Since the time of the emergence of the natural sciences, scientists have dreamed of creating a mechanical person who can replace him in a number of areas of human activity: hard and unattractive jobs, war and high-risk areas. These dreams were often ahead of reality, and then before the eyes of the astonished public, mechanical wonders appeared that were still very far from a real robot. But as time went on, and the robots became more and more perfect ... very far from the real robot. But time passed, and the robots became more and more perfect ...
Robots of antiquity and the Middle Ages
The first mentions of artificial human-like creatures performing various works can be found already in the mythology of ancient peoples. These are the golden mechanical helpers of the god Hephaes, described in the Iliad, and artificial creatures from the Indian Upanishads, and androids of the Karelian-Finnish epic Kalevala, and the Golem from the Hebrew legend. How fantastic are these stories correspond to reality, not to judge us. In reality, the very first "human-like" robot was built in ancient Greece.
The name of Heron, who worked in Alexandria and therefore nicknamed Alexandria, is mentioned in modern encyclopedias around the world, briefly retelling the content of his manuscripts.
Two thousand years ago, he completed his work in which he systematically outlined the main scientific achievements of the ancient world in the field of applied mathematics and mechanics (and the names of individual sections of this work: “Mechanics”, “Pneumatics”, “Metric” - sound quite modern).
Reading these sections, one wonders how his contemporaries knew and were able to. Heron described devices (“simple machines”) using the principles of the lever, gate, wedge, screw, block; he assembled numerous mechanisms set in motion by fluid or heated steam; set out the rules and formulas for the accurate and approximate calculation of various geometric shapes. However, in the works of Geron there are descriptions of not only simple machines, but also automata operating without direct human participation on the basis of the principles used today.
No state, no society, a collective, a family, not a single person could ever exist without somehow measuring time. And the methods of such measurements were invented in the deepest antiquity. So, in China and India appeared clepsydra - water clock. This device is widely used. In Egypt, clepsydra was used as early as the 16th century BC, along with sundials. It was used in Greece and Rome, and in Europe it counted down the time until the 18th century AD. Total - almost three and a half millennia!
In the writings Heron mentions the ancient Greek mechanics Ktezibiya. Among the inventions and designs of the latter, there is also clepsydra, which even now could serve as a decoration for any exhibition of technical creativity. Imagine a vertical cylinder located on a rectangular stand. On this stand are two figures. Water is fed into one of these figures, depicting a crying child. Tears of the child flow into the vessel in the stand of clepsydra and raise the float placed in this vessel, connected with the second figure - the woman holding the pointer. The figure of the woman rises, the pointer moves along the cylinder, which serves as the dial of this watch, showing the time. The day at Klezibiya in clepsydra was divided into 12 daytime “hours” (from sunrise to sunset) and 12 nighttime “hours”. When the day ended, the discharge of accumulated water opened, and under its influence, the cylindrical dial turned to 1 / 365 full turn, indicating the next day and month of the year. The child continued to cry, and the woman with the pointer again started her way from the bottom up, indicating the day and night "hours" that had been agreed in advance with the time of sunrise and sunset that day.
Automata, counting time, were the first automata created for practical purposes. Therefore, they are of special interest to us. However, Heron in his writings also describes other automata, which were also used for practical purposes, but of a completely different nature: in particular, the first commercial appliance known to us is a device that released money for “holy water” in Egyptian temples.
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There is nothing surprising in the fact that among the watchmakers, outstanding craftsmen appeared who amazed the whole world with their products. Their mechanical creatures, outwardly similar to animals or people, were able to perform sets of various movements, similar to the movements of animals or humans, and the external forms and the shell of the toy further enhanced its similarity to a living being.
It was then that the term “automaton” appeared, which until the beginning of the 20th century was understood, as indicated in the old encyclopedic dictionaries,
“Such machines which imitate voluntary movements and actions of animate beings. In particular, they call an android machine that produces movements similar to human ones. ”. (Note that “android” is a Greek word meaning humanoid.)
The construction of such an automaton could last for years and decades, and even now it is not easy to understand how, by acting with handicraft techniques, it was possible to create a whole lot of mechanical gears, place them in a small volume, tie together the movements of many mechanisms, select the necessary ratios of their sizes. All parts and links of the automata were performed with a jeweler's precision; at the same time they were hidden inside the figures, setting them in motion according to a rather complex program.
We will not now judge how perfect the “human-like” movements of these machines and androids seemed then. Better just pass the word to the author of the article “Automatic”, published in 1878 year in the St. Petersburg Encyclopedic Dictionary:
“It was much more surprising machine guns, arranged in the last century by the French mechanic Vaucanson. One of his androids, known as “flutist,” who was seated, along with his pedestal, 2 arsh. 51 / 2 top height (i.e., near 170 cm), played 12 different pieces, producing sounds by blowing air from the mouth into the main hole of the flute and replacing its tones with the action of the fingers with the other holes of the instrument.
