Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics Science

Radiation Robot Makes Troops Safer 134

Posted by Zonk
from the johnny-five-is-alive? dept.
Darkman, Walkin Dude wrote to mention a plucky little radiation-proof robot working to make life easier for folks in the military. From the article: "By this time an hour and a half had gone by, and the team was temporarily out of ideas. Phil had estimated that the robot could remain ambulatory in the radiation field for only 50 minutes, and in fact the robot's lower portion was no longer responding to commands. The RAP team, as a precaution against this very circumstance, working with White Sands personnel had tied a rope to M2 before sending it into the work area. The rope, attached to a RAP team winch 100 feet outside the structure, ensured the robot could be hauled out if radiation damaged its drive unit. But radiation shields now blocked a direct haul. M2 was hemmed in. Using a ten-foot-long pole and standing at the edge of the field (which fanned out like a flashlight beam, strongest at its center and weakest at its edges), team members hooked and then tugged at the rope hauling M2. The deflection of the rope's pull slid the robot around a moveable radiation shield without knocking it over. The RAP team's winch then pulled the robot directly out. "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Radiation Robot Makes Troops Safer

Comments Filter:
  • Sad, really (Score:5, Funny)

    by daeley (126313) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:56PM (#14277470) Homepage
    Seconds later, Sarah Connor grabbed the pole and impaled the robot, destroying its primary power supply. Even as its eyes went dark, emergency systems kicked in to begin rerouting secondary and tertiary power systems.

    Wise to the design of robots, Sarah and her son, future savior of humankind John Connor, shoved the robot through a nearby doorway conveniently located right above a steel foundry where it dramatically screamed in electronic pain for a few seconds. And then it was over.

    "Is it over, mom?" John asked, panting.

    Sarah Connor wiped the sweat out of her eyes. "It's over," she said as the familiar industrial movie soundtrack theme began to play. "It's over."
    • Political media jargon to keep your eyes and mind away from what's really going on.
    • You know, the story where the robot was programmed wit a variation on the 3 directives where it would obey a rule unless it caused the robot harm, so it would go into the harmful zone, the cause robot harm rule would trigger, it would back out, the follow rule condition would reassert itself, and so on until the people got back into radio contact and told the robot that this mission needed to be done or the people would die.

    • shoved the robot through a nearby doorway conveniently located right above a steel foundry where it dramatically screamed in electronic pain for a few seconds

      I haven't seen the movie you refer to; did the robot do the Wilhelm scream [wikipedia.org] on the way down?
  • by kadathseeker (937789) on Friday December 16, 2005 @09:58PM (#14277479) Homepage
    "But radiation that can kill a human also can kill a robot's electronics. Bennett estimated M2 could withstand intense radiation for only 50 minutes." That's alot of elaboration. I know how cells are affected by radiation, and have and idea of how electronics would be, but I haven't heard alot about this problem and don't know for sure. How exactly are electronics affected by this radiation? Cool robot, though. It'll make a great new overlord.
    • Gamma rays and X-Rays are basically the same thing - ionizing electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation can induce currents in a piece of metal that is moved through its field and these unwanted currents can play havoc with the circuits inside a microchip, perhaps even overloading and burning them out. The gamma rays could also alter the bits in the memory chips so the software running the robot could crash.

    • by Scorillo47 (752445) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:06PM (#14277517)
      Ionizing radiations (usually beta/gamma radiation) can affect materials in various ways. For example, an energetic gamma-ray photon (around 0.3 MeV for the Cobalt-60 spectrum) would cause partial ionization of Si atoms in traditional semiconductors. Since the n/p difference is extremely small in a single transistor, you just need a few thousand ionizations in it to make it unusable.

      P.S. http://www.nlectc.org/training/nij2005/Conca.pdf [nlectc.org] - some interesting material there.
      • Would the use of tubes in military equipment make it less susceptable to the effects of ionizing radiation? I have heard (more as a rumour) that some equipment in the military still uses tubes just for that reason. But to me ionizing radiation would also ionize the gas in the tubes...
        • and beta radiation would interfere with the tubes, but that's not too hard to shield for.
        • Another problem with tubes is that to accommodate the bulk of a tube-based control computer, the robot would have to be big enough to be cast as the villain in a bad Godzilla sequel.
        • by Scorillo47 (752445) on Saturday December 17, 2005 @02:17AM (#14278376)
          I don't know, franly, but I am not sure about using tubes because as someone else pointed out, beta radiation (and gamma rays too) would ionize the rarefied gas inside the tube, therefore affecting the flow of electrons (in fact this is one of the principles behind various designs of radiation detectors). But probably it might work in some conditions.

