Navigating dynamic 3D environments while flying!

Moving through busy environments is a complex task that is becoming increasingly easy for computer systems to perform on the groud. The task is made even harder while flying if you want to fly low to the ground. New obstacles become serious problems, like power lines and overpasses. A team at Carnegie Mellon University have modified a UAV to fly low to the ground successfully. The UAV can have a pre-loaded map or it can build its map as it flies using its laser range finder sensors. The lasers sweep an oval pattern out front of the vehicle and develop a dynamic map. If an obstacle is detected the system plans a route around it. Current UAV's cannot fly low to the ground because they lack a system like this.…
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The military gives the Turing Test a go.

Fun Bits, Technology
We have talked about the turing test before, now it appears the US Army wants to give it a shot in World of Warcraft. Along with several other advanced technologies like regenerating body parts, erasing bad memories, and electronic telepathy they are attempting to develop virtual soldiers that look and behave like a real human. To test these virtual humans they are going to deploy them in World of Warcraft. The virtual soldiers should be able to convince humans they are real, going as far as emulating emotion and using local slang correctly while responding to questions and communicating effectively with other players. It appears the Army is attempting to tackle some very complex AI and Nanotechnological problems. If one of their AI soldiers does manage to fit in properly…
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Adrift in the silence, but now a melody from the void

Over the last week or so I haven't seen many breakthrough bits of research that I wanted to share with Automatons Adrift. I have been reading the papers from AIIDE 2008 and some of them have been very interesting. I will share a synopsis of some of the cool ideas shared at that conference in a later post. Now there has been a song from the void. The automatons are singing, or at least trying to sing. A UK researcher has been experimenting with autonomous agents that communicate through singing and work together to improvise a song or melody. The robots currently attempt to mimic eachothers sounds and it has been scaled up to twenty robots. Further research in this field can be applied to group communication and organized planning.…
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