The science of Knight Rider

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The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:33 pm

Here's some interesting articles I came across...

And as in the original show, KITT is conveniently loaded up with whatever gadgetry Michael Knight will need to solve the case...
OK, so I’m impressed a little bit, too. I mean, a 3-D printer in the car may seem a tad gratuitous, but it could be handy when you run out of quarters for the meter. But this is technology we have here and now...

Read more about 3D printers at discovermagazine.com


When NBC Universal Studios needed industrial robots at the end of May, it approached the West Fairground Street business, which buys and sells new and used robots, and by the end of June RobotWorx had shipped two reconditioned industrial Fanuc ArcMate 100i RJ2 robots to California.
....
Named Katie and Lisa by NBC, the two robots serve as ultra-modern assistants in the garage where KITT, the car fitted with artificial intelligence, is kept. In the first “Knight Rider” episode, the robots were used to scan KITT for damages.

Read more about Katie and Lisa at the marionstar
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:11 am

Here's another article on the science of Knight Rider thanks again to Eric Wolff at Discover Magazine. :good:
In Knight Rider, our resident crime fighters rely pretty heavily on KITT’s ability to find people. He accesses a government database — usually the DMV — and then connects to various surveillance cameras in the area (Knight Rider crooks do tend to like Vegas casinos). The ability to access closed-circuit cameras aside, what’s really amazing here is KITT’s ability to digitally match photos to a moving image. For modern law enforcement and software search companies, that’s something of a holy grail...

Keep reading Knight Rider: Face Recognition at Discover Magazine
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by goldbug » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:13 pm

Nice finds! It is neat to see how GST's mention of looking at emerging technologies was worked into KR. I bet the RobotWorx people were thrilled to see Katie and Lisa so prominantly used in both the premiere ep and "Iguana". :)
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:01 pm

Here's another interesting read thanks again to Eric at Discover Magazine
Ah, the beach episode, a classic of the 1980s crime fighter genre, brought to vivid life in last night’s episode of Knight Rider, when Mike Traceur must infiltrate a band of (what else?) surfing mercenaries to locate a missing secret agent. Fortunately, an episode on the beach creates a perfect opportunity to bust out what has to be one of the coolest, if not always the most useful, things a super car can do, which is go into submarine mode. In last night’s episode a rocket actually blasted KITT off a cliff and into the water. Kitt’s shielding protected Traceur and this week’s sidekick, Zoe Chae, and he made a mid-air transformation to Aqua-KITT. Safe below the waves, Traceur and Chae pondered their next course of action.The episode got me wondering: Could we actually build a submarine car? As you can see from the video clip (skip ahead to 2:35 in the video): yes.

keep reading "Science Fiction to Science Fact: Underwater Cars"
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Alex » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:15 pm

I liked that of the car a lot Aqua-KITT! :D

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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:30 pm

Here's another great read from Eric Wolff at Discover Magazine. You get a hit at some of the things the writers might have gotten to view when they took their field trip to Microsoft.

Down here in small screen land, Knight Rider’s writers make data manipulation a staple of the show.
In Episode 2 we saw mechanic/scientist/romantic lead Sarah Graiman yoink an image off her laptop and display it on the lab’s giant monitor. Echoing her maneuver in last night’s episode, we watched Mike Traceur read his mission brief outside in the night air. KITT has projected a keypad onto his hood and projected two holographs and some other data on the windscreen. While we’re not quite technologically able to handle the holographs (no doubt the subject of a future post), the technology gurus have been working hard to find new ways to help us manipulate the electronic moutnains of data we accumulate...


Keep reading "Knight Rider: Data Mining" at Discover Magazine
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:32 pm

Well we didn't get a knight rider this week but we still get a new article from Discover Magazine.
I almost laughed out loud at the start of last night’s episode of Knight Rider. Mike Traceur sat in KITT’s driver’s seat, reading a dossier, and watching football as he cruised down some scenic highway—and why not, when he’s got a car that can drive itself. Which is when it hit me: I’ve been writing about Knight Rider for weeks without looking into where we are on the whole self-driving car thing! I mean, a car that drives itself has to come before a talking car in the pantheon of useful technology, right?
So, does anyone else remember back in 2005, when GM announced that they’d have a self-driving car by 2008? The story was everywhere. It was supposed be a modified Opel Vectra that would attain speeds of 60 mph and navigate dense traffic. Well, here we are, 2008, no intelligent Vectra in sight. Where’s our self-driving car, GM? Huh?...

keep reading: "Knight Rider: The self-driving car" at Discover Magazine
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by pheonix_knight » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:07 pm

Sue wrote:Well we didn't get a knight rider this week but we still get a new article from Discover Magazine.
I almost laughed out loud at the start of last night’s episode of Knight Rider. Mike Traceur sat in KITT’s driver’s seat, reading a dossier, and watching football as he cruised down some scenic highway—and why not, when he’s got a car that can drive itself. Which is when it hit me: I’ve been writing about Knight Rider for weeks without looking into where we are on the whole self-driving car thing! I mean, a car that drives itself has to come before a talking car in the pantheon of useful technology, right?
So, does anyone else remember back in 2005, when GM announced that they’d have a self-driving car by 2008? The story was everywhere. It was supposed be a modified Opel Vectra that would attain speeds of 60 mph and navigate dense traffic. Well, here we are, 2008, no intelligent Vectra in sight. Where’s our self-driving car, GM? Huh?...

keep reading: "Knight Rider: The self-driving car" at Discover Magazine


In terms of the KR universe, its nothing new, its the 3rd car to have this capability...