          Another solution would be to use hardened semiconductors, with much bigger gates, etc. For example, in space you have cosmic rays (which, BTW are much more energetic than nuclear-generated gamma rays). NASA is using hardened electronic components which are able to withstand the random ionization generated by cosmic rays.
          • My lab was involved a few years back with an high performance computing experiment with self-healing FPGA's after exposure to ionising radiation.

            They flew some off the shelf (non radiation hardened) FPGAs on the FedSAT-1 spacecraft.

            I was involved with a different (GPS) payload, but i believe the HPCE payload was able to successfully self-diagnose and correct single gate errors on the chip. (http://www.crcss.qut.edu.au/comp/hpce.pdf [qut.edu.au])
        • Valves, as we call them over this side of the pond, are used in a lot of military radio equipment. They are also used for a lot of high power radio transmitters, but that's probably less to do with radiation hardening and more to do with performance. Semiconductors have a long way to go in the multi-kilowatt world...
        • Well, in most tubes there is no "gas" to become ionized. That's why they are called VACUUM tubes.

          Any gas that was present would become ionized by the electrostatic field inside the tube, and would interfere with proper operation.

          Intense radiation fields will play havoc with proper operation of those tubes that contain gases, such as thyratrons, voltage regulators, etc.
          • I never thought they have complete vacuum inside instead they probably have some traces of gas that when ionized would interfere with the flow of electrons. It seems though that one would need a lot more gamma rays to disrupt a vacuum tube operation than to discrupt a semiconductor.

            • between the few residual gas molecules left after exhaust, and occluded gases liberated from the tube elements during service. This is why tubes contain a "getter" made of reactive metals (like barium, cesium, zirconium, and the like) to adsorb stray gases.

              The key is to keep the mean free path longer than the distances between the active elements. The larger the tube gets, the better the vacuum generally must be.
      • The actual problem should be with Non ionizing energy loss (NIEL [google.com]) the can throw Si nuclei out of their place in the Si lattice and permanently damage it. The effect can be so large to lead to type inversion, a n-type semiconductor layer in a transistor becomes a p-type layer.
    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:11PM (#14277540) Journal
      Here's some info, relevant material pulled: [cmu.edu]

      "There are many different types of radiation effects, many of which cause both mechanical and electrical degradation. Mechanical defects consist of ones that cause properties of materials to be altered. For instance, such defects could alter the mechanical, optical, thermal and electrical properties of metals. Electrical degradation would physically occur during operation. Due to the accumulation of alpha particles, bits can be flipped during operation and cause system failure"

      There's more in-depth info out there, but most of the detailed stuff I was trying to access requires memberships in consortiums etc. I was a little surprised by the bitflipping.
    • The electronics are affected so harshly that special chips are used on all the satellites. In particular, if they are leaving orbit. Rad-hard chips are special, which you can read as slow and expensive.
    • How exactly are electronics affected by this radiation?

      Well there are four types of nuclear radiation - you usually get only one or two of these, depending on the cause.

      Alpha particles are ionized helium nuclei - they are highly energetic and fast but lose speed quickly in air and do not penetrate solids. These do not affect unexposed electronics

      Beta particles are high speed electrons. These can penetrate thin shields and have an ionizing effect on materials. These could with enough exposure affect elect
  • hackers (Score:3, Funny)

    by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:00PM (#14277492) Journal
    " Because the robot lacked a trigger finger to depress and release a drill control, the Sandia team stalked the aisles of local hardware stores, buying cordless drills and other equipment they modified into remotely operated drills, hooks, and grippers."

    Awesome, like a poor hardware hacker's dream... a big fat budget for using power tools in a manner inconsistent with their labeling. I think this is the fulfillment of a lot of engineer's reason for being engineers.
  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thesnarky1 (846799) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:00PM (#14277493) Homepage
    The summary says "radiation-proof robot", but TFA says "Phil had estimated that the robot could remain ambulatory in the radiation field for only 50 minutes, and in fact the robot's lower portion was no longer responding to commands."

