robot in London, 3,000 miles away.


Columbia engineers have directly translated brain signals into speech.

Will cyborgs be made of melanin?

Facebook wants to build a brain reading machine.

Software bots:

ACM awarded the Turing Award to three 'fathers' of the current AI revolution.

40% of startups in Europe that claim to be using AI in their products are not.

How intelligent is AI?

Avatars are getting to be more...advanced.

The $100 BeagleBone board is designed to facilitate the development of "AI" projects.

China is catching up to America in AI research. wants to 'democratize' software development with the use of software bots.

Ebay is using software bots to find similar looking items to buy for its consumers.

Facebook is readying bots to combat revenge porn.

Facebook is vowing better bots to detect terrorist videos.

Google has developed a machine learning bot that can use your data without slurping it up.

Google's Duplex can make restaurant reservations in 43 US states.

Google's DeepMind can predict wind patterns the day before.

Google's Stadia uses a software bot to change the game art in real time.

Bill Gates talked to Google employees about using AI to analyze the unborn for healthcare improvements.

Huwei has big plans to break the US grip on leadership in developing "AI" and software bots.

IBM has a software bot that conducts a blood test to detect Alzheimer's.

McDonald's bought a software bot company and will use their software to update their drive thru menus.

MIT has developed a new algorithm that has vastly increased the speed of neural network learning.

Microsoft has created a software bot to match patients with medical trials.

Microsoft has launched an AI business school.

How does a neural net work?

Neural nets are being used to analyze proteins.

Nvidia's latest bots can take a 2d sketch to create a realistic landscape picture.

To compete with Google, OpenAI seeks investors.

A group at Politecnico di Milano as developed a new circuit to accelerate AI work.

Could software bots and satellites predict volcanic eruptions?

Software bots are being used in conservation biology.

Software bots can monitor twitter for security vulnerabilities.

Software bots used to generate images are doing so with fewer labels.

A software bot has been developed in Taiwan to fact check conversations in real time and interrupt those conversations.

A software bot might be able to pick out the best shade makeup for women.

Can software bots help solve quantum mechanics problems?

Software bots have become better gamers than people are.

Software bots still have a different uncanny valley to cross: voices.

Software bots are "shockingly good" at science.

Will software bots be able to tell when someone is about to die?

Software bots for medicine have a place but have long been predicted.

Software bots need data from people to learn.  Some are upset about this.  Children do the same thing, fwiw.

Using machine learning software bots to predict brackets in March Madness is insanely competitive, too.

Stanford has unveiled an AI institute.

Time Warner has signed an algorithm for a record deal.  Wait.  What?!


Automation threatens 1.5 million jobs in Britain.

Employment has fallen in jobs that can be easily automated.

The MGM in Las Vegas is considering replacing workers with automation, including robots.

Pepsico is laying off LOTS of people while automating.

Robots that are faster than the workers demoralizes the workers.

Self designing robots?


Will 3d printing and customization of manufacturing kill off warehouses?

Can we build ethics into automated systems?

Some are arguing the 'moral machine' is not a valid starting point for making policy for self driving cars.

People can be more cooperative if they program robots than if they are doing the task themselves.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is excited by the robopocalypse in her South by Southwest interview.

Will machines own us in the robopocalypse?

Some people are starting to think AI could make better decisions than politicians.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

US Missile Defense Agency is Requesting Money to Place a Particle Beam Weapon in Orbit

he Missile Defense Agency has offered new details about plans to develop a science fiction-sounding space-based neutral particle beam weapon to disable or destroy incoming ballistic missiles. The goal is to have a prototype system ready for a test in orbit by 2023, an ambitious schedule to demonstrate that the technology has progressed to a more useful state from when the U.S. military last explored and then abandoned the concept nearly three decades ago.

