Periodically throughout history, Russia gets a hair up its ass to invade another neighboring country— Finland will back me up on this— and in this short week so far, Russia has flooded the Ukranian peninsula of Crimea with over 16,000 troops and counting, claiming that in the turmoil in the Ukraine, Russian citizens in Crimea are being killed. Shit just went all crazy.
The US already has a pretty dominant position in robotic aerial warfare, and we’re working on our own fleet of ground and naval drones, and we’re not the only ones. Russia has been very busy the past few years putting together its own rolling robot legion of death. At this point, it might be hard not to imagine that any full scale water breaking out in the next 10 to 15 years could be fought almost totally through robots.
Sending unmanned drones into the wilds of Afghanistan to shoot at terrorists is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the future of American autonomous dominance. This past week, the Department of Defense laid out a roadmap of the drone program, leading up to autonomous global drone missions and surveillance by 2022. Yup, in less than 10 years, American deathbots will be patrolling the globe by air, sea and land.
According to recent estimates on the growth of robotics in the US military, by 2023, there will be about 10 robots for every one human soldier. Obviously this doesn’t mean that we’ll have an army of Terminators to do all the fighting while the boys stay at home drinking beer, but it means that when human soldiers do have to go into battle, there will be a small personal squadron of bots looking for landmines, laying down suppressive fire, peering around corners and over obstacles and distracting the enemy.
Lockheed Martin’s SR-71 Blackbird is a hell of a piece of military tech. But the SR-71 was retired as a spy plane in 1998, so America is overdue with the latest and greatest flying machine. Behold the Lockheed Martin SR-72, a hypersonic flier that can shoot through the skies at double the breakneck batshit insane Mach 3 speed. Yes, double. The SR-72, if it ever goes into production, will be able to hit Mach 6, meaning you could fly from New York to LA and back within your lunch break.
3D printing is changing a lot in the way that products are designed, manufactured and distributed, but then you have to assemble the printed components. The US military wants to eliminate a step by using 4D printing— not creating items in a fourth physical dimension, but the more common fourth dimension of time. That is, printing objects that either self-assemble or change over time depending on circumstances.