    I'ma call shenanigans on this one. And "making life easier for folks in the military?!" In ONE instance, this helped what happened to be a Military research plant. But the poster makes it seem like this'll win the war in Iraq. Seriously, this is a HORRIBLE scew to put on the article.

    Rant aside, I think this is very interesting problem solving. Especially the 10-foot poll bit. Just goes to show that technology can't win everything. Not by a long shot. Interesting problem, interesting solution, both very complicated.

    • by JWtW (875602)

      "The summary says "radiation-proof robot", but TFA says "Phil had estimated that the robot could remain ambulatory in the radiation field for only 50 minutes, and in fact the robot's lower portion was no longer responding to commands."

      Perhaps it's just like a water-proof watch. Most of them are 'water-proof' to a defined amount of atmospheres. Everything has a limit.

      I agree with the rest of your post, though. I can't see this as any kind of holy grail, militarily speaking. A poster below suggested that

      • Yea, I think it's radiation-proof as in radiation-RESISTANT. If a robot like this can only take 50 minutes, I'd assume that any other type of robot would just instantly be fried. Still though, the story is more about ingenious servicemen & women coming up with a good solution to a sticky problem, with the robot as a sidenote. This post could've just as easily been titled "Troops make radiation robot safer."
        • Re:What? (Score:2, Funny)

          by thesnarky1 (846799)
          "Troops save troop-saving robot." Ohh... a paradox. Which saved first, the troops, or the robot?
          • The troops saved the troop-saving robot so the robot could save troops to be saved by the troop saving robot - that is, any troops except for the troop-saving-robot-saving troops.

            Make sense?
      • Why doesn't this article ask the question, "why the hell do we something this incredibly readioactive just lying around"??!?!

        This is very troubling. I don't think Saddam would be allowed something this dangerous.
        • Re:What? (Score:2, Informative)

          by Cunk (643486)
          It's not "just laying around" and the article says exactly what it's for.
        • Not at all. It wasn't just "lying around", it was normally kept in shielded storage. Buf you need to design equipment and electronics that are expected to function in a radioactive environment, you must test them in such an environment. That's all this facility was doing.

          My father at one point designed scintillation counter equipment for the U.S. military. The company he worked for had a heavily-shielded test chamber with a powerful radioactive source buried underneath. When needed for a test, the item t
    • Give them a break. They're only using a Mark 2 Bolo. A Mark XXX Continental Siege Unit [wikipedia.org] would clean up in Iraq: radiation schmadiation.
    • Dyslexia strikes again

      Especially the 10-foot poll bit.

      I just spent about 30 seconds wondering how the US military managed to get a grotesquely huge savage dog, and what roll this gengineered dog might play in radioactive cleanup.
  • Nuclear Power (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gryle (933382)
    Perhaps this event will help set a new model for nuclear power plants. While nuclear power plants should not and probably could not be fully automated, deployment of similar robots could make nuclear power safer. Human contact with high levels of radiation could be reduced and the robots might be able to perform maintenance functions that humans could not.
    • Re:Nuclear Power (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Bro, human contact with high level radiation is already reduced to an insane level. It's not like humans routinely play soccer with clumps of high level waste. There is a recipe called "time-distance-shielding" that has kept the average dose to a nuclear worker in the US less than 100 mrem/yr since 1980. To put this in context, the average dose to any person is 300 mrem/yr (200 mrem/yr due to radon gas). If you have an x-ray performed on you you get an additional 10-20 mrem. If you fly on an airplane y
    • Re:Nuclear Power (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday December 17, 2005 @12:01AM (#14277962) Journal
      The cylinder normally arrived and departed through a metal sleeve, driven by pneumatic air. The method resembled that used by drive-up banks, where pneumatic air drives a cylinder containing transaction paperwork first one way and then the other.

      At White Sands, a pressure of approximately 20 psi was normally enough to move the container from its secure resting place to its forward exposed, or live, position; the same air pressure in the opposite direction sent it back. Over previous decades, on the rare occasions when the cylinder stuck, technicians had merely increased air pressure to send it on its way.

      But this problem was different. From the safety of their control room, technicians increased air pressure in steps until they had reached 50 times normal, or 1000 psi, but they could not budge the cylinder.

      ...

      ...Inspection revealed the problem: Forceful early attempts to blow the cylinder back apparently had bent the straight switch into a right angle...

      Idiots.

