Remote and/or unattended warfare & monitoring is a field that will grow in importance and visibility over the coming years. Its impact on the composition and format of the US military over the next several decades will be substantial. Advances in technology may already be seen in the current UAV Roadmap of 2005 (PDF on GoogleDocs) that will be further strategized and propagated with the upcoming QDR that will be taking its “final shape” next week.
A robotic bat head that can emit and detect ultrasound in the band of frequencies used by the world’s bats will give echolocation research a huge boost.
"Whenever a robot team wants to build
an autonomous robot they look at sonar first, but they quickly run into
problems due to the simple nature of commercial sonar systems, and
switch to vision or laser-ranging. We hope that the research we can now
do with the robotic bat will lead to more sophisticated sonar systems
being used for robot navigation and other applications," he says.
One of the problems with remote sensing is identification. If accurate identification of an object is possible through redundant systems — visual and echolocation — robots may be more autonomous.
In the age of remote cameras and U(C)AVs, now aJapanese house-sitter robot:
Roborior can function as interior decor, but also as a virtual guard dog that can sense break-ins using infrared sensors, notify homeowners by calling their cellular phones, and send the owner’s cell phone videos from its digital camera.
Commercial application of remote sensing brings peace of mind somebody/thing is watching the tatami.