Author Topic: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat  (Read 7264 times)

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Offline --NES--

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Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« on: December 30, 2008, 23:08:34 »
Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
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This is an amazing video about technologies which cross from the civilian world into the military world and vise versa. As well, the video demonstrates emerging technologies which, if implemented, will, with out a doubt, alter the way we conduct warfare... not to mention all the civilian applications.

I personally find this interesting because I am currently in college for Mechanical Engineering in the hope that, one day, I will be able to get into the defense research and development industry and work on some of the technologies showcased in this video.

Anyway, below is some of the info available on the site hosting this video.  The video itself is about 26 min long, but it's worth watching every minute.


Quote
INFO

The Entertainment Gathering 2008
Monterey, CA
Dec 13th, 2008

Ralph Osterhout describes the "perverse symbiotic relationship" between the children's toy industry and military innovation.

EG is the celebration of the American entertainment industry. Since 1984, Richard Saul Wurman has created extraordinary gatherings about learning and understanding. EG is a rich extension of these ideas - a conference that explores the attitude of understanding in music, film, television, radio, technology, advertising, gaming, interactivity and the web - The Entertainment Gathering.


Quote
Ralph Osterhout

Known as a serial productizer of technology, Ralph Osterhout regularly ricochets between Advanced military Systems, High-tech Toys, Electronic Intelligence and Consumer Products. His major customers are the Department of Defense, major Toy Companies and perfromance-oriented product companies, worldwide. The common thread: high performance, low cost and meaningful innovation.


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Offline Slack and Idle

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2008, 00:50:20 »
Amazing technology,
Good post.
Giacamo, Jester of Kings and King of Jesters, Get it? Got it, Good.

Offline yukon

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2008, 02:13:07 »
Just finished the video, pretty amazing stuff.

He is also bang on with his final point about warfare technologies making their way to the public, history has shown us to be the benefactor of these developments time and time again....hopefully it's sooner than later for some of these pieces!

cheers.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2008, 04:06:51 »
Very interesting! While many of us can think about examples of applied technology migrating from defence to commercial applications, it is very interesting to see the common-sense applicability of the commercial/retail world making its way back into military use.

Offline Spanky

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2008, 05:33:59 »
wow. Pretty impressive.  Some of the things he was talking about would have been considered science fiction and impossible not so long ago.
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Offline geo

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2008, 10:38:57 »
A lot of this stuff was, science FICTION just a couple of years ago.
Then you look at this stuff and it is high cost, high tech gov't R&D kit that adresses (sort of) problems of real day life
NOW, you look at this same gear, simplified & commercialized that will benefit everyday life....

WOW!!!
Chimo!

Offline Gizmo 421

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2009, 12:32:30 »
Thanks for the video link, as stated earlier very interesting.
I still have so much to learn.

Offline karl28

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2009, 13:18:59 »
           Wow great post just finished watching the video kind of amazing what technology can do .

Offline geo

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2009, 13:32:18 »
Frightening part is that.... the bad guys can just as easily shop at toys 'R us & pick up the components
Chimo!

Offline Panzer Grenadier

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2009, 10:37:30 »
Frightening part is that.... the bad guys can just as easily shop at toys 'R us & pick up the components

They already do.  Its too bad such innovations do not reach the pointy end users quickly, but then how many bureaucrats would be employed in the DND service if it was efficient.
"We should take the Electric Stairs."

Offline --NES--

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2009, 11:07:01 »
Its too bad such innovations do not reach the pointy end users quickly, but then how many bureaucrats would be employed in the DND service if it was efficient.

Mr. Osterhout even eludes to this issue when discussing the small UAV; particularly how the US government awarded the contract to a company which has little experience with micro-robotics and UAVs and they produced something large and loud... You can kinda tell he cut himself off before he really started stepping on toes... But that is a valid point; war and defense industry is big business, and sometimes it's more about money and politics than it is about effectively doing the job or saving lives... if this weren't the case, then we'd all have Dragon Skin armour, we'd have issued chest rigs/tac vest which actually suited the job and our vehicles would be better armed and armoured, lighter, faster and run on electricity.

I'm not one for the tin-foil hat club, and I don't think it's really that easy (I know there's a lot more to it), but I really believe the technology is out there to improve every aspect of our jobs, and this video proves it. 

But, as much as we all would like to believe that we all do things solely for the benefit of humanity and other noble causes; it really does come down to the all-mighty-dollar. 

I don't look at it as a point to protest or form conspiracy theories about, not any more than you can protest the wind blowing or the sun shining... It's just the way it goes, and all that can be done by most of us at the bottom is; improvise, adapt, overcome... use what we have until we get something better.

But enough ranting...  I think this video demonstrates a lot; not just technologies, but also applications and the subtle resistance to implementation.  As well as the fundamental questions:
1) How far is too far? When will technology replace the soldiers and what effect will this have?
2) When do simple toys become strategic assets? If we have them for our kids, do they have them for their warriors?

But, that's for smarter people to answer... I just want a set of SWIR goggles to play with... I wonder when Toys-R-us will get them in stock.
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Offline akakinser

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2009, 19:04:15 »
I was fortunate enough to be in the audience at EG and saw Mr. Osterhout deliver this presentation. AMAZING! I was entertained, informed and left the conference wanting to meet this gregarious character. Has anyone ever met or know how to get in touch with Ralph Osterhout? I heard he has a tactical flashlight hitting Costco in a few weeks and I am waiting in line to buy it!!

Offline QuietJim

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Re: Ralph Osterhout: Toys That Find Their Way Into Combat
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2009, 22:10:15 »
this guy is pretty nifty, thank you for the post  ;D
reminds me of some of the guys building home brew uav on rcgroups



« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 02:36:10 by Drifter »