      Perhaps this event will help set a new model for operational safety. I can't believe how stupid those operators were. It never occurred to them to send out a fucking maintanence tech to inspect the mechanism and figure out why it was sticking?

      I seriously doubt that the manual (it's the DoD, you know they have a manual for this) included "up the PSI" as a way to resolve the issue.

      I don't think anyone should be fired over this, but i expect them to review all their procedures for problem solving with respect to their radioactive materials.

      /Rant

      As for nucleur power plants, I think it'd be best not to increase the use of remote robots. The more human inspection is required, the more shielding they have to use, which imho is a good thing.

  • by commodoresloat (172735) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:02PM (#14277507)
    The RAP team, as a precaution against this very circumstance, working with White Sands personnel had tied a rope to M2 before sending it into the work area.

    Then the RAP team started throwing up gang signs and rhyming insults against the enemy....

  • A chapter of I, Robot.
  • Uhmm... (Score:5, Informative)

    by NitsujTPU (19263) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:10PM (#14277535)
    Did you read the article?

    1) The robot is not radiation proof.
    2) It was a pain in the ass.

    The story is that they fixed a situation with a robot. The robot didn't make life easier, it was necessary because humans couldn't approach the radiation source, even in protective clothing. It took 4 days to do, and the success was mostly due to shrewd hackery on the part of the team operating the robot.
    • Oh yeah, and there were now troops involved. These folks are all researchers.
    • Did you read the article?

      Article? They have articles here on Slashdot? That couldn't possibly be! Curse you for wasting my time!
    • Also remember they have to then encase the robot in a protective sheild when it's done since it's still radioactive. Then they have to use a truck or such to dispose of the container, and then the truck needs to be encased since it's not radioactive, too. Don't forget anything else that even assisted.

      No, I'm not kidding.
      • Re:Uhmm... (Score:3, Informative)

        by NitsujTPU (19263)
        It's gamma radiation, they discuss that the robot is perfectly safe to handle after the bit.
      • by Ellis D. Tripp (755736) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:39PM (#14277656) Homepage
        It is neutron flux that will activate non-radioactive materials, not gamma rays.
      • Re:Uhmm... (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Also remember they have to then encase the robot in a protective sheild when it's done since it's still radioactive. Then they have to use a truck or such to dispose of the container, and then the truck needs to be encased since it's not radioactive, too. Don't forget anything else that even assisted.

        No, I'm not kidding.


        Yes you are, or you're an idiot. Explain to me a process by which gamma rays can activate an object. Hint: consider a gamma splitting deuterium to release a neutron which then goes on to a
      • Did you even bother to RTFA? Neutrons make irradiated matter radioactive, but gamma rays contaminate no more than ordinary light would.

        The cylinder encasing the cobalt didn't break, they just couldn't move it back inside it's shielding. As soon as they managed to get it back, you could return to the room and dance a polka or whatever.
    • I guess we've gotta give Zonk a break. He's posted an article every 40 minutes or so since 7:55am today (not including an extended lunch break). He's probably just tired and didn't give this latest article a full read-through.

      But we tolorate that here at Slashdot.
    • I would touch that robot with a 10 foot pole. ...

      Well, it was funny in my head.
    • 1) The robot is not radiation proof.
      you must put everything in scale. (Given enough radiation, you can even shatter a 1 inch thick glass pane). The radiation they were dealing with was capable of killing an human being in half a minute; the arms of the robot operated for an hour and a half; so it was "radiation proof" enough for that task.
  • Strange Slashdot article - a particularly good effort on the part of the editors to disguise this story.
  • by russ1337 (938915) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:17PM (#14277571)
    All you need is a HEV suit and a Crowbar. Everyone knows that!
  • Question (Score:4, Informative)

    by Comatose51 (687974) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:19PM (#14277584) Homepage
    "Unfortunately, heat from the radiation source melted the plastic"

    So, how did they assemble this radiation source in the first place??? As an aside, radioactive cobalt bomb [wikipedia.org] is VERY nasty and close to a doomsday weapon.

    • and Love the Bomb [imdb.com]

      DeSadeski: You've obviously never heard of cobalt thorium G.

      Turgidson: No, what about it?

      DeSadeski: Cobalt thorium G has a radioactive halflife of ninety three years. If you take, say, fifty H-bombs in the hundred megaton range and jacket them with cobalt thorium G, when they are exploded they will produce a doomsday shroud. A lethal cloud of radioactivity which will encircle the earth for ninety three years!