The U.S. military’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2020 asks for $34 million in funding for the neutral particle beam program, or NPB, according to documents released on Mar. 18, 2019. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) wants a total of $380 million through 2023 fiscal cycle for development of the directed energy weapon. Defense One, citing unnamed U.S. officials, had been first to report the existence of the plan on Mar. 14, 2019. It’s also worth noting that Congress set out a goal of testing of at least one space-based missile defense system prototype by 2022 and the deployment of “an operational capability at the earliest practicable date” in the annual defense policy bill for the 2018 Fiscal Year.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Terminator Times #56

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones):

Kratos' XQ-58A Valkyrie was to make its first flight.   It did and it was beautiful.  The intent is to make the Valkyrie, a Loyal Wingman, where a flock of them could be managed by an single F-35.  In the process, Kratos stole Boeing's thunder.

A Dutch magazine claimed USAF F-117s conducted airstrikes in Syria.  The Drive semi convincingly argues the F-117 returning to combat for strikes in Syria were unnecessary because the US gov has at least 8 stealthy Avenger drones capable of conducting strikes.

The USAF may make the KC-Z tanker a drone with a podded refueling boon.

US ANG Reapers are now operating out of Poland (pictures).

US Army Gray Eagle drones are wildly successfully hunting Daesh in Syria.

The US Army is starting its unmanned-manned teaming demos for rotocraft.

The US Coast Guard wants to accelerate its ScanEagle deployments.

USMC wants 3 Reapers in the 2020 budget.

An analyst claims the USN carriers need unmanned aircraft and the new fighter to stay relevant.

The USN BQM-177A target drones has reached IOC.

The US Navy gave Northrop a $89.5M contract to support the MQ-4C Triton.

The US gov will no longer report civilian casualties from outside warzones from drone strikes.

The US and India may be teaming up on an air launched UAV.  it may or may not be related to the Gremlins project being run by DARPA.

The Boeing Loyal Wingman is designed to help Australia counter China.

A Chinese made CH-4 UCAV killed a T-72 tank in Yemen.

Colombia and Spain are jointly developing a UAV.

General Atomics was awarded $123M to build 4 Reapers for the Dutch.

Houthi UAVs are infiltrating Saudi airspace.

Latvia bought the Penguin C UAV.

Rolls Royce will make engines for Bell's V-247.

The Russian army is receiving medium range UCAVs in 2019.

Ukraine has received the Bayraktar UCAVs from Turkey.

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Bolos and Ogres):

The US Army unveiled the ATLAS program and the world freaked out.  Why?  It is meant to be a virtual crewman, not a killer robot.

The US Army unveiled its plans for its unmanned combat vehicles.

The US Army awarded QinetiQ the CRS(i) contract.

Europeans are looking at UGVs for their ground forces.

The Rheinmetall Mission Master UGV was cleared to fire 70mm rockets.

Russia unveiled its Marker UGCV.

Unmanned Surface Vehicles (Roboats):

The US Navy is planning on awarding the contract for the new medium class USVs by the end of the year.

The US Navy wants to buy two large 2,000 ton USVs armed with VLS in the 2020 budget and build two per year afterwards.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicle:

Norway's Kongsberg Maritime is expected to complete development of its AUV.


US SOCOM is testing the Sarcos exoskeleton.  Think Ripley's power loader, not Heinlein's Starship Troopers.

Software Bots:

DARPA is launching CAML, an machine learning program that can explain how it comes to conclusions.

The USAF is planning the 'skyborg,' the cooperative AI that will fly combat drones.


The argument to ban AI from warfare.

Is it even realistic to attempt to ban AI weapons from warfare?

The US Army is seeking robotic and ai systems for demo.

The British Army is adding robo and autonomous systems.

Google's work with China is eroding the US military advantage.

Germany is being urged to lead the treaty to ban 'killer robots.'

Friday, March 22, 2019

NASA's Gateway Station Progress

In FY19, NASA received $450M for Gateway Station.

The FY20 budget proposal gives the Gateway Station $840M.

The government shutdown delayed the Power and Propulsion Module for Gateway Station from September 2022 to December 2022 (at least).

