Monday, March 12, 2007

Do we really want to arm the robots?

There are a ton of stories about Elbit Systems' Viper Robot, which can (according to the reports) carry Uzis and grenades into battle. On the one hand, this protects your people from harm (although there is speculation about a robot vs. robot contest), but Thomas L. Nielsen points out that things can go wrong.

Stuff like this always creeps me out, ever since I attended the firepower demonstration at the Joint Services Small Arms Symposium hosted by the NDIA in Albuquerque in the spring of 2006.

Some [EXPLETIVE DELETED] armed robot that was supposed to be demonstrated to us suddenly started turning towards the spectators (including Yours Truly) rather than trundle cooperatively up to the firing line as the operator intended. Imagine some 200 people stampeeding for cover. Not Fun!

In case anyone is interested, the [EXPLETIVE DELETED] thing was armed with a 7.62mm NATO medium machine gun (an FN if I remember correctly).

Keep in mind Rule No. 1 when dealing with armed robots: "They always, always, ALWAYS turn on their masters".

And don't forget that the Roomba can sneak up on you very quietly.


Sphere: Related Content