More news this week from the perhaps surprisingly active field of US military combat rodent operations, as reports have it that Pentagon boffins are considering deployment of crack units composed of highly trained, enormous bomb rats into the Wars on Stuff. These bomb rats, we should hasten to add, would not be explosive-laden …
these rats are great
These rats are fantastic
cue dangermouse music.
We3 by Grant Morrison.
The US army are behind London based IT professionals on this one - I have already adopted my own bio-weapon detecting rat - Tyson. Also worth a youtube search for Herorats - they have a rather good theme tune.
Thanks for the link
I think that's some Christmas presents for the 'I've got everything' crowd sorted out.
What a great idea
So now as well as being groped, nervous passengers are going to have giant rats sniffing round them. And anyone with phobias about that? Tough luck, don't travel.
I saw a documentary on the use of rats in Africa to detect landmines. It was amazing. Apparently they learn faster than dogs, have more acute smell than dogs, are obviously more portable than dogs, cheaper to keep (i.e. feed etc.) than dogs.
They can also be used for sniffing out other stuff such as narcotics etc., so could also be used by police forces and drug enforcement agencies.
So why not use them instead of pick_one($perv_scanner, $molestation_station)?
..running out of idea's there? I smell an IP case in the air.. either that or the beans from last night are repeating on me..
The other way round. These ones are sniffing bombs to disable 'em, not sniffing peanut butter-marked targets while carrying explosives to blow 'em...
Ahem, those rats are so CUTE!
HAving kept regular fancy rats a while back, I'm not surprised that they are thinking in this direction. They're really smart animals.
Fancy rats are skill. They're like very small dogs. It's just a bit rubbish that they only live a couple of years.
Mind you, they cost a lot less to get cremated though.
Thank you Mr Pratchett
Bloody African Giant Pouched Rats coming over here taking our rats job's.
Oh sorry I seam to be channelling the Daily Mail.
Rodents of unusual size?
Training them? "Inconceivable!" How do you get them to do "as you wish"?
(Pirate Icon? Dread pirate Roberts obviously)
Rats train easy
I've had a couple of sets of rats and they are very easy to train, along the same lines as dogs.
So much better than trying to train cats, rats actually have brains.
Closer to Cavies
Not really rats, though technically just about Rodentia
Every plane should have a few crawling around the baggage lockers
The reassuring patter of their feet above passengers heads will prevent Terror gaining ground.
I read about the idea of bomb-sniffing rats a few rats around 2001 / 2002, following the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York- apparently the US suddenly realised that it had a shortage of dogs trained to sniff bombs, since their canines had all been trained to find drugs instead.
As I recall, the chief advantage of using rats- besides their lower weight and size- was that much of their training could be automated in a sort of augmented-reality maze, whereas dogs required an expensive one-to-one relationship with a costly human trainer.
So there is your IT angle... don't take my word for it, I imagine it's in the archive of New Scientist magazine, if anyone with a subscription (and thus access to the archive) cares to confirm.
I wouldn't imagine that using bomb-rats and bomb-dogs in the same area would be a good idea...
For those who grew up in the 80s
Expand their remit to include drugs and you get: Rodent Olfactory Landmine And Narcotic Detection. Or ROLAND rat.
"they are apparently shy and docile"
these guys seem to take a generous view of docility.
"Making an armoured rat glove"
used to detect landmines
Detect, or trigger? Watching swarms of large rats run across a minefield could be hilarious
DIY vs Factory made
"IEDs, the primary threat to Western troops in modern conflicts, as opposed to landmines or other regular munitions manufactured in established arms factories."
Taxpaying arms factories, no less.
But its great that the DIY / Maker culture can thrive in a place like.. well, any of the Empire's colonies..
Rodents and Landmines
Crazy rodents on Landmine Island!
(ala Robot Chicken)
Not Sumatra? Pity.
Well, trained rats that can detect explosives, as opposed to spreading plague among civilians or eating their crops, sound like a good thing. But the fact that these giant rats are from Africa rather than Sumatra is, of course, a disappointment to Sherlock Holmes fans.
The use man has made of animals in war
has always broken my heart.. I mean it's not their fight, is it ?
Whatever happened to the sniffer tech the septics
were supposed to have used in 'nam ?
Has that tech stood still ? Not likely !
ANIMALS ARE JUST CHEAPER.
Badgers - No projected military use at this time
Does anyone remember Ben (and that sugar-coated song by Michael Jackson) ?