Canada has become the first international partner to sign onto NASA's Gateway Station.

Lockheed completed a prototype habitat module.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

What is Russia's Strategy in SE Asia?

To great fanfare, in May 2016, Russia hosted the third ASEAN-Russia Summit at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Russia’s acceptance as an ASEAN dialog partner, this summit was intended to give new impetus to longstanding efforts by Russia and Southeast Asia to forge closer economic and security ties. Defying efforts by the West to isolate Russia, leaders from all ten ASEAN member states attended the summit.[1]Despite having recently skipped several high-level ASEAN summits, this time President Putin led the Russian delegation himself. He also met separately with the leaders of all ten ASEAN states. After the summit, Putin proclaimed that the two sides had reached agreement “on building a strategic partnership over the long term.” Demonstrating that this was not just mere rhetoric, the two sides also announced a raft of new measures during the summit, on topics ranging from security relations to closer political and economic ties. However, Russia’s ongoing Sino-centric focus, ASEAN’s limited ability to act collectively, and Moscow’s preference for bilateral relations will continue to predominate in its overall relations with the region.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Paleolithic Papers #27

Genus Homo:

Scientists are still stumped by the evolution of human breasts.

Hominins in Levant hunted different prey than did the resident hyenas.

H. sapiens:

Pleistocene hunters in Sri Lanka had a taste for monkey meat that lasted a long, long time.

East African hunter gatherers appear to have had a common ancestry.

There are more missing ancestors in our genome other than Neandertals and Denisovans.

Did modern humans self domesticate?

H. neanderthalensis:

Neandertals primary food source was, in fact, meat, at least, at Les Cottés and Grotte du Renne, in France.

What was the impact of the interglacial climate changes on Neandertal diets at Baume Moula-Guercy, Ardèche, France?

The replacement of Neandertals by modern humans was a little more complicated than what used to be thought: there was some, erm, intermingling.

Footprints of Neandertals from Gibraltar have been found.

Some are going hmmm over the stone artifacts at Châtelperronian.

Did inbreeding help do in the Neandertals?

Neandertals walked just like modern people did.

Sima de los Huesos Hominins:

The Middle Pleistocene hominins from Sima de los Huesos had very Neandertal-ish brains.


Who were they? John Hawks comments.

H. erectus:

Britain may return the iconic Kabwe skull to Zambia.

Genus Paranthropus:

P. robustus:

What was the genetic origin of the pitted enamel hypoplasia in P. robustus?

Genus Aridopithecus:

A. ramidus postcranial remains from Ethiopia get a description.

A. ramidus had adaptations for waling bipedal.


Is the African Eve hypothesis wrong?

Why did menopause evolve?

One paleoanthropologist's hopes for a human evolution museum in Israel.

Human and nonhuman primate brains are compared for clues to human brain evolution.

What were the origins of human language?

The tale of the multiregional hypothesis and the out of africa hypothesis are told.

Can we determine which hominin teeth came from when found?

The current 'gap' in the middle Pleistocene is very important to human evolution.

Root growth for teeth is compared between humans and apes.

Friday, March 15, 2019

The First SLS Launch Might be Delayed. Again.

The director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center said March 5 that the agency is “reassessing” the 2020 launch date for the first flight of its Space Launch System, suggesting that the mission may face further delays.

During a question-and-answer session at a Space Transportation Association luncheon here, Jody Singer said the launch readiness date for Exploration Mission (EM) 1 is still in 2020, but did not give a more precise estimate of the date even as NASA reviews possible changes to it.

“We do know that we are reassessing those dates to see if that date will work, based on making sure we have the vehicle ready, and ready to go fly safely,” she said. “We are assessing that date. Our launch readiness date is still 2020, and we’re doing everything within our power to make sure that we support that.”

Singer didn’t identify the specific issues with EM-1 that prompted the reassessment, but NASA officials have previously said that the core stage of the SLS, along with the European-built service module for the Orion spacecraft that SLS will launch, were the items on the critical path for the mission.