Another Vocanson android played with his left hand on the Provencal flute, played the tambourine with his right hand and clicked the tongue in the manner customary of the Provencal pipe drills. Finally, the bronzed tin duck of the same mechanic — perhaps the most perfect of all the still well-known automata — not only imitated with extraordinary precision all movements, shouts and tricks of her original: swam, dived, splashed in water, etc., but even picked up food with the greed of a living duck and carried out to the end (of course, with the help of chemicals hidden inside her) the usual process of digestion.
All these machines were publicly shown by Vaucanson in Paris in 1738.
No less surprising were the contemporaries of Vaucons, the Swiss Draws. One of the automatons they made, the girl-android, played the piano, the other, in the form of an 12-year-old boy, sitting on a stool at the console, wrote several words in French in the recipe, dipped a pen in the inkwell, shook off excess ink from it, observed perfect correctness in the placement of lines and words and generally performed all movements of the census takers ...
The best product of the Draw is the clock presented to Ferdinand VI Spanish, with which a whole group of different automatons were connected: a lady sitting on the balcony read a book, sniffing tobacco at times and, apparently, listening to a piece of music played by the clock; the tiny canary fluttered and sang; the dog was guarding the fruit basket and, if someone took one of the fruit, barked until it was taken back into place ... "
What can be added to the testimony of an old dictionary?
“Scribe” was built by Pierre Jacquet-Droz - an outstanding Swiss master watchmaker. Following this, his son Henri built another android - "draftsman". Then both mechanics - father and son together - invented and built a “musician”, who played the harmonium, hitting the keys with her fingers, and while playing, turned her head and watched the position of the hands; her bosom rose and fell, as if the “musician” was breathing.
In 1774, at the exhibition in Paris, these mechanical people enjoyed a resounding success. Then Henri Jacquet-Droz took them to Spain, where crowds of spectators expressed delight and admiration. But here the holy Inquisition intervened, accused Dro of witchcraft and imprisoned, selecting the unique ones created by him ...
The creation of father and son Jacquet-Dro passed a difficult way, passing from hand to hand, and many skilled watchmakers and mechanics attached their work and talent to them, restoring and repairing things damaged by people and time, until androids took their rightful place in Switzerland - in the Museum of Fine Arts of the city of Neuchatel.
In the XIX century - the century of steam engines and fundamental discoveries - no one in Europe already perceived mechanical beings as a "devilish brat." On the contrary, they waited for technical innovations from fine scientists, who will soon change the life of every person, making it easy and carefree. Technical science and inventions reached their prime in Great Britain, in the Victorian era.
The Victorian era is called the Queen Victoria period of more than sixty years in England: from 1838 to 1901. The steady economic growth of the British Empire that period was accompanied by the flourishing of science and the arts. It was then that the country achieved hegemony in industrial development, trade, finance, and maritime transport.
England became the "industrial workshop of the world", and it is not surprising that its inventors were expected to create a mechanical person. And some adventurers, taking this opportunity, have learned to wishful thinking.
For example, back in 1865, someone Edward Ellis in his historic (?!) Work, “The Great Hunter, or Steam Man on the Prairie,” told the world about the gifted designer, Johnny Brainerd, who allegedly built the first “person moving for a couple.”
According to this work, Brainerd was a little hunchbacked dwarf. He continuously invented different things: toys, miniature steamers and locomotives, wireless telegraph. One fine day, Brainerd was tired of his tiny handicrafts, he informed the mother of this, and she suddenly suggested that he try to make the Steam Man. For several weeks, captured by the new idea, Johnny could not find a place for himself, and after several unsuccessful attempts, he still built what he wanted.
Steam Man (Steam Man) - rather, a locomotive in the shape of a man:
“This mighty giant was about three meters tall, not a single horse could compare with him: the giant easily pulled a van with five passengers. Where ordinary people wear a hat, Steam Man had a chimney pipe, from where thick black smoke fell.
In a mechanical person everything, even the face, was made of iron, and his body was painted black. The extraordinary mechanism had a pair of frightened eyes and a huge grinning mouth.
In his nose he had a device like a steam engine whistle through which steam came out. Where a person has a chest, he had a steam boiler with a door to toss in logs.
Two of his hands held the pistons, and the soles of the massive long legs were covered with sharp spikes to prevent slipping.
In the knapsack on his back he had valves, and on the neck there were reins, with the help of which the driver controlled the Steam Man, while the cord on the left was going to control the whistle in his nose. Under favorable circumstances, the Steam Man was able to develop very high speed. ”
According to eyewitnesses, the first Steam Man could move at speeds up to 30 miles per hour (about 50 km / h), and the van pulled by this mechanism was almost as stable as a railway carriage. The only serious drawback was the need to constantly carry with them a huge amount of firewood, because the Steam Man had to continuously “feed” the firebox.
Having grown rich and educated, Johnny Brainerd wanted to improve his development, but instead in 1875 he sold the patent to Frank Reed Sr.. A year later, Reed built an improved version of the Steam Man - Steam Man Mark II. The second "steam locomotive man" was half a meter higher (3,65 meter), got headlights instead of eyes, and the ash from burned wood spilled onto the ground through special channels in the legs. The Mark II was also significantly faster than its predecessor — up to 50 miles per hour (more than 80 km / h).
