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One of my absolute most favorite anime series of all time is Ghost in the Shell. Aside from the groundbreaking first movie, the slightly disappointing sequel and the outstanding series Stand Alone Complex, there are very few other entertaining programs that contain the depth of analysis combined with spectacular art and story.

One of the characters from the series is the Tachikoma, which essentially is a set of sentient hive mind controlled armored tanks. They are one of the more “cuddly” characters on the show, since their intelligence and persona are evolving from an innocent starting point, constantly questioning it’s own existence.

Apparently, according to Impress, the Japanese are actually on the job trying to get a real one of these knocked out. It’s a “personal edition,” and fully contains the driver, with the outside view projected inside the one-person cockpit.

It’s a bit of a far cry from the fully-autonomous battle tank controlled by a AI hosted on a server on a satellite, but it’s one heck of a start.

I’m definitely interested in hearing more about this one, and so far, it’s just this one 10 second video and a bit of rough translation making it’s rounds around the blogosphere. 

Anyone heard any more on this? So far, I haven’t even found out the company or research group behind it.