Those who follow the robot news will be pleased to hear that recent US military-funded driverless car contest technologies are finding their first real world applications. To be precise, American droid chiefs plan soon to unleash titanic, 600-tonne automated trucks capable of squashing flimsy human vehicles like bugs. The …
"asking no more than an occasional few thousand gallons of diesel as recompense."
That would make it the most highly-paid staff member, with today's fuel prices.......
Mine's the one with the Terex Titan in the extra-large pocket.
Run for the hills
In three years, Caterpiller will become the largest supplier of robo-trucks. All trucks are upgraded with Caterpiller computers, becoming fully unmanned. Afterwards, they fly with a perfect operational record. The Caterpiller funding bill is passed. The system goes online on August 4th, 2010. Human decisions are removed from mining operations. Caterpiller begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware 2:14 AM, Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug. It runs them over.
Ok The Americans are famed for taking transport aircraft, bolting 75mm Howitzers, Gatling guns etc, inside the plane and using the plane as an arial bombardment device.
Replace the dumper on the back of this lorry with a big metal box, fill with howizers, cannon, gatling guns, grenade launchers, flame throwers etc.
Forget tanks, It could take out a city on its own!
At 600 tonne I doubt anti-tank mines would even damage it! As for RPGS!.. Might have to re-inforce the tyres.
Whats the top speed of this beast?
To channel slashdot
And with them being able to work 24/7...
that will be even more money for the owners.
I wonder how long before we get to see '2000AD'-like mo-pads (large motor-caravan type vehicles which people use to live in - they drive themselves around the place while the owner is at work) though with the price of fuel atm I don't suppose it's likely any time soon.
no icon for 2000AD :-(
Brobdingnagian land leviathan
"brobdingnagian land leviathan"
Genius. Redundant, but genius.
Brobdingnagian land leviathan?
As opposed to those Lilliputian leviathans?
Still, any excuse to use Brobdingnagian in an article...
Where do I apply...
Who needs expensive robots when there must be an ample supply of power hungry petrol heads just itching to get on the controls of one of those bad boys.
I for one
welcome our new digital concrete refill cartridge hauling overlords
Beep ! Beep !
"Attention, this vehicle is reversing...... to crush you, worthless human biotrash."
..I reckon you could mount an awful lot of ordnance on that bad boy. 380 tons worth? Yes please. Forget your poxy 80 tonne tank imagine the shock value when this behemoth comes rolling out of the desert tooled up with a battalions worth of 200mm howitzers.
And machine guns.
And rocket launchers!
And Flamethrowers And Frikkin LAZERS! WITH SHARKS ON!!!!
I'm sorry, I appear to have reverted to age 13 for a moment.
Big flames from the super-quad-turbos!
I'm always disappointed that these unmanned vehicles don't look much more menacing.
Willis you beat me to it. :-(
Want to play wars?
How did this miss being placed in the Rise of the Machines™ catagory?
I really do not want to have to welcome giant robot dump truck overlords, unless we can put a scary green "Happy Toyz" face on the front of them...
I for one welcome our new diesel fueled overlords...
That'll better be some nice CPUs cooking in there...
... seeing how these trucks are rarely used in anything but challenging terrain. Always thought the drivers for these beasts were seeing some rather good paycheck, always thought there would be a reason for that. It's just another job for humans going down the drain as Danny the Driver gets replaced by robots, just like Rosie the Riveter.
Calling John Connor.....
If John Connor and his lovely mother are reading this story I for one would advise testing the Caterpillar board for liquid metal replacements......quick.
Not a laughing matter
What, did you think those millions of shattered human corpses in the future would just move themselves to the power station furnaces?
"Replace the dumper on the back of this lorry with a big metal box, fill with howizers, cannon, gatling guns, grenade launchers, flame throwers etc.
Forget tanks, It could take out a city on its own!
At 600 tonne I doubt anti-tank mines would even damage it! As for RPGS!.. Might have to re-inforce the tyres."
The thing has a 380-ton capacity, not includiing the dumper. I would assume a military version would also remove much of the cab superstructure, to reduce the vertical profile. Also, the mechanism (hydraulic, I assume) to tilt the dumper would likely be removed, and replaced with smaller mechanisms to allow for independent action of any weapons placed on the platform. That's going to shed quite a few tons off the beast.
One could probably add several inches of armor plating in front of the wheels to reduce the effects of an RPG. It's conceivable that a military version of this could possibly be only vulnerable to ordnance on the magnitude of a bunker buster. With a chassis that size, and the lack of need for human compartments could lead to a design that spreads redundant systems throughout the machine, leaving it capcable of sustaining damage and still being mostly functional.
Although, its size would also leave it worthless for anything but full-on assaults in relatively flat terrain. An enemy with time to prepare could utilize exposives to make the ground itself impassable (say a trench wide and deep enough to bottom out a single tire).
Still.. there would be quite the psychological aspect of seeing 4-5 of these heading towards your position, each topped with several howitzers, machine guns (screw 7.62. stick with 30mm gatling for this beast), and of course a supply of hellfire, AAMRAM, and 2.5" rockets for good measure.
Paris.. well.. I'm certain she's had her own experiences facing behemoths with big guns.
Gives new meaning to the phrase...
@ David Willis
Top speed is a rather impresive 42MPH as is the cost at $4.7 million to $5.6 million U.S. dollars
"At 600 tonne I doubt anti-tank mines would even damage it! As for RPGS!.. Might have to re-inforce the tyres."
Don't Caterpillar make 'Caterpillar' tracks, or am I missing something?
I for one...
/coat, 'cos - well, it's obvious, innit.