Despite the obvious success of the second Steam Man, Frank Reed Sr., disillusioned with steam engines in general, abandoned this venture and switched to electric models.
However, in February 1876, work began on Steam Man Mark III: Frank Reed Sr. made a bet with his son, Frank Reed, Jr., about the fact that it is not possible to significantly improve the second model of the Steam Man.
4 May 1879, with a small cluster of curious citizens, Reed Jr. demonstrated the Mark III model. The "accidental" witness of this demonstration was a journalist from New York, Louis Senarence. His astonishment from the technical curiosity was so great that he became the official biographer of the Reed family.
It seems that Senarence was not a bona fide chronicler, because history is silent about which of the Reeds won the bet. But it is known that, along with Steam Man, father and son also made Steam Horse (Steam Horse), which surpassed both Mark'ovs in speed.
One way or another, but in the same 1879 year, both Frank Reed irrevocably became disillusioned with the mechanisms on the steam train and began to work with electricity.
In 1885, the first tests of the Electric Man (Electric Man) took place. As you understand, today it is already difficult to figure out how the Electric Man acted, what his abilities and speed were. In the surviving illustrations, we see that this car had a fairly powerful searchlight, and potential enemies were awaited by the “electrical discharges” with which the Man was shooting right out of his eyes! Apparently, the power source was in a closed-box van. By analogy with the Steam Horse, the Electric Horse was created.
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Do not lag behind the British and Americans. Someone Louis Philip Perue from the city of Tovanada, near Niagara Falls, built the Automatic Man at the end of the 1890s.
It all started with a small, valid model with a height of about 60 centimeters. With this sample, Peru knocked the doorstep of rich people, hoping to receive funding for the construction of a full-size specimen.
With his stories, he tried to capture the imagination of "money bags": the walking robot would pass where no wheeled vehicle would pass, a fighting walking machine could make a soldier invulnerable, and so on and so forth.
In the end, Perus managed to persuade businessman Charles Thomas, with whom they founded the United States Automaton Company.
The works were carried out in an atmosphere of utmost secrecy, and only when everything was completely ready, Perue decided to present his creation to the public. The development was completed at the beginning of the summer of 1900, and in October of the same year it was presented to the press, which immediately nicknamed Perya Frankenstein from Tonawanda:
"This giant of wood, rubber and metals, which walks, runs, jumps, talks and rolls its eyes - almost completely imitates a person."
The Auto Man was 7 tall feet 5 inches (2,25 meters). He was dressed in a white suit, gigantic shoes and a matching hat - Peru tried to achieve maximum similarity and, according to eyewitness accounts, the hands of the car looked most realistic. Human skin was made of aluminum for ease, the whole figure was supported by a steel structure.
The power source served as a rechargeable battery. The operator was sitting in the back of the van, which was connected to the Automatic Man with a small metal tube.
The demonstration of the Man took place in the large exhibition hall of Tonawanda. The first movements of the robot disappointed the public: the steps were jerky, accompanied by a crash and noise.
However, when the Feather invention was “developed”, the move became smooth and almost silent.
The inventor of the man-machine said that the robot could go at a fairly fast pace almost an unlimited amount of time, but the figure said it all for itself:
“I'm going to walk from New York to San Francisco”- She said in a deep voice. The sound came from the device hidden on the chest of the Man.
After the car pulling a light van, made several laps around the room, the inventor put a log in her way. The robot stopped, squinted at the obstacle, as if thinking about the situation, and walked around the side of the log.
Perue stated that the Auto Man is able to travel a distance of 480 miles (772 km) per day, moving at an average speed of 20 miles per hour (32 km / hour).
It is clear that in the Victorian era, it was impossible to build a full-fledged android robot and the mechanisms described above were only clockwork toys designed to influence a gullible public, but the idea itself lived and developed ...
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When the famous American writer Isaac Asimov formulated the three laws of robotics, the essence of which was an unconditional prohibition on causing a robot any harm to humans, he probably didn’t even realize that the first robot soldier had already appeared in America. This robot was called the Boilerplate and it was created by 1880's by Professor Archie Kempion.
Campion was born 27 in November 1862, and since childhood was a very curious and knowledge-seeking boy. When the husband of Sister Archie died in the Korean War in 1871, the young man was shocked. It is believed that it was then that Campion set a goal to find a way to solve conflicts without killing people.
Archie's father, Robert Campion, ran the first company in Chicago, which produced computers, which undoubtedly influenced the future inventor.
In 1878, the young man got a job, becoming the operator of the Chicago telephone company, where he gained experience as a technical specialist. Archie’s talents ultimately earned him a good and stable income - in 1882, he received many patents for his inventions: from sash pipelines to multi-stage electrical systems. Over the next three years, patent licensing fees made Archie Kempion a millionaire. It was with these millions in his pocket in 1886 that the inventor suddenly turned into a recluse - he built a small laboratory in Chicago and began to work on his robot.
