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Your tax dollars at work...

...or, how to be goofy and creepy at the same time.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which in the past has funded such experimental projects as ARPAnet (an experimental computer network that was later renamed the Internet) is currently funding a project called the "Self-Healing Mine Field."

The basic premise is this: An army lays down a field of antitank mines. The mines all communicate with each other, and have the ability to move. If someone clears a path through the minefield, the mines react by automatically rearranging themselves so the path is closed.

And you though people had trouble clearing out minefields left behind from long-forgotten wars now.

There's a Flash animation about the project that you have to see to believe here.


Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
poetgeek
Apr. 19th, 2003 12:13 pm (UTC)
And when one wants to clear the area, in theory you could communicate to all the mines and they'd move themselves back on the trucks (or whatever), turn themselves off and be ready to use later.

Or deactivate themselves and start bright blinking strobe lights so they could be collected.

(Of course, cracking the mine field would take on a whole new meaning....)
tacit
Apr. 19th, 2003 01:06 pm (UTC)
Unlikely, because if there were an easy deactivation method, the enemy could conceivably get access to it. The military doesn't trust anyone, not even its own.

That's why ICBMs don't have recall codes. There is no signal that can be sent to a nuclear missile once it's been launched to recall, retarget, or deactivate it--because if such a signal existed, the enemy might be able to use it.
altenra
Apr. 22nd, 2003 05:23 pm (UTC)
That's just great. We're dooming ourselves further and further in every way imaginable...and some not.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )