In an article that is somehow evocative of a certain movie franchise (whose bloggers unfortunately met a grisly, Cloverfield-esque end late last February), the University of Michigan has received $10 million from the army for a “Center for Objective Microelectronics and Biomimetic Advanced Technology, or COM-BAT.” The robotic bat produced by this group apparently will have a “gargoyle mode” that involves perching on a building and lurking. Since there already is a Michigan Gargoyle, I suggest changing the name to “hunter-killer” mode (good luck with James Cameron’s lawyers). Even worse (or better!), another article in The Register speculates that the RADAR of the Michigan war bat would allow it to easily destroy Georgia Tech’s “cyborg infiltrator machines [that wear] living creatures like fleshy cloaks.” Apparently Prof. Robert Michelson’s group plans to scoop out the entrails of moths and replace them with remote-controls and sensors.
Also in the article, The Register describes DARPA as “the Pentagon asylum for usefully-insane scientists” which can’t be entirely true since our own Andy (who is still pretty sane despite his defense coming up this Friday) was partly funded by DARPA.