From 1888 to 1893, nothing was heard about Campion until he suddenly announced himself at the International Colombian Exhibition, where he introduced his robot named Boilerplate.
Despite the wide advertising campaign, there was very little information about the inventor and his work. We have already noted that the Boilerplate was conceived as a means of bloodless conflict resolution - in other words, it was a prototype of a mechanical soldier.
Although the robot existed in a single copy, it had the opportunity to carry out the proposed function - Boilerplate repeatedly participated in hostilities.
True, wars were preceded by a trip to Antarctica in 1894 on a sailing ship. They wanted to test the robots in an aggressive environment, but the expedition did not reach the South Pole - the sailboat was stuck in the ice and had to return.
When the United States declared war on Spain in 1898, Archie Campion saw an opportunity to demonstrate the combat capabilities of his creation in practice. Knowing that Theodore Roosevelt is not indifferent to new technologies, Kempion persuaded him to enlist a robot in a detachment of volunteers.
24 June 1898, a mechanical soldier participated in a battle for the first time, turning an enemy to flight. Boilerplate went through the entire war until the signing of the December 10 1898 Peace Treaty in Paris.
Since 1916 in Mexico, the robot has participated in the campaign against Pancho Villa. The eyewitness story of Modesto Nevares has survived:
“Suddenly, someone shouted that an American soldier was captured north of the city. He was led to the hotel where Pancho Villa was located. I had the opportunity to see for myself that I had never seen a stranger soldier in my life. This American was not a man at all, because he was completely made of metal, and he was as tall as any soldier by a whole head.
A blanket was attached to his shoulders so that from a distance he looked just like an ordinary peasant. Later I found out that the sentries tried to stop this metal piece with rifle fire, but the bullets were like mosquitoes for this giant. Instead of taking retaliatory measures against the attackers, this soldier simply asked to be taken to the leader. ”
In 1918, during World War I, Boilerplate was sent to the rear of the enemy with a special reconnaissance mission. He did not return from the mission, no one saw him again.
It is clear that, most likely, Boilerplate was just an expensive toy or even a fake, but it was he who was destined to become the first in a long line of machines that should replace a soldier on the battlefield ...
World War II robots
The idea to create a fighting machine, controlled at a distance by radio, arose at the very beginning of the 20th century and was implemented by the French inventor Schneider, who created a prototype of a mine exploded with a radio signal.
In 1915, the German fleet exploding boats designed by Dr. Siemens entered. Some of the boats were controlled by electric wires about 20 miles long, and some by radio. The operator controlled the boats from the shore or from the seaplane. The biggest success of the remote-controlled boats was the attack on the British Erebus monitor on October 28, 1917. The monitor received severe damage, but was able to return to the port.
At the same time, the British were conducting experiments on the creation of remote-controlled torpedo airplanes, which were to be directed to the enemy ship by radio. In 1917, in the city of Farnborough, with a large gathering of people, an airplane was shown, which was controlled by radio. However, the control system failed, and the plane crashed next to a crowd of spectators. Fortunately, no one was hurt. After this, work on a similar technology in England subsided - to resume in Soviet Russia ...
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9 August 1921, a former nobleman Bekauri received the mandate of the Council of Labor and Defense, signed by Lenin:
"It is given to the inventor Vladimir Ivanovich Bekauri in that he is entrusted with the urgent implementation of his, Bekauri, of an invention of a military-secret nature."
Enlisting the support of the Soviet government, Bekauri created his own institute, the Special Technical Bureau for Special Purpose Inventions (Ostechburo). It was here that the first Soviet battlefield robots were to be created.
On August 18, 1921, Bekauri issued order No. 2, according to which six branches were formed in the Ostekhbyuro: special, aviation, scuba diving, explosives, selected electromechanical and experimental studies.
8 December 1922 of the Red Pilot plant handed over to the Ostechbyuro experiments the No. 4 Hendley Page aircraft - this was how the Ostechbyuro air squadron began to be created.
To create a remote-controlled aircraft Bekauri required heavy aircraft. At first he wanted to order it in England, but the order failed, and in November 1924, the aircraft designer Andrei Nikolaevich Tupolev took up this project. At that time, the Tupolev bureau was working on the heavy bomber ANT-4 (TB-1). A similar project was envisaged for the TB-3 (ANT-6) aircraft.
For the aircraft robot "TB-1" in Ostechbyuro was created telemechanical system "Daedal". Lifting a telemechanical aircraft into the air was a difficult task, and therefore the TB-1 took off with the pilot. For several tens of kilometers from the target, the pilot was thrown out with a parachute. Next, the aircraft was controlled by radio from the "master" TB-1. When the remote-controlled bomber reached the goal, a dive signal was sent from the lead car. Such planes were planned for use in 1935 year.
Some time later Ostechbyuro started designing a four-engine remote-controlled bomber TB-3. The new bomber took off and marched with the pilot, but when approaching the target, the pilot did not throw out with a parachute, but transferred to the E-3 or E-15 fighter suspended from the TB-16 and returned home. These bombers were supposed to be adopted in 1936 year.
When testing "TB-3" the main problem was the lack of reliable operation of automation. Designers have tried many different designs: pneumatic, hydraulic and electromechanical. For example, in July 1934, the plane with the autopilot WUA-3 was tested in Monino, and in October of the same year with the autopilot WUA-7. But until 1937, no more or less acceptable control device was developed. As a result, 25 January 1938, the topic was closed, Ostehbyuro dispersed, and three used for testing the bomber selected.
However, work on remote-controlled aircraft continued after the dispersal of the Ostechburo. So, 26 January 1940 of the year issued a decree of the Council of Labor and Defense No. 42 on the production of telemechanical aircraft, which put forward requirements for the creation of telemechanical aircraft with takeoff without landing "TB-3" to 15 July, telemechanical aircraft with takeoff and landing "TB-3 "By 15 of October, command planes of control" SB "by 25 of August and" DB-3 "- by 25 of November.
In 1942, even troop tests of the Torpedo remote-controlled aircraft, based on the TB-3 bomber, were held. The aircraft was loaded with 4 tons of high-impact explosives. The guidance was carried out by radio from the DB-ZF aircraft.
This plane was supposed to hit the railway junction in Vyazma occupied by the Germans. However, when approaching the target, the antenna of the DB-ZF transmitter failed, the control of the Torpedo aircraft was lost, and it fell somewhere beyond Vyazma.
The second pair of "Torpedo" and the aircraft control "SB" in the same 1942 year, burned at the airport with the explosion of ammunition in a bomber standing next ...
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After a relatively short period of success in World War II, the beginning of 1942 for the German military aircraft (Luftwaffe) was a difficult time. The Battle for England was lost, and during the failed Blitzkrieg against the Soviet Union, thousands of pilots and a huge number of aircraft were lost. The immediate prospects also did not promise anything good - the production capacity of the aviation industry of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition many times exceeded the capabilities of German aviation companies, whose factories were also increasingly subjected to devastating enemy air raids.
The only way out of this situation was that the Luftwaffe command saw in the development of fundamentally new systems weapons. In the order of one of the leaders of the Luftwaffe, Field Marshal Milch from 10 December 1942 says:
“The unconditional demand to ensure the qualitative superiority of the German Air Force’s weapons over the enemy’s Air Force prompted me to order the launch of an emergency program for the development and production of new weapon systems codenamed Vulcan.”
In accordance with this program, priority was given to the development of jet aircraft, as well as airplanes with remote control “FZG-76”.
A German engineer Fritz Glossau's shell-projectile, which went down in history as V-1 (V-1), has been developed by Fisseler (Fisseler) since June 1942, which had previously produced some very acceptable unmanned aerial vehicles. targets for training calculations of anti-aircraft guns. In order to ensure the secrecy of work on the projectile, it was also called a target for anti-aircraft artillery - Flakzielgerat or abbreviated FZG. There was also an intercompany designation “Fi-103”, and in secret correspondence the code designation “Kirschkern” - “Cherry Bone” was used.
The main novelty of the projectile was a pulsating jet engine developed at the end of 1930 by the German aerodynamics Paul Schmidt on the basis of the scheme proposed by French designer Lorin as early as 1913. An industrial design for this engine, As109-014, was created by Argus in 1938.
Technically, the Fi-103 projectile was an exact replica of the naval torpedo. After launching the projectile, he flew with the help of an autopilot for a given course and at a predetermined height.
The Fi-103 had a fuselage 7,8 meter long, in the nose of which was placed a warhead with a ton of amatol. Behind the warhead was a gasoline fuel tank. Then there were two spherical steel cylinders of compressed air braided with wire for the operation of the rudders and other mechanisms. The tail section was occupied by a simplified autopilot, which kept the projectile on a straight course and at a given height. Wingspan was 530 centimeters.
Returning once from the Fuhrer's headquarters, Reich Minister Dr. Goebbels published the following ominous statement in Volkischer Beobachter:
“The Fuhrer and I, bending over a large-scale map of London, marked the squares with the most worthwhile goals. In London, in a narrow space, there are twice as many people as in Berlin. I know what that means. In London, for three and a half years there have been no air-raids. Imagine what a terrible awakening it would be! .. ”
At the beginning of June 1944, in London, a report was received that German guided missiles were delivered to the French coast of the English Channel. British pilots reported that around the two structures, reminiscent of skis, noticed a great activity of the enemy. In the evening of June 12, German long-range cannons began shelling English territory across the English Channel, probably with the aim of diverting the attention of the British from preparations for the launching of projectiles. At 4 in the morning the shelling stopped. A few minutes later, a strange "plane" was seen above the observation point in Kent, making a sharp whistling sound and emitting bright light from the tail section. After 18 minutes, the “plane” with a deafening explosion fell to the ground in Swanskoum, near Gravesend. Over the next hour, three more such “planes” fell in Cacfield, Bethnal Green and Platte. As a result of the explosions in Bethnal Green, six people were killed and nine injured. In addition, the railway bridge was destroyed.
During the war in England, 8070 (according to other sources - 9017) of V-1 projectiles was launched. Of this number, 7488 pieces were seen by the monitoring service, and 2420 (for other sources - 2340) reached the target area. British air defense fighters destroyed 1847 "V-1", shooting them with onboard weapons or knocking them down in a co-stream. Anti-aircraft artillery destroyed 1878 projectiles. On the barrage balloons the 232 projectile crashed. In general, almost 53% of all V-1 projectiles fired at London were shot down, and only 32% (according to other sources — 25,9%) of the projectile aircraft broke through to the target area.
But even with this number of shells, the Germans caused great damage to England. 24 491 residential building was destroyed, 52 293 buildings were rendered uninhabitable. 5 864 people were killed, 17 197 were seriously injured.
The last V-1 projectile launched from French territory fell on England 1 September 1944. Anglo-American troops, landed in France, destroyed the installation to launch them.
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In the early 1930s, the reorganization and rearmament of the Red Army began. One of the most active supporters of these transformations, designed to make the workers and peasants' battalions the most powerful military units in the world, was the "Red Marshal" Mikhail Tukhachevsky. The modern army was seen by him as countless armadas of light and heavy tankssupported by long-range chemical artillery and ultra high-altitude bomber aircraft. Searching for all sorts of inventive innovations that could change the nature of the war, giving the Red Army an obvious advantage, Tukhachevsky could not help but work on the creation of telecontrolled robotic tanks, which were carried out by Ostekhbyuro Vladimir Bekauri, and later at the Telemechanics Institute (full name - All-Union State Institute Telemechanics and Communications, VGITiS).
The first Soviet remote-controlled tank was a captured French Renault tank. A series of his tests took place in 1929-30's, but he was controlled not by radio, but by cable. However, a year later, a tank of a domestic design, MC-1 (T-18), was tested. He was controlled by radio and, moving at speeds up to 4 km / h, carried out the commands "forward", "right", "left" and "stop".
In the spring of 1932, the remote control equipment “Bridge-1” (later - “River-1” and “River-2”) was equipped with a double-turbo tank “T-26”. Tests of this tank were carried out in April at the Moscow himpoligon. According to their results, the production of four tele-tanks and two control tanks was ordered. The new control equipment, made by Ostechburo employees, allowed to execute already 16 commands.
In the summer of 1932, a special tank detachment No. 4 was formed in the Leningrad Military District, the main task of which was to study the combat capabilities of remote-controlled tanks. The tanks arrived at the squadron’s location only at the end of 1932 of the year, and since January 1933, in the area of Krasnoe Selo, their terrain tests began.
In 1933, a remote-controlled tank under the symbol "TT-18" (modification of the tank "T-18") was tested with control equipment located on the driver's seat. This tank could also carry out 16 commands: turn, change speed, stop, start moving again, undermine the high-explosive charge, put a smoke screen or release toxic agents. The range of the TT-18 was no more than a few hundred meters. The TT-18 converted not less than seven full-time tanks, but this system never entered service.
A new stage in the development of remote-controlled tanks came in 1934 year.
The “TT-26” tele-tank was developed under the code “Titan”, equipped with devices for the production of combat chemistry, as well as a removable flamethrower with a firing range of up to 35 meters. It was released 55 machines in this series. The TT-26 teletanks were controlled from a conventional T-26 tank.
On the chassis of the tank "T-26" in 1938, the tank "TT-TU" was created - a telemechanical tank, which approached the fortifications of the enemy and dropped a blasting charge.
On the basis of the high-speed tank "BT-7" in 1938-39, a remote-controlled tank "A-7" was created. Teletank was armed with a Silin machine gun and KS-60 poisonous substance release devices manufactured by the Kompressor plant. The substance itself was placed in two tanks - it should have been enough to guarantee contamination of the area of 7200 square meters. In addition, the teletank could put a smoke screen with a length of 300-400 meters. And, finally, a mine was installed on the tank, containing a kilogram of TNT, so that in case of falling into the hands of the enemy, it was possible to destroy this secret weapon.
The control operator was located on the BT-7 linear tank with standard armament and could send 17 commands to the teletank. The control range of the tank on a flat terrain reached 4 kilometers, the time of continuous control ranged from 4 to 6 hours.
Tests of the A-7 tank at the test site revealed a number of design flaws, ranging from numerous control system failures to the complete uselessness of the Silin machine gun.
Teletank and developed on the basis of other machines. So, it was supposed to be converted into a teletank wedge “T-27”. A telemechanical tank “Wind” was designed on the basis of a floating tank “T-37А” and a telemechanical tank of a breakthrough on the base of a huge five-tower “T-35”.
After the abolition of Ostechbyuro, NII-20 undertook the designing of teletankov. Its employees created the T-38-TT telemechanical wedge shoes. The teletket was armed with a DT machine gun in the turret and the KS-61-T flamethrower, and was also supplied with a chemical tank with a capacity of 45 liters and a smoke screening equipment. The control wedge with a crew of two people had the same weapons, but with a large ammunition.
Teletanka performed the following commands: start the engine, increase the engine speed, turn right and left, switch speeds, turn on the brakes, stop the wedges, prepare for firing a machine gun, shooting, flame throwing, preparing for an explosion, explosion, hang up training. However, the range of the teletketki did not exceed 2500 meters. As a result, they released an experimental series of T-38-TT telescopes, but they were not accepted for service.
Baptism of the Soviet Soviet teletank 28 February February 1940, in the region of Vyborg during the Winter War with Finland. Before the advancing line tanks, TT-26 tele-teams were launched. However, all of them were stuck in the funnels from the shells and were shot by Finnish anti-tank guns almost point blank.
This sad experience forced the Soviet command to reconsider its attitude towards remote-controlled tanks, and in the end it abandoned the idea of their mass production and use.
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The enemy had obviously no such experience, and therefore during the Second World War the Germans repeatedly tried to use tanks and tankettes, controlled by wire and by radio.
On the fronts appeared: light tank "Goliath" ("B-I") weighing 870 kilograms, medium tank "Springer" (Sd.Kfz.304) weighing 2,4 tons, and also "B-IV" (Sd.Kfz.301) weighing from 4,5 to 6 tons.
The development of remote-controlled tanks with 1940 year engaged the German company "Borgvard" ("Borgward"). From 1942 to 1944, the company produced a tank "B-IV" called "Heavy charge carrier Sd.Kfz.301". He was the first car of this kind, serially supplied to the Wehrmacht. The wedge served as a remotely controlled carrier of explosives or warheads. In its nose part was placed a charge of explosive weighing half a ton, which was dropped on the radio command. After the reset, the tank shoes returned to the tank from which control was conducted. The operator could transmit ten commands to a teletank over a distance of up to four kilometers. It was released about a thousand copies of this machine.
Since 1942, various “B-IV” designs have been considered. In general, the use of these teletankov by the Germans was not very successful. By the end of the war, the Wehrmacht officers finally realized this, and with B-IV they began to throw out the telecontrol equipment, instead of putting two armored tankers with a recoilless cannon for armor - in this capacity B-IV could actually pose a threat to the enemy’s medium and heavy tanks.
The “Light carrier of Sd.Kfz.302” under the name “Goliath” became much more popular and famous. This small tank with a height of just 610 millimeters, developed by Borgward, was equipped with two electric motors with batteries and was controlled by radio. He carried an explosive charge weighing 90,7 kilograms. A later modification of the "Goliath" was converted to work on a gasoline engine and on control by wire. In this form, this unit in the summer of 1943, and went into a large series. The subsequent Goliath model as a special machine “Sd.Kfz.303” had an air-cooled two-cylinder two-stroke engine and was controlled by unwinding a heavy field cable. This whole “toy” had dimensions of 1600x660x670 millimeters, moved at speeds from 6 to 10 km / h and weighed only 350 kilograms. The device could carry 100 kilograms of cargo, its task was to clear and eliminate debris on the roads in the combat zone. Prior to the end of the war, according to preliminary estimates, about 5000 units of this small teletanka were manufactured. The Goliath was the main weapon in at least six sapper companies of tank forces.
These miniature machines were widely known to the public after they were referred to in propaganda purposes as the “secret weapon of the Third Reich” in the last years of the war. For example, the Soviet press in 1944 wrote about “Goliath” about the year:
“On the Soviet-German front, the Germans used a wedge-torpedo, mainly intended to fight our tanks. This self-propelled torpedo carries a charge of explosive, which explodes by shorting the current at the moment of contact with the tank.
The torpedo is controlled from a remote point, which is connected to it with a wire from 250 m to 1 km. This wire is wound on a coil located in the aft part of the wedge. As the tankette is removed from the point, the wire from the coil is unwound.
During movement on the battlefield, the wedge can change direction. This is achieved by switching alternately right and left motors, powered by batteries.
Our troops quickly recognized the numerous vulnerable parts of the torpedoes and the latter were immediately subject to mass destruction.
Tankmen and gunners did not have much difficulty shooting them from afar. When a shell hit, the wedge just flew into the air - it was, so to speak, “self-destructed” with the help of its own explosive charge.
The wedge was easily damaged by an armor-piercing bullet, as well as by machine-gun and rifle fire. In such cases, the bullets hit the front and side of the wedge and punched her caterpillar. Sometimes the men simply cut the wire that was pulling behind the torpedo and the blind beast became completely harmless ... ”
And finally, there was “The average charge carrier Sd. Kfz. 304 ”(“ Springer ”), which was developed in 1944 at the United Neckarzulm vehicle manufacturing plants using parts of a tracked motorcycle. The device was designed for the transportation of payload in 300 kilograms. This model was supposed to be produced in 1945, a large series, but until the end of the war were made only a few copies of the machine ...
NATO Mechanized Army
The first law of robotics, invented by the American science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, said that the robot should under no circumstances cause harm to humans. Now they prefer not to remember this rule. After all, when it comes to government orders, the potential danger of killer robots seems to be something frivolous.
Above the program, called “Future Combat Systems” (FSC), the Pentagon has been working since May 2000. According to official information
"The task is to create unmanned vehicles that can do everything that needs to be done on the battlefield: attack, defend and find targets."
That is, the plan is simple to ugliness: one robot detects a target, reports it to the command center, and the other robot (or rocket) destroys the target.
Three competing consortia claimed the role of general contractor: Boeing, General Dynamics and Lockheed-Martin, which offer their solutions for this Pentagon project with a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars. According to the latest data, Lockheed-Martin Corporation became the winner of the competition.
The US military believes that the first generation of combat robots will be ready to conduct military operations on the ground and in the air in the next 10 years, and Kendel Peez, a representative of General Dynamics, is even more optimistic:
“We believe that we can create such a system by the end of this decade.”
In other words - for the 2010 year! Anyway, the deadline for adopting the army of robots is set to 2025 year.
“Future Combat Systems” is a whole system that includes well-known unmanned aerial vehicles (such as the “Predator” (“Predator”) used in Afghanistan), and autonomous tanks and ground reconnaissance vehicles. All this equipment is supposed to be controlled remotely - simply from shelter, wirelessly or from satellites. The requirements for FSC are clear. Reusability, versatility, combat power, speed, security, compactness, maneuverability, and in some cases - the ability to choose a solution from a set of options incorporated into the program.
Some of these machines are planned to be equipped with laser and microwave weapons.
The point is to create robot soldiers, until it goes. For some reason, this interesting topic is not addressed at all in the Pentagon materials on FCS. Also not mentioned is the structure of the US Navy, as the center of SPAWAR (Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command), on account of which there are very interesting developments in this area.
SPAWAR specialists have long developed remote-controlled reconnaissance and targeting machines, a flying saucer reconnaissance system, network sensor systems and rapid detection and response systems, and, finally, the ROBART autonomous robots.
The last representative of this family - “ROBART III” - is still in the finishing stage. And this is, in fact, a real robot soldier with a machine gun.
The “ancestors” of the combat robot (respectively, “ROBART-I-II”) were intended for the protection of military warehouses — that is, they were only able to detect the intruder and raise the alarm, while the prototype ROBART III was equipped with weapons. While this is a pneumatic prototype of a machine gun, firing balls and arrows, but the robot already has an automatic guidance system; he finds the target himself and launches his own ammunition assembly at a speed of six shots in a half second.
However, FCS is not the only program of the US Department of Defense. There is also a “JPR” (“Joint Robotics Program”), which the Pentagon has been implementing since September 2000. The description of this program explicitly states: "military robotic systems in the twenty-first century will be used everywhere."
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The Pentagon is not the only organization that creates killer robots. It turns out, and quite civilian departments are interested in the production of mechanical monsters.
According to Reuters, British University scientists have created a prototype of the SlugBot robot, which is able to track down and destroy sentient beings. The press has already called him “the terminator”. While the robot is programmed to search for slugs. Caught he recycles and, thus, produces electricity. This is the world's first active robot, whose task - to kill and devour their victims.
"SlugBot" goes on the hunt after dark, when the slugs are most active, and can kill more 100 mollusks in an hour. Thus, scientists came to the aid of English gardeners and farmers, for whom slugs plague for many centuries, destroying the plants they grew.
“The slugs were not chosen by chance,” says Dr. Ian Kelly, the creator of the first “terminator,” “they are the main pests, there are a lot of them, they do not have a strong skeleton and are quite large.”
A robot about 60 centimeters high finds the victim using infrared sensors. Scientists claim that "SlugBot" accurately identifies mollusk pests by the length of the infrared wave and can distinguish slugs from worms or snails.
“SlugBot” moves on four wheels and grabs the clams with its “long arm”: it can rotate it to all 360 degrees and catch the victim at a distance of 2 meters in any direction. Caught slugs robot folds in a special tray.
After a night hunt, the robot returns "home" and unloads: the slugs fall into a special tank, where fermentation takes place, as a result of which the slugs turn into electricity. The robot uses the received energy to charge its own batteries, after which the hunt continues.
Despite the fact that Time magazine called SlugBot one of 2001’s best inventions of the year, critics attacked the creators of the robot, the “killers”. So, one of the readers of the magazine in his open letter called the invention "rash":
“Creating robots devouring the flesh, we cross the line that only a madman can cross.”
Gardeners and farmers, on the contrary, welcome the invention. They believe that its use will help gradually reduce the amount of harmful pesticides used in farmlands. It is estimated that British farmers spend an average of up to 30 million dollars a year to fight slugs.
After three or four years, the first "terminator" can be prepared for industrial production. The SlugBot prototype costs about three thousand dollars, but the inventors claim that as soon as the robot enters the market, the price will drop.
Today it is clear that British University scientists will not stop slug-killing, and in the future we can expect the appearance of a robot that will kill, say, rats. And here it is already close to the person ...