The US Navy will begin in-the-wild trials of a laser weapon that can bring down aircraft or small vessels this summer, controlled just like a video game and costing about $1 a shot. The technology will be deployed initially on the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport dock in the Persian Gulf, rather than mounted to a shark's head, the Navy confirmed, and is part of R&D weaponry trials that also include railguns.
It’s rare that we’ll cover a firearm here on SlashGear, but when TrackingPoint shows off a smart automatic rifle series like the one we’re seeing today, we’ve got to change a tune. What you’ve got here is the TrackingPoint 500 Series AR rifle, working with a variety of technologies that make certain the carrier is the most accurate - machine accurate - in the field.
Being able to turn water into fuel for vehicles is something that has been a dream of researchers for decades. A team of researchers at the US Naval Research Laboratory, Materials and Science division, have demonstrated a proof of concept for a fuel created from seawater. The team developed a process for the recovery of carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater that was then converted into a liquid hydrocarbon fuel.
Poland is working with partners to create the tank of the future. The concept is called the PL-01 and it looks like something that you would pilot around in a futuristic version of the video game Battlefield. As you might guess from the design of the tank, it is intended to have a very low infrared, radar, and visual signature. That means that the tank has lot of angles like a Stealth fighter to reduce its radar signature.
The military and government in the US is putting a lot of research and money into developing robots for various uses. DARPA is trying to build robots that can be used in an emergency in environments where humans can’t safely operate for instance. NASA is also working on building robots, like Robonaut, that can be used in space.
One of the more interesting of the current crop of wearables is Google Glass. This wearable headset has caused a lot of controversy so far with some places banning people from wearing the headset inside out of privacy concerns. One woman in California was ticketed for wearing Google Glass while driving, but the ticket was later dismissed.
The team responsible for protecting Israel’s commercial jets at the Israel Ministry of Defense have announced that they’re about to start doing it with lasers. They’ll be protecting these craft with SkyShield, a system developed by Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems. This system utilizes laser technology with a thermal camera to deflect incoming threats.
If you’ll remember back in October of 2013 there was a story about how a "real Iron Man" was being built by the US Army. This week, US President Barack Obama spoke up on the White House’s next initiative for manufacturing innovation in the United States. In this speech, he suggested that the reason the press was gathered was that the United States government was building Iron Man - it was a joke, of course.
The food soldiers are sent out into the field with is notoriously unsavory. The MREs the US military uses are known for keeping soldiers fed when in the field, but not always for tasting good. With all the research that the military puts into weapons and vehicles, many American soldiers have long wished some of that research money would be spent on better food.
Typically, when we talk about autonomous vehicles, we are talking about Google and major automakers trying to get the tech ready for the roads around the nation. The US military is also looking to a future of autonomous vehicles that will allow convoys to deliver goods through hostile territory without putting soldiers at risk.
The future of combat is within sight, if recent statements by officials and rapidly advancing technologies are any indication. It was recently stated drones and robots will replace a large number of soldiers in the US's future Army, and now such technologies promise to alter the future of solider training altogether.