      Turgidson: Ah, what a load of commie bull. I mean, afterall...

      Muffley: I'm afraid

  • The media always covers all these high tech devices that the military supposedley has. I spent 15 months in Iraq and never saw any kind of bomb disposal robot--although I saw a lot of bombs. Those unmanned recon planes are a myth, too. The troops don't have access to this stuff.

    Seriously, a military humvee looks like something an 8 year old built with an erector set. It's definately not where I'd want to be when an IED goes off. A real military vehicle would be armored. A real military vehicle would h
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Seriously, a military humvee looks like something an 8 year old built with an erector set. It's definately not where I'd want to be when an IED goes off. A real military vehicle would be armored. A real military vehicle would have the seats (except for the driver's) facing outward--so you can shoot at the bad guys.

      News flash.

      The Humvee is not intended for use as an APC or any sort of fighting vehicle. The Humvee is intended as replacement for the Jeep. It is not intended to be fought out of, it is intende
    • by twiddlingbits (707452) on Friday December 16, 2005 @11:03PM (#14277766)
      I think you are making this up, or else were an ignorant troop. Humvees ARE amored, just not to the level of surviving an IED made of 155mm rounds. They were meant to protect from small arms fire. Uparmored ones are being produced are in in country, just not as much as we would like. Not much except an Abrams is going to survive some of those IEDs.

      The unmanned recon planes (such as Predators) exist and are in use. They are painted to blend in almost perfectly with the sky, so you DON'T see them. They are not used too often as they cost a LOT of $$$ and we lose them ever so often (too often). Good recon can be had from other sources, HUMINT is often the best but is hard to get.

      Gov't contractors are NOT corrupt. Try working for one. There are incredible hurdles you have to jump thru to make certain all is above-board. And guess what, that costs money! When you have a whole staff of people doing Ethics Training that gets expensive, and each year every employee has to be re-trained to meet some stupid DOD mandate. Like someone forgets thier ethics each year and has to relearn them. The guys/gals in DC approve all the contracts, so if you think you are getting overcharged talk to them. They negotiate the deals and contractors rarely get the price they ask, often they get a lot less.
    • by radiotyler (819474) <[tyler] [at] [dappergeek.com]> on Friday December 16, 2005 @11:10PM (#14277789) Homepage
      Woah, calm down. I'm in Iraq. For the second time.

      We have these [defense-update.com] armored IED hunting vehicles. They save lives. And I guess things have changed in the HMMWV department too: ours have been up-armored. I don't want to down play your experience here in Iraq, but things are getting better everywhere, every day.

      -t
    • While there are many good examples of pork-barrel acquisition programs (military vehicles or otherwise), the HMMWV isn't one of them. It's meant to be a (better) replacement for the Jeep, not an APC.
      The erector-set look is probably a direct result of its requirement for logistical supportability and interchangeable components.
    • Troll--F*CKING--Troll.

      I hate you for comming here under the guise of being a Vet., and spewing your leftist propaganda--knowing that you would hit a soft spot. Your insensitive troll only undermines the work the 'real' troops are doing over there. They've been busting their asses, and yes there are equipment issues, manpower issues, and the basic fuckedupedness(tm) of the whole war, but don't come around and try to make your point as a what--Soldier, Marine, Sailor? Who the hell are you? Why are you post

    • by darkmeridian (119044) <william...chuang@@@gmail...com> on Saturday December 17, 2005 @01:18AM (#14278199) Homepage
      Well, the Interceptor vest each soldier wears is a great piece of technology. American troops also have night vision. MARPAT camo scheme is scientifically designed to hide troops in many conditions (nighttime, wet/dry on an infrared scope, etc.) A little radio call gets JDAMs or GPS-aimed artillery to drop onto an enemy sniper. And about tanks: there's a tradeoff between the weight and the armor. A heavily armored vehicle will move slower and may be shot more (and we hope it can take the extra punishment). A quicker though less armored vehicle can avoid unguided RPG fire (we hope) and can maneuver through alleyways that troops would otherwise have to clear by foot. (Blowing up the whole block is a war crime.) Having the seats face outward means little in the current battle conditions. RPG-armed enemies pop out for a second to get a shot off and then run away behind a corner or into a hole they had dug out. IEDs, well, you don't want to shoot at those at close range. Now, I'm not saying warfare is easy or harmless. I'm saying we have brought a heck of a lot of technology to bear to reduce the load.
    • It's a good thing that they're adding these [gizmag.com] to humvees. That way, soldiers don't have to see the sniper, the system tells them where the sniper is.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Mighty Mouse sounds like a inapropreate name for that robot, maybe they should call it Slowpoke Rodriguez.
  • by Arivia (783328) <arivia@gmail.com> on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:31PM (#14277626) Journal
    this is why the last rule of adventuring is "never forget your 10-foot pole".

