A space-age “force field” capable of protecting armoured vehicles and tanks by repelling incoming fire is being developed by British military scientists.
When a threat from incoming fire is detected by the vehicle, the energy stored in the supercapacitor can be rapidly dumped onto the metal plating on the outside of the vehicle, producing a strong electromagnetic field. Scientists behind the project claim this would produce a momentary “force field” capable of repelling the incoming rounds and projectiles.
Dr. Arkin has begun work on an ethical system for robots based on the concept of “guilt.” As a robot makes decisions, such as whether to fire its weapons and what type of weapon to use, it would constantly assess the results and learn.
If the robot established that its weapons caused unnecessary damage or casualties, it would scale back its use of weapons in a future encounter. If the robot repeatedly used excessive force, it would shut down its weapons altogether though it could continue to perform its other duties such as reconnaissance.
from Live Science:
Silicon may represent one of Earth’s more common elements, but it transformed Silicon Valley into a high-tech corridor and helped usher the world into the Information Age.
Now rare earth elements with exotic names such as europium and tantalum hold the key to hybrid cars, wind turbines and crystal-clear TV displays — that is, if a looming supply shortage doesn’t stop innovation in its tracks.
Lots of geopolitical issues here, but the bottom line is that we need to find or develop a new variety of sustainable ‘tomorrow building’ materials. Other considerations: Defense Industry to Face Shortage of Key Materials