Let's face it: If you told Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great that current wars are fought using giant metallic birds that poop explosives all over people, they'd think you were shitting them. Then they'd probably cut your face off and feed it to their dogs, just because.
Likewise, when we see the prototypes that weapons designers are testing, we realize the battlefield of the future will be utterly insane.
So imagine you're on the battlefield of the future. You're holed up inside a bombed-out building, your future-rifle aimed out a busted window. The door behind you is closed and braced securely.
Your jawline is suitably magnificent.
But slowly, silently, something comes oozing under the door. And that something is a slimy robot.
The Blob Bot, which is hilarious to say out loud repeatedly, is a real prototype robot made out of a slimy, almost liquid substance and is actually capable of oozing around and changing shape by itself. It is impossible to read that description and not be reminded of this guy:
But sadly, the Blob Bot looks like this:
Imagine that expanding rapidly in the anus of an insurgent.
We're, uh, assuming the final product won't need that huge bundle of cables trailing behind it everywhere. But that's just its initial state, right? It probably looks a lot more menacing when fully deployed ...
OK, so it's kind of a sticky, partially inflated soccer ball.
The Blob Bot is defined as a "chemical robot" (we're mildly offended that they'd use the R word so liberally here), and it moves thanks to a process called "jamming," basically filling its empty areas with air and letting it out as necessary to control the shape. You can watch it in action here:
Yes, military technology has advanced to a point where we have been able to replicate the flopping movements of a dying fish. Granted, the Blob Bot is still very early in development, but when it's finished, its DARPA-sponsored creators hope it will be able to"squeeze through tiny cracks in pursuit of its target" and then ... spy on it with tiny cameras? Explode into a mass of goo? Sneak into sandwiches and hope its target chokes on it? We don't really know, because they never say what exactly their goal here is. All we know is it sounds creepy as hell.
Build weapons first, ask questions later.