    Only 2 sp at Anonymously Run General Store!
  • by rheotaxis (528103) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:35PM (#14277642) Homepage
    Article says: "The cause was a stuck cylinder the size of a restaurant salt shaker but considerably more deadly: Gamma rays from the cobalt-60 it contained could kill a man in half a minute."

    I have to ask...when did restaurants start serving salt that's only somewhat less deadly than cobalt-60?

    • You've obviously never been attacked by a man with a salt shaker.

      Why back in my youth, anyone entering the restaurant business had to run a gauntlet. All the employees would line up on opposite sides of the restaurant and you'd have to sprint from the first table to the kitchen and back, while being pelted with salt and pepper shakers.

      It weeded out the weak 'uns mighty quick I tell you.

      Just so i'm not entirely offtopic, lots of various radioactive elements originate from the ground in the form of a 'salt' o
    • Oral toxicity (The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances, 1986):

      Human; TDLo: 12,357 mg/kg/23 D-C
      from http://www.saltinstitute.org/15.html [saltinstitute.org] see also http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/SO/sodium_chloride. html [ox.ac.uk]
      True to achieve this for a 75 kg man wold need almost a kg of salt (2.6 lbs) but if someone were to injest this much it would kill most people, although the second source puts the TDlo at 1000mg/kg that would put it at just about a lb and a half or three mcdonalds larg
  • And I bet the rest of the party laughed at him for bringing a 10' pole along.

    - Kyle
  • As a PC, I always carry a collapsable 10ft pole. They're so useful!
  • by drgonzo59 (747139) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:48PM (#14277699)
    What are the troops they talk about. Did they mean the scientists at the Sandia Labs? I guess the geeks feel better when the are called troops...

    I can see the geeks saying:
    Yesterday our battalion configured Apache and rebuilt kernels all day.

  • They say the plastic melted from the heat of the radiation, don't ya think they might have considered that the radioactive source woul probibly give off some heat when they built this thing?

    Maybe when you're building a robot designed to go into areas with severely large ammounts of radiation, it might be a good idea to put some kind of radiation shield onto the fucking thing, that's just a thought.

    I'd love to see how it saves the lives of all the troops who have to go after it with a 10 foot pole, why not j
    • The plastic they are referring to was an attachment they rigged with parts from a hardware store, it's not something that was actually part of the robot. Plus, the radiation was from a high energy gamma source. Gamma is very very very hard to block, nearly impossible, it's very high frequency EM that can pass through just about anything. It takes extremely thick lead sheets, and even then that doesn't quite get all of it. The only reason that even works at all is because lead is extremely dense, and thu
  • Man, I love Radiation Robot. I've been collecting issues since #136. The 'Half-Life / Half-Death' storyline was just epic. Admittedly, I didn't hear about this crossover with the army, but it sounds like it ought to be interesting. I'll have the comic book store pull it for me asap.
  • make life easier for folks in the military.

    You know what would make life easier for folks in the military? Demobilization.

  • They should've just called him "Speedy."
  • Naturally, all this was predicted in Tom Swift and the Giant Robot...
  • but am I the only one wondering just why on earth they were messing around with such strong radiation source in the first place and managed to get it stuck and spent some 21 days prannying about before they called in the robot...
  • ... for finally finding Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction!
  • For 'the troops' to be safe.... try getting along with eachother for starters.... Everybody will be a lot safer.
  • morons ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    why are they still playing around with this stuff anyway?
    it's super dangerous!

    "Unfortunately, heat from the radiation source melted the plastic. "
    i wouldn't want to be alive after a nuclear world war, and i'm pretty
    sure you wouldn't want to be either, so screw you and your
    radiation proof circuits ...

    but then again .. that might not be the real reason they're playing
    around with this stuff in the first place ... tachions and and
    space-time displacment fields anyone?

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

Working...