In terms of reality I see it as a combination of systems that are already in use and have been for some time....

1 I had a toy electric car 20 years ago that would bump into objects and know that it couldnt go that way
(whats to stop the radar systems that are ALREADY in use for parking sensors from performing the same job? The signal bounces off the object so the car doesnt have to....) The only tweak to the system would be the greater the speed the stronger the signal (so as to bounce off objects further away, AKA "stopping distance")

2 GPS, this is the basis of 'how Ki3t could understand getting from place to place' Point (1) would ALWAYS be observed no matter what...

3 Active cruise control. (speeding and slowing in tandem with the vehicle in front)

4 The 'sat nav'.... When you have one, you program it with your 'home' address and possibly other 'frequently used locations'. Using points 1,2 and 3 why couldnt the car take you there.....?

I admit this post is purely from a 'layman' POV and comments are most definitely welcome...

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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by My_Friend_KITT » Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:52 am

I do remember something about magnets(?) being installed into the asfault of the road and the car following the marks. As well as having distance detectors on the bumpers. This way the car could drive by itself.

That was a long time ago.
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by n1elkyfan » Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:20 pm

actually mecadees already has a car that has adaptive cruise control and can come to a complete stop if need be. Add I think lexus has a car that can park itseld so I don't think we are far off from having a car that can drive its self.

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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Knight94 » Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:41 pm

The 3D printer can be pretty handy, like making a copy of the key to some expensive ride in "Journey To The
End Of Knight". The self-driving car would be pretty handy, too. Going to the grocery store would be more
convenient, when you can tell the vehicle to come to you. A remote key could be used, too. I really wanne see
AI in vehicles, that talks, has personality & can do some of the same things KITT does. It would come in real
handy for law enforcement and military. Besides, look at what else has come in vehicles since KR: OnStar(similar
systems as well)communications, remote start and keyless entry, some other cool stuff.

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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sky_Blue_Civic » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:42 pm

n1elkyfan wrote:actually mecadees already has a car that has adaptive cruise control and can come to a complete stop if need be. Add I think lexus has a car that can park itseld so I don't think we are far off from having a car that can drive its self.

I'd love to have a car that can do that... :D
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by FuzzieDice » Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:03 pm

Pruis (only overseas models) has self-park. There's also been a self-parking car called "Evolve" and of course let's not forget DARPA's challenges! :)

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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:13 pm

it really doesn’t seem like we’ll have to wait too long before we, too, can be worried about self-programming robotic killer machines

Ah the miracles of modern science. :mrgreen: Check out another cool article from Discover Magazine.

The writers of Knight Rider love us. Better yet, they are us. In last night’s Halloween episode, Zoe showed up in a Claire Bennet costume (Heroes‘ famed cheerleader), and Billy comes dressed as Capt. Jack Harkness of Dr. Who and Torchwood fame. We also got some love from the producers with the initiation of a multi-episode story arc (perhaps a product of the fact that Knight Rider has been picked up for the full season).
Around half way through the episode we learn that KITT has been programmed with a self-destruct mechanism by his creator, Dr. Charles Graiman, so there would be a failsafe against KITT going bad. Graiman is familiar with cyborgs gone wild, because he made a KITT prototype named KARR (who is not, as it happens, a car) with the capability to self-program. KARR’s evolution as a learning machine apparently led him to cause the deaths of seven people, though we don’t know how, exactly.

Continue reading Self-programming machines at Discover magazine
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by My_Friend_KITT » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:24 pm

Reminds me of the movie War Games. Forgot exactly how it was spelled WOPR....
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:49 pm

So we learned how the 3D printers seen in Journey To The End Of Knight can be a possibility, but how did KITT know what key to make. Well here's some real science that has the answer.
San Diego, CA, October 30, 2008--UC San Diego computer scientists have built a software program that can perform key duplication without having the key. Instead, the computer scientists only need a photograph of the key.

“We built our key duplication software system to show people that their keys are not inherently secret,” said Stefan Savage, the computer science professor from UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering who led the student-run project. “Perhaps this was once a reasonable assumption, but advances in digital imaging and optics have made it easy to duplicate someone’s keys from a distance without them even noticing.”

Keep reading Keys Can be Copied From Afar
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:04 pm

Well it looks like we beat Eric to his story this week :mrgreen:
(I gotta give Neil credit for finding that article though.)

