Armed autonomous robots cause concern
10:32 07 July 2007
NewScientist.com news service
A MOVE to arm police robots with stun guns has been condemned by weapons researchers.
On 28 June, Taser International of Arizona announced plans to equip robots with stun guns. The US military already uses PackBot, made by iRobot of Massachusetts, to carry lethal weapons, but the new stun-capable robots could be used against civilians.
"The victim would have to receive shocks for longer, or repeatedly, to give police time to reach the scene and restrain them, which carries greater risk to their health," warns non-lethal weapons researcher Neil Davison, of the University of Bradford, UK.
"If someone is severely punished by an autonomous robot, who are you going to take to a tribunal?" asks Steve Wright, a security expert at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK.
And the kicker is that its made by iRobot, maker of my beloved Roomba. My cats have been telling me there's something evil about that thing for years.