Super-villians, beware the unimaginatively-named COM-BAT! Amazing. And kind of scary. The device is being developed for the military with urban combat situations in mind, but there could be other uses of the device too, some of which should be pretty obvious. Privacy concerns abound, although at the end of the day, I have to conclude that when you’re out in public, people can see you, and there isn’t any real cause to complain about being seen in public. Note also that the pictures in the linked article are computer-generated artist’s conceptions – this device does not yet exist. I’m also fascinated with the idea that the DARPA grant for this thing will support twelve faculty members and eighteen graduate students at the University of Michigan for five years, and presumably similar numbers of staff at UC Berkeley and the University of New Mexico. That’s in addition to the facilities and materials that are being paid for. This is going to be an expensive, nifty, and controversial robotic bat.