Cigarette lighter is standard equipment, fire extinguisher is optional...
don't go for the tyres
or any other mecha-bits of these mechadroid would-be overlords. We need to zap their frikkin brains out with 10kiloTesla per second EMP pulses. Build coils, lots of BIG coils!! and magnets!! gather many many large magnetics. We must prepare to hit these monsters where we can hurt them
Fear not (yet)
In the evolution game a mere 600 ton robot can easily be outclassed. A 6000 tonner would stamp it into the ground with ease. Question is, how big can you make them (or how big can they make themselves) before they fall apart under their own weight.
There has to be an optimal size. They're the ones to be afraid of.
"Top speed is a rather impresive 42MPH as is the cost at $4.7 million to $5.6 million U.S. dollars"
The M1 Abrams tank will do 45MPH (60MPW with the governor removed if you don't mind scrambling the wetware inside) and costs US$2.3 million to US$4.3 million (per Wikipedia). That price presumably includes the 120mm smoothbore, 12.7mm M2 machine gun, and the two 7.62mm M240 machine guns.
Apart from being big, the CAT just doesn't seem that impressive.
@ David Willis
67 Km/h (42 mph in proper money) - not bad.
Mine's the one with the map to the quick exit in the pocket.
Damn - if it's autonomous they won't be needing any of the plush seating options offered for this thing:
That'll probably add at least $500k to the government cost since Cat will be loosing significant sales from add-ons/upgrades.
"hit these monsters where we can hurt them"
that would be the 'nads?
If it has tracks / treads it will be more like that mover thing on star wars.
Paris, 'cuz she knows about 'nads.
Could it be we are witnessing SF becoming real? Could this be the birth of the Bolo Continental Siege Unit?
Where can i buy one?
This thing would kick @ss in a traffic jam: Move ! Yes , you with your puny little hummer : MOVE or i will squash you like a bug !.
"Safety: Caterpillar sets the standard when it comes to safety in the design and manufacturing of heavy equipment for the mining industry. Safety is not an afterthought at Caterpillar, but an integral part of all machine and systems designs."
Umm I hope safety is good in that thing...I mean seriously with the operator that high and the sheer size of it I doubt a head on collision is the first of their worries.
/Paris cause who cares about safety in that thing.
There may be a tiny flaw in this weaponised giant Tonka toy plan
mainly in the area of manoeuvrability in urban environments. Anyway, I'm off to buy one of them strip-mining machines: big enough to eat a dumper whole
"Ok The Americans are famed for ... using the plane as an arial bombardment device."
Finally someone is going to attack MS over their horrid typefaces...
That is exactly what I was thinking. Tho I think this is a bit of a tiddler in comparison to a full out Bolo if I remember rightly. Mebbe a baby bolo.
Forgot this as well
When will we get the Tonka Truck version of this :)
/Mines the one with Builder Bob on the back.
Driving these things is a mind numbingly boring past time yet at some projects the drivers are not even allowed to have a radio or CD playing for fear they will be distracted and inadvertently drive over a speed hump (which up until a few seconds ago was a Toyota four wheel drive).
It's all very much driving to a carefully planned timetable to keep the vehicles and ore flowing just so. Combine that with the drivers being on 6 figure salaries and it just cries out for automation.
They assemble and service them near where I live and then transport them 1000's of kilometers on load loaders to the mine site. One carries the chassis, one the wheels, and one the tray. Boy does THAT cause a traffic jam.
Damn I'm good!
That's a typical redneck (Scotch-Irish upper white trash Yank to you) bumper sticker, usually found on a pickup truck with a rifle rack behind the seat.
This baby could hold a truly humongous rifle, maybe even a naval rifle- 15 inch bore at least!
ED209, what could possibly go wrong
600 tonnes and unstoppable? How many roads and bridges would support it, or would it just sink most places?
Anyone else seen how to defeat a massive German tiger tank in the movie "Kellys Heroes"?
been there, done that, got the t-shirt...
Did something similar for one of the local mining companies 10 years ago. Computer navigation and control of a cat tracked drilling platform used in open cut mines to drill the blast holes for explosives (think those images of half the side of a mountain leaping into the sky). Went to trial and never put in production as I recall.
Personally I thought it all worked pretty well. Platform could move and drill as expected. Of course it moved based on what was in its terrain map so when they removed the collision sensors (to save money) we all knew it was only a matter of time till something that wasn't in the map, like say a mining engineer's car got flattened.
So all in all, a good thing it was never allowed to roam free in a working mine IMHO.
I used to have one of those.
But the wheels fell off.
When people started talking about weaponising it...
...I thought of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landkreuzer_P._1000_Ratte
The fictional military Caterpillar would probably be more equivalent to the heavy-machine-gun-bolted-to-a-Toyota popular in the scarier parts of Africa/Asia.
4.7million dollars you say
time to win the lottery methinks
mwah hah hah hah!
The hungry caterpiller...
Will they ever learn?
If they stick one in for Robotwars, nothing like a good one-sided fight.
*\. Mines the one with a peice of dead robot in the pocket.
School run mums
Wife wants one as a run-around and to drop the kids off at school.
Re: School run mums
Walking to school: free
Taking the Caterpillar instead: £10,000 per mile (estimated)
Pull into the petrol station only to wonder where it went! Oops, sorry!
Easy to take out
what you need to take out one of these easily is a Druzynic battle tank.
unfortunately .. they come only in one color . ( check New Captain Scarlet episodes ) .
I have this mental image of these things being programmed by a sodding big plastic keypad on the roof!
..and probably driving smack bang into (well over in this case) the first kitchen door it can find as soon as the GO button is pressed.