Lockheed is ready to mate the first Orion capsule to its European made Service Module.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

China and Russia also have Space Warfare Ambitions

The United States may or may not be getting a Space Force, but while President Trump is all-in on the creation of a new branch of the U.S. Military—and blowing up the military bureaucracy—it’s worth keeping in mind other countries have their military space programs. A recent DIA report shines a light on how the U.S. views these programs, particularly those of Russia and China, neither of which seem particularly threatening—for now anyway.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Stealth Saga #45

Loyal Wingman:

Australia and Boeing announced a new Loyal Wingman aircraft called the BATS.  It is designed to be built in Australia without American components so it can be exported pretty much anywhere without American approvals.  First flight is expected to be next year.
India's HAL has shown off its concept.

Kratos' XQ-58A Valkyrie was to make its first flight.   It did and it was beautiful.  The intent is to make the Valkyrie a Loyal Wingman where a flock of them could be managed by an single F-35.  In the process, Kratos stole Boeing's thunder.

6th Generation Fighters:

The USAF head of acquisition seems unhappy with the answer the USAF came back with about what its next gen fighter will be and seems to want to derail the effort.

Analysts are stating the US Navy needs its 6th gen fighter and unmanned assets for its carriers to stay relevant.

Is it better for India to order F-16s, ahem F-21s or join the Tempest project?

MTU Aero Engines may join the Franco-German FCAS project.

Dassault is warning against turning the FrancoGerman FCAS into another Eurofighter.


India's indigenous stealth fighter has supposedly begun the detailed design phase.


The Russians will only take delivery of ONE Su-57 in 2019 and ONE in 2020.  Not 12 in 2019.  More will not be delivered until the improved engine has been perfected.

Russia is trying to convince the Indians to buy the Su-57 again.


Chinese J-20s deployed to Cangzhou air base.


At least one F-117 is still flying.

A Dutch magazine claimed F-117s conducted airstrikes in Syria.  The Drive semi convincingly argues the F-117 returning to combat for strikes in Syria were unnecessary because the US gov has at least 8 stealthy Avenger drones capable of conducting strikes.


What a shot!  The B-2 gets the full hawaii experience.


13 F-22s participated in an elephant walk.

An Australian pilot has been trained on the F-22.


The Pentagon is proposing buying 78 F-35s instead of 84.

Some doubt the F-35 can carry weapons capable of intercepting North Korean missiles.

F-35s were photographed in the Sierra mountains.

US Generals are coming out strongly against the F-15X buy and advocating buying more F-35s.

The USAF's F-35As apparently clobbered the older fighters at the Red Flag exercise pretty handily.

Watch the F-35A demo team at Luke AFB.  They debuted new aerobatics.

The USAF isn't worried by the F-35As gun being inaccurate.

The USAF conducted an exercise where they did forward refueling for the F-35A.

The USAF is trying to fix moving it to the cloud: *head desk*

USMC's deployment of the F-35B on the USS Essex has ended and hints at new roles for the amphibious group.  The F-35Bs conducted over 100 combat missions.

The US Navy has declared IOC for the F-35C finally.

The US Navy is preparing for its first carrier deployment of the F-35C.

The US Navy F-35C commander is focused on the first deployment of the bird and transitioning the first USMC wing.

The US Navy ordered repair materials for 7 F-35s.

The US Navy paid a beltway bandit to help with the F-35 program.

The US Navy gave Lockheed a $14M contract mod for improving the ground avoidance system.

One analyst believes the Navy should not develop the 6th gen fighter yet and instead develop an F-35C derived interceptor/bomber escort.

The Pegasus finally refueled an F-35.

Australia's F-35 repair work by Northrop gets detailed.

Australia signed an agreement with Lockheed to increase local industry participation.

Australia is happy with the F-35 operations so far.

Israeli F-35s may have destroyed a Chinese made antistealth radar in Syria.

Japan is gearing up for supporting the F-35.

