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Robot Animals of the United States Government
March 22, 2012 9:10 PM   Subscribe

First there was the doomed cyborg Acoustic Kitty. Then the vaguely ominous man-outrunning robot cheetah. Now we have super stealth Robojelly, a robotic jellyfish.
posted by sunnichka (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
..and {theoretically} it never runs out of energy, traveling the seas, alone, seeking.
posted by stbalbach at 9:17 PM on March 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Poor, poor cyborg kitteh.
posted by darkstar at 9:20 PM on March 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


finally, a perpetual motion machine.
posted by es_de_bah at 9:32 PM on March 22, 2012


Some say the definition of insanity is to do the same thing again and again expecting different results.

I say the definition of insanity is to expect a cat to be where you want it to be when you want it to be there.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:40 PM on March 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


The fact that $15-20 million was spent on cyborg cats is mind boggling.
posted by Harpocrates at 9:43 PM on March 22, 2012


Finally, we will crack the dolphin code once and for all!
posted by not_on_display at 10:08 PM on March 22, 2012



The fact that $15-20 million was spent on cyborg cats is mind boggling.


Mind boggles? There are bigger boondoggles to knuckle your noodle. Even a billion is not much more than a quibble, a subtle dollar gobble. Now trillions, those are the real budget guzzle troubles.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:11 PM on March 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


FORWARD OPERATIONS: San Diego, we've just intercepted a transmission Robojelly #4 in the South China Sea.
SAN DIEGO: Are we under the sub?
FORWARD OPERATIONS: Not exactly, sir.
SAN DIEGO: What do you mean? What did it say?
FORWARD OPERATIONS: TURTLE TURTLE TURTLE.
SAN DIEGO: ...and then what?
FORWARD OPERATIONS: That was it sir.
SAN DIEGO: What.
FORWARD OPERATIONS: Apparently sea turtles eat jellyfish, sir.
SAN DIEGO: Goddamn....Goddamnit man! Uhhh...does the Apple Store have an update yet?
FORWARD OPERATIONS: Let me look, sir.
SAN DIEGO: ...
FORWARD OPERATIONS: Yes, sir.
SAN DIEGO: What does it fix?
FORWARD OPERATIONS: Let's see sir...ah yes...turtle patch v.2.1.5.4
SAN DIEGO: Recall all the Robojellys at once. How long will that take?
FORWARD OPERATIONS: By our estimations, sir, to swim back to Oahu, sir...87 years, sir.
SAN DIEGO: GET ON IT MAN! THIS THING WILL BE OVER IN 67!
posted by jimmythefish at 10:13 PM on March 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Honestly, I was expecting the story to end with a taxi.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:14 PM on March 22, 2012


That robot cheetah looks very much like OG CG [YouTube], and previous robot jellyfish, while not suited to espionage, certainly inspire joy.
posted by 0rison at 11:36 PM on March 22, 2012


The fact that $15-20 million was spent on cyborg cats is mind boggling.

And that's in 1960s dollars. According to Measuring Worth that's likely between 100 and 150 million in current US dollars.
posted by Garm at 11:44 PM on March 22, 2012


A fleet of these will be perfect for shipping in all my heroin from Mexico.
posted by XMLicious at 1:08 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


shipping in all my heroin from Mexico

I thought the big money was in coke?
posted by Meatbomb at 2:36 AM on March 23, 2012


I can't wait until these clips are presented with dramatic irony in the opening "Naive Optimism" scenes from the future documentary "Why Humans Now Live in Sewers as Hunted Rat-Eating Morlocks"
posted by reverend cuttle at 4:22 AM on March 23, 2012


I think the biggest money is in human trafficking but they don't fit inside jellyfish.
posted by XMLicious at 4:26 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


The CIA got up to some truly bugfuck stuff in the 1960s.

Possibly my least favourite CIA animal experiment was the Tusko experiment, in which an elephant at Oklahoma City zoo was injected with LSD.

The experimenters seem to have wanted to see if LSD could induce musth (presumably because being able to turn placid male elephants into raging uncontrollable monsters with a dart had some sort of perceived espionage utility ... in Russia).

Alas, the butchering quacks broke rule #1 of experimental pharmacology, which is to start by assessing the minimum effective dose of a drug from the bottom up. They went straight in and administered 0.1mg/Kg (or about 300mg in total) of acid to poor Tusko. Note: 0.1mg/kg is roughly equivalent to 7mg for a human adult; the minimum effective dose of LSD25 in humans is roughly 0.001mg.

Tusko became restless and agitated, fell over, and went into seizure. He was dead within half an hour. So thanks to the CIA we know how much LSD it takes to kill an elephant.
posted by cstross at 5:28 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Science marches on!
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:20 AM on March 23, 2012


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