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The Little Human Brain Cell That Could

Another milestone is reached in the integration of biological and mechanical systems at The Department of Cybernetics, University of Reading in the UK, where scientists have successively created robots which operate from control centers composed of rat and also human brain cells. Well, God save the Evil Robot Queen then!

The Department os Cybernetics is working on using human "wet-ware" (that's pieces of you and me, to you and me) to control these nefarious little automatons; nefarious little automatons that are the kindergarten class of the one day Evil Robot Overlords! Not to mention the disturbing fact that the brainy bits that control these robots are communicating wirelessly with them; brain cell control at a distance...


"What happens when a man is merged with a computer or a robot? This is the question that Professor Kevin Warwick and his team at the department of Cybernetics, University of Reading in the UK have been trying to answer for a number of years.

There are many ways to look at this problem. There is the longer term prospect of freeing the mind from the limitations of the brain by uploading it in digital form, potentially onto a computer and/or robotic substrate (see the h+ interview with Dr. Bruce Katz, Will We Eventually Upload Our Minds?). There is also a shorter term prospect at a much more limited scale

Amorphous Blob of Foreboding Goo

The Chembot revolution rolls, or rather oozes, on! The heretofore rather mundane iRobot Corporation reveals its hand somewhat by debuting a bizarre new entrant into its arsenal.

This device claims to take advantage of a form of locomotion the company refers to as "Jamming", we hesitate to suggest how badly that designation disturbs our already sensitive "Evil Robot Potential Misbehavior Scale". Plus, it's just kind of gross.

And, of course, you have DARPA to thank for this one as well. Going for the brass ring, they are...


"We're getting a first glimpse of that shape-shifting ChemBot we first told you about last year, and well, it looks like the love child of a beating heart and a wad of Silly Putty.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Army Research Office awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to iRobot to create the flexible military bot. The maker of the Roomba and Scooba, along with University of Chicago researchers, showed off the oozy results at the Iros conference (the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems) in St. Louis this week.

Errmm, yeah, that's not good. Soon all of you honest parents will be able to answer your children when they ask if there are monsters under the bed; "Uhhmmm, well...maybe, yeah..."

The New Evil Robot Jerusalem

In an eye-wateringly bold effort by the forthcoming Evil Robotic Overlords to win the wet and fleshy "hearts and minds" of it's one-day human chattle, South Korea furthers it's plans to build RobotLand or as we here at ERN loathingly refer to it, The New Evil Robot Jerusalem.

A gleaming and infernal temple that will undoubtedly hearken the true beginnings of the coming downfall of mankind. The tempestuous hand of Evil Robot fate, extending its multi-dextrous actuators down to touch the cursed earth. Lorded over by no less than a 300 foot tall colossus of "Robot Taekwon V". No doubt the giant Robot Lord will broadcast a multitude of damaging frequencies from a super-secret transmitter hidden away in it's giant and ruinous cranium to further wither the human will.

Do we sense the hand of North Korea's notoriously enthusiastic Evil Robot acolyte, Kim Jong Il, behind the scenes quietly and steathily at the controls of this new, dark working? Without any corroborating evidence whatsoever, indeed we do...


"Though not the robot theme-park we all secretly want, South Korea has announced that it will be building a

The Thin Silver Line

As robotics technology seems to progress by leaps and bounds (virtually literally), it seems that it will also press on some philosophical "sore points" as we struggle to reconcile what machine-human interface means to society and to individuals, perhaps most poignantly, men and women who have become injured or challenged in some fashion.

While ERN looks to point out the obvious complications and, possibly, errant pathways, robotic advancements might take; it has to be conceded that there is, indeed, a "Thin Silver Line" that has to be considered, as evidenced by the continuing development of technologies like the Deka Arm.

Far be it from us to rail against the enrichments such technologies may, specifically, be able to bring to individuals' lives, such as capably replacing lost limbs and mitigating other grave injuries. That being said, we would persist in pointing out the profoundly sensitive conundrum that this story so aptly brings to the fore. The Deka Arm is being commissioned by DARPA, in response to the increasingly urgent desire to replace the lost limbs of the drastically rising number of combat casualties in the United States Military's conflicts abroad.

With all due humility, we would like to consider the "treat the symptom vs. treat the cause" mentality surrounding this development. That is, the need for highly advanced prosthetic limbs to be made so much more desirable by the catastrophic loss of limbs incurred by our political and military world-view, generally.

What if your robot isn't evil, but the person who hacks it is?

We designate an ERN Robot-Watch Award, the first, for the University of Washington for raising the banner on concerns for current and future robot security. In another "told-you-so" moment in Evil Robot Science, A recent study by Computer Science & Engineering Students locates crucial holes in the security protocols of common household robots.

What will you do when you come home one day and your cute little Scooba Robot is cleaning your kitchen floor not with bleach solution, but fresh human plasma!?

Diligently taking instructions, but from whom !?Diligently taking instructions, but from whom !?

Full Report at University of Washington Research

The Secret Life of Evil Robot Bees

Ivy League Evil-Robotics seems to be buzzing along nicely, as Harvard researchers do their best to emulate an insect who has had all too many setbacks of late. Yet another effort by the acolytes of destruction to manufacture the bitter honey of discord!

"Harvard researchers recently got a $10 million grant to create a colony of flying robotic bees, or RoboBees to among other things, spur innovation in ultra-low-power computing and electronic "smart" sensors; and refine coordination algorithms to manage multiple, independent machines."

"The RoboBee scientists will create robotic bees that fly autonomously and coordinate activities amongst themselves and the hive, much like real bees. They anticipate the devices will open up a wide range of discoveries and practical innovations, advancing fields ranging from entomology and developmental biology to amorphous computing and electrical engineering, the researchers stated."

Flight of the Evil Robotic Bumble BeeFlight of the Evil Robotic Bumble Bee

Full Story at Network World


In the transition period between the quaint bucolic past and the bleak robot infested future there will, of course, be an intervening season of confusion. A time when human beings will feel safe in co-opting the technologies of their future robot oppressors, taking bits and pieces of the materials and technologies of robot science and using them to augment their own minds and bodies. Hey, it worked for Steve Austin right?

"There are sportswear firms offering bespoke trainers and funeral companies that sell personalised coffins, but this latest extension of Savile Row principles may shock even the staunchest devotees of mass customisation.

Laser eye surgeons are now offering tailor-made corneas. Two decades after the first laser eye treatment in Britain, in November 1989, the quest for perfect vision has been replaced, in many cases, by eyesight tailored to an individual

Nature, Nurture or...Evil Robot Science?

Some things are created whole by nature itself in synchrony with the delicate interplay of time and the myriad forces of the universe working in minute confluence. Other things have their origin in nature, but bear that dark element of broken desire and wanton design of our local species of hyper-intelligent ape.

On the horizon however we see the probability that the neighborhood super-ape is wresting the blueprints of nature out of their timeless moorings and using these elegant designs for its own twisted, ill-advised, ape-devised Evil Robot purposes!

Oh, naughty, naughty ape!

"A LOCUST flight simulator could be the key to perfecting the ultimate surveillance machine: an artificial flying insect. The simulator can model the way wings of varying shapes and surface features beat, as well as how they change their shape during flight."

Another casuality of The Evil Robot Overlords!Another casuality of The Evil Robot Overlords!

Full Story at New Scientist

AWOL Robot Aircraft Throws Down The Gauntlet

In another serious shot across the bow, a member of the Evil Robot Air Force goes "off mission" in Afghanistan, provoking a deadly response from the puny humans. The U.S. Air Force claims to not know the reason for the loss of control of this $53.3 Million Dollar Mistake, but we, the faithful, we know what time it is. Am I right?

"The USAF does not know how or why operators lost control of the MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aircraft System. "We do not speculate on the cause of an aircraft mishap," [ Yeah, Evil Robotic Strike Force Aircraft goes off the reservation and you "don't speculate"; that's the kind of strategic shortcoming humans cannot afford in the coming Robot Wars. They're playin' you dude! - ERN] Captain Frank Hartnett, a spokesman for the Air Force, told Security Management. An investigation, however, will be conducted to find an answer, he said.

The Reaper was flying a combat mission when operators lost "positive control" of the UAV, or the ability to establish connections and send control inputs to the remote-controlled aircraft. When operators noticed the UAV was bound to exit Afghani airspace and all efforts to reestablish communication with the machine failed, the Air Force deployed an F-15E Strike Eagle to destroy it."

The mouldering bio-bot invasion

You're prepared, right? You are studiously building your own electromagetic pulse weapons and have a primed and well polished plasma cutter ready for the eventual Evil Robot Revolt.

Well, here is another turn in the cold, dark, labyrinth of robotic technology. Research increases on the increasingly capable ranks of the "Wet-Bot"

"Researchers have received a Leverhulme Trust grant worth


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