Poland might buy 32 F-35s.

The Russian Embassy in DC made some weird threats to the F-35 with Vietnam era footage.

Singapore is buying 4 F-35s with options for 8 more.

US Generals are pushing for Turkey to lose its participation in the F-35 program due to the purchase of the Russian S-400 missiles.

BAe is updating the EW suite on the F-35.

Lockheed is working to reduce F-35 operational costs.

Northrop has finished the 500th center fuselage for the F-35.

Friday, March 08, 2019

NASA has Started Development of a Manned Lunar Lander

Last week, NASA had an industry day for its recently released Human Landing System Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). The space agency is seeking private participation in the development of a landing system capable of delivering astronauts to the surface of the moon by 2028.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Russia Tested a Nudol AntiSatellite Weapon on Dec 23, 2018

According to US sources, quoted by CNBC, Russia conducted a test of the Nudol ASAT system on December 23, 2018. The missile was launched from a mobile launcher from a test site in Plesetsk. The launch complex used to test the Nudol missile was found near the site used for Thyklon space launches.

That would be the second Nudol test in 2018 - the first one took place in April 2018. CNBC also quotes a source as saying that it was "the seventh overall test of the system." There were indeed three launches in 2014-2015 (one of them unsuccessful) and two in 2016 - in May and in December. Apparently there were no launches in 2017.

Clearly, the US is the aggressor in space.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Terminator Times #55

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones):

The cat and mouse game militaries are playing with small UAVs.

The Pentagon is flying more border missions with its UAVs.

The MDA contracted General Dynamics to use a Reaper for missile detection.

The US military is struggling a bit with how smart to make its drone swarms.

The US Air Force awarded a $18.3M contract to Space Labs to support the Global Hawk in South Korea.

US Air Force will have Raytheon maintain cyber security for the Global Hawk.

US Air Force's XQ-58A Valkyrie will have its first flight next week.

A new ground station has controlled a USAF Reaper for the first time.

Will drone swarms help the US Air Force fight wild fires?

The US Army is looking at replacements for its RQ-7 Shadows.

The US Army is buying Black Hornet nano UAVs.

The US Army is using Coyote drones to kill other drones.

The US Coast Guard lifted the stop work order on the Insitu UAV being developed.

The US Navy gave Northrop a $19.6M contract for software work on the MQ-8 Fire Scout.

The US Navy ordered 5 more RQ-8 Fire Scouts.

The US Navy is also retooling the Fire Scout program.

The US Navy's MALD-N is moving forward into a fully funded EMD.

The US Navy wants the GQM-163A target drone to mimic the Russian Klub missile.

The US Navy declared the BQM-177A target drone to have its IOC.

The US Navy will test a swarm of EW drones launched from Growlers.

A mishap with a US Navy MQ-4C Triton might actually increase trust in UAVs.

Some are stating the US Navy's carriers need a airwing revamp, inclusive of UAVs.

Australia and Boeing announced a new Loyal Wingman aircraft called the BATS.  It is designed to be built in Australia without American components so it can be exported pretty much anywhere without American approvals.  First flight is expected to be next year.

The Australian army has started its Shadow UAV replacement procurement.

Australia will get its first Triton UAV in 2023.

Australia is changing how it is buying its shipborne drones.

Britain's Protector drones will carry the Brimstone missile and Paveway bombs.

The British have declared FOC for the Watchkeeper UAV.

The British are planning on using drone swarms to defeat air defenses.

The British are decommissioning a Reaper.

The British Tempest 6th Gen Fighter will have an unmanned loyal wingman that will be carrier capable.

The British have stood up a new drone squadron.

Canada and NATO are bidding on the mothballed German Eurohawk HALE UAV prototype.

China's AT200 UAV is about to start operational evals.

China's SD40 VTOL UAV started sea trials.

The makers of the EuroDrone may use American sense and avoid tech.

German Heron TP UAV crews are training in Israel.

