Knightscope Security Robot

At just 5ft, they may not seem like the most imposing security guards, but they could soon be patrolling shopping centers around the world.

The Knightscope K5 robots are the creation of a Silicon Valley startup firm and have been specially designed for fighting crime.

And the company says it has just signed a deal which will see the droids roll out across 16 cities.

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Knightscope has just signed a deal which will see its K5 security droids (pictured) roll out to shopping malls across 16 cities in the United States. And they could one day become a common sight in shopping precincts worldwide
Knightscope has just signed a deal which will see its K5 security droids (pictured) roll out to shopping malls across 16 cities in the United States. And they could one day become a common sight in shopping precincts worldwide

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As Much Fun as Stripping Paint

Prototype robots autonomously strip paint from aircraft using lasers

Team of robots decoating a cargo plane
Team of robots decoating a cargo plane

If you think stripping paint off an end table can be a messy, time consuming job, imagine removing paint and other coatings from an aircraft like the C-130 transport plane. Tasked with developing a robotic system that would take such a chore out of the hands of maintenance personnel, Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) and Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, developed a team of robots that gets the job done – using laser beams, no less.

Close up of Laser Removal Arm

The prototype robots are being tested at the Hill Air Force Base in northern Utah as part of a program sponsored by the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment to develop ways to cut down on the labor costs, health hazards and environmental problems of repainting military planes. CTC is building six autonomous, mobile robots that work in teams to remove paint and other exterior coatings from fighter and transport planes.

Coating removal system

The large robots consist of a mobile platform on which is mounted a large, articulated arm that moves up and down on hydraulic lifts. On the end of each arm is an array of sensors that allow the arm to glide evenly over the plane’s surface and a continuous wave laser that removes the paint in selective layers. The sensors can also assess the plane’s condition as they go. The speed at which they work needs to remain even so that the laser can strip the paint without overheating the plane’s skin. Meanwhile, a custom High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) system safely collects paint debris as it is removed from the aircraft.

How many robots are required for each team depends on the aircraft. Two robots are enough for a fighter, but four robots might be needed for a cargo plane. The system controlling the robots generates plans for stripping the plane, which can be updated as the job proceeds. It also “virtually” masks areas of the plane that shouldn’t be touched, so maintenance crews don’t have to run about with masking tape and paper.

Mobile robot teams

Using robots means that plane maintenance can carry on around the clock, but it also offers other advantages. For one thing, since they operate autonomously, crews aren’t exposed to harmful chemicals or laser light. According to Jim Arthur, CTC principal process engineer and project manager, “automated laser decoating is expected to significantly reduce labor, waste volume, environmental risk, and overall cost.”

The system is currently in the testing and demonstration phase, but NREC/CTS foresee the robots being used to not only strip, but to also apply paints and coatings as well as inspecting aircraft and doing maintenance and repair work.

Attribution:  , Real Clear Science

Robo – Patrol


The United States is not the only country with a border problem. Israel also has a problem with their border, but theirs has to do with neighbors who want nothing more than to wipe them off the face of the earth.

Israel’s borders with Egypt, Lebanon and especially the Gaza Strip are the most dangerous. The intruders across these borders are not after Israeli jobs, their welfare, or their way of life like those crossing the US border from Mexico.

Their intruders are terrorists who want toblow them up and kill them all . Instead of Mexican drug cartels, they are dealing with Hamas and Hezbollah.

The terrorists often watch the Israeli border patrol to learn their habits and routines. They use that information to kill the border patrol and infiltrate the tiny nation.

In an effort to help secure their borders while also protecting their border patrol agents, the Israeli Army Engineering Corps (pronouned core, not corpse) are developing robots to use for patrolling the borders. Working with various private companies, they are creating robots that will have the ability to detect anyone crossing the border and if necessary to shoot at them. They will be controlled by someone back at a command station who will be able to monitor the robot.

As I was reading about them, I couldn’t help but wonder if the US could use the same type of robots to patrol our borders. Instead of placing good men like Brian Terry along the US/Mexican border to be slain with weapons our government provided to our enemies, we should use robots instead. If the robots are equipped with motion sensors, infrared heat detection and ways to stun, detain and/or shoot if necessary, they could be more effective than human agents. They could patrol our borders day or night, rain or shine.

If word got out that we had robots patrolling our borders with instructions to detain or shoot intruders, I strongly suspect the number of people trying to enter our country illegally would drastically drop. That would also lead to more jobs for Americans and fewer government dollars being wasted on illegals.