A few weeks ago, I wrote about 3-D printing in light of a Knight Rider episode in which KITT photographed a key and then used a handy laser cutter to produce the key. But in that post, I never considered the other component of that technology, namely, making a key based on a photograph. Fortunately, a couple of scientists at the University of California-San Diego got right on that problem and proved that you can, indeed, copy a key from a photograph.

keep reading Copying A Key From Really Far Away at Discover Magazine
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:09 pm

Here's the latest from Discovery Magazine's KR Science reporter Eric Wolff.
Last night’s Sexual Tension episode of Knight Rider seemed to be all about spying: Computer techs Billy and Zoe spyied on Mike Traceur and Sarah Graiman while they were “sparring”, Sarah and Mike spied on the bad guys with tiny cameras, and of course, everyone spied on each other with sidelong, furtive looks. It was just that kind of episode.
But let’s focus (pun intended) on the tiny cameras. Sarah and Mike had a needle-in-a-haystack problem. The bad guys’ target was a factory that produces a key oil refining part. Our heroes had to locate the evil-doers on a production floor swarming with white coated technicians. They solved the problem with some of the snazziest ID badges ever created. Each badge held a tiny camera, which then broadcast video in real time back to KITT. The super car’s more powerful computers separated the faces from the rest of the image and compared them to an NSA face database to locate the villains. The whole device is preposterous, right?

keep reading Teeny Tiny Cameras at Discovery Magazine
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:06 pm

I can’t decide if electromagnetic pulses are scary. I mean, if Dark Angel was to be believed, a high-altitude electronic pulse could end civilization as we know it. If I put my trust in Ocean’s Eleven, then an EMP can be used to disrupt the entire power supply of an entire city. And in last night’s episode of Knight Rider, KITT used an EMP to knock out power to a casino. A weapon that can knock out an electronic grid could certainly do extraordinary damage to our infrastructure, on the one hand, but on the other, it doesn’t kill people directly or destroy buildings. And really, should we be trusting Hollywood on this subject in the first place?

keep reading Electromagnetic Pulses at Discover Magazine

EMP bombs have become very popular in movies in recent years. But the good old concept of a focused Microwave Jammer is actually very much a reality. The Air force has been developing something they are calling a HPM, High Powered Microwave, for use on their UAV drones.

Over the long term, the Air Force is interested in using a UCAV as a platform to carry directed-energy weapons, initially a "high power microwave (HPM)" weapon to fry adversary electronic systems. The HPM weapon would be "fired" out an aperture on the front of the aircraft, with electronic steering used to direct the beam over an arc covering about 45 degrees to either side of the UCAV. The HPM weapon could be followed by a high power laser weapon. – Wikipedia
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:14 pm

I've been posting these Discovery Magazine articles for a while now. This time he wrote one up about our thread!
How cool is that!
If your primary method of thwarting criminals is a hyper-intelligent car, that car really needs to be bullet proof or else your career will be short. But if your hyper-intelligent car is also super fast and high-performance, you don’t want to install heavy armor panels that destroys that performance. The current version of Knight Rider solves this problem with some nanotech magic, but the original relied on a special bullet-resistant coating, the formulation of which was the source of some of the best episodes they ever aired (The Goliath episodes, for those conversant).

It took science another 15 years after those episodes aired, but in 2001 a company called Line-X made the bullet-proof coating very nearly a reality. Paxcon, a heavy duty spray on plastic coating, makes walls extremely blast and bullet resistant (major shout out to Knight Rider Online for the tip)...


Keep reading Knight Rider: The Bullet Resistant Car from Discovery Magazine
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by My_Friend_KITT » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:13 am

Sue, Thank You for keeping this thread going even without any responses...I am enjoying reading these articles...Keep it up.
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by Sue » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:44 pm

The new Discover Magazine is out.. check out the news section for it.
http://knightrideronline.com/news/2009/ ... gazine.php
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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by sebhaque » Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:42 am

Sue wrote:I almost laughed out loud at the start of last night’s episode of Knight Rider. Mike Traceur sat in KITT’s driver’s seat, reading a dossier, and watching football as he cruised down some scenic highway—and why not, when he’s got a car that can drive itself. Which is when it hit me: I’ve been writing about Knight Rider for weeks without looking into where we are on the whole self-driving car thing! I mean, a car that drives itself has to come before a talking car in the pantheon of useful technology, right?
So, does anyone else remember back in 2005, when GM announced that they’d have a self-driving car by 2008? The story was everywhere. It was supposed be a modified Opel Vectra that would attain speeds of 60 mph and navigate dense traffic. Well, here we are, 2008, no intelligent Vectra in sight. Where’s our self-driving car, GM? Huh?...


Hello all, first post. Just read this and thought I'd show you something interesting: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=48jqnXRozeg

Driverless cars are on their way :]

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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by vespurrs » Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:08 pm

I too am very much enjoying these updates, Sue. Thanks for this thread.

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Re: The science of Knight Rider

Post by mikey » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:03 pm

heheh just saw this.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29663741

So a skin that repairs itself.... sounds familiar. :)

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