Old-School Pwnage is Back

Ladies and gentlemen of the gaming public, I give you Robokill – current king of the Flash Games.

You are a sophisticated robot killing machine, daringly inserted into the Titan Prime orbital station. Titan Prime is overrun by evil robots.

Kill the evil robots.

All evil robots must die. The screen fills with flashing blaster fire and epileptically intense storm-flashes of evil robots expoding. Best of all, evil robots drop cash when they frag – so you can buy bigger, badder gunz for your robots of destruction. My personal favourite, once I reached level 30, was the mighty heavy laser.

Yes, I paid the $10 to unlock the other two levels. This game is simple and very well designed – it’s the luxury potato chip of flash games. Once you start killing evil robots, you can’t stop. The gameplay is a pleasure – it’s retro blasting action, like 1995 all over again.

Only in 1995, it would have cost $35 and not played in browser . . .

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Coolness: Now in Robots

Exhibit A:

This is the first step towards exhibit B:

As with all tech, the parts will get smaller and smaller, and function faster and faster . . . Whoa.

What could such robots do? How about scout out a village?

Gaming Skill in Action: More Warbots

Meet Crusher, a 7-tonne autonomous military vehicle. Humans can take direct control if necessary, using an Xbox controller to raise and lower Crusher’s antenna, rotate its camera and fire its onboard machine gun. Stephen Welby, director of DARPA‘s Tactical Technology Office joked that soldiers “could finally put their Halo skills to good use.”

Continuing the theme is Packbot, a demolitions robot controlled with a Wiimote that is designed to clear mines and bombs. The scientists developing the unit point to the Wiimote’s intuitive control system as a major factor in their choice.

Robot Eternity

Speaking of nothing in particular . . .

Long live president Executron!

Look, Sarge, No Grunt: Robots in Battle

Lockheed's MULE, a prototype UGV

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been around for a while. Some now carry air-to-ground armament in the form of Hellfire missiles. UGV – Unmanned Ground Vehicles – are a little more complicated. Mostly ’cause there’s more things to bump into down here. But they’re coming. Popular Science has an interesting round-up on how far Uncle Sam has gotten with unmanned ground forces.