A German made UAV crashed in Yemen.

Iran unveiled a new version of its stealthy Saegheh UAV which a knockoff of the RQ-170 they captured.

An intel report confirms UAVs given to the Houthi by Iran are a threat to the UAE.

Qatar's Bayraktar UAVs are completing testing.

Russia's Karnivora UAV has started weapons tests.

Russia's Kalashnikov has unveiled its KUB suicide drone with a 30 minute loiter time.

Serbia's Mini Aleks UAV will make its first flight in July.

Taiwan will test fly a modified Teng Yun UAV in 2020.

Turkey has unveiled its twin engined Anka-2.

Turkey also detailed its planned Akini UCAV.

Aero India has unveiled an unmanned helicopter.

Airbus will be doing payload tests on the Zephyr for Australia.

Airbus' Zephyr will attempt to set a new record for flight duration.

Israeli company Airobotics is moving its manufacturing to the US.

Dassault confirmed the Franco-British UCAV work has been ended.

FLIR has purchased Aeryon Labs.

IAI has unveiled a new loitering munition (suicide drone) called hte Mini Harpy.

India's HAL has unveiled its Loyal Wingman concept.

Kratos is developing a new ISR & tactical UAV for a US Gov entity.

Kratos bought a small turbine company in Florida for its drones.

Leonardo is pushing ISR roles for the SkyGuardian UAV.

Mobilcom received $1.2M to develop software bots as an add-on capability for drones.

Northrop is selling its optionally manned Firebird to an unspecified US government customer and is pitching selling it to Australia.

Northrop's Global Hawk will appear at the Avalon airshow.  A first.

Northrop agreed to expand local industry participation in Australia for the Global Hawk.

Textron's UAV control system gets reviewed.

UAVOS has developed a tropicalized UVH-170E VTOL UAV variant.

UVision has opened a US subsidiary.  

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Bolos and Ogres):

The US Army will begin testing some M-113s converted to being robotic to inform on requirements for the Robotic Combat Vehicle program.

Russia is receiving 12 Uran-6 mine clearing UGVs.

FLIR also bought Endeavor Robotics.

Milrem unveiled a missile armed variant of its Themis UGV.

Way Industries updates the Bozena mine clearing UGVs.

Unmanned Surface Vehicles (roboats):

The US Navy's Sea Hunter sailed Hawaii and back with no one onboard.

The British Royal Navy received its first C-Enduro USVs.

China is building an armed USV, the JARI, for escorting its destroyers.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (Robo subs):

The Navy Research Lab is looking to modify its Black Pearl AUVs.

The US Navy awarded Boeing the Orca XLUUV contract.  So far, $43M for 4 UUVs.

Russia has completed testing - supposedly - of its Poseidon intercontinental nuclear armed UUV.

3d Printing:

The USAF gave a contract to 3d print a conformal phased array radar antenna.

The US Army is testing combat engineering uses of 3d printing.

The USMC is also testing combat engineering uses of 3d printing.

Swedish researchers looked into whether it was feasible to use 3d printing to maintain assault rifles.


The US Special Forces TALOS exoskeleton isn't yet ready for use in the field.  The first one will be available soon for testing though.

Russia claims it trialled its EO-1 exoskeleton in Syria and testing will complete in 2019.

Software bots:

Is the US losing the AI arms race?

DARPA wants to fix the social science reproducibility problem with bots.

The Pentagon wants to use AI to spot the next global disasters and conflicts.

It also wants to use AI for maintenance and flight safety.

And the Pentagon wants help from Silicon Valley.

The Pentagon needs to woo away talent from Silicon Valley for AI: hint, pay better and be more flexible.

Software bots may help with training for the US Navy.

France wants to integrate software bots with its software defined radios.

Google used micro workers to train its controversial Project Maven AI.


Persistent Systems has developed a control system for unmanned vehicles.

Attacking the automated portions of the an enemy force might be the way to go.

The US Navy has released an RFI for a unmanned systems architecture.