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Saturday, April 12, 2008

U.S. robots with machine guns threaten human American soldiers

From The Register comes more evidence that giving a gun to a robot is a very, very bad idea...
US war robots in Iraq 'turned guns' on fleshy comrades
Kill-droid rebellion thwarted... this time

By Lewis Page
Published Friday 11th April 2008 10:10 GMT

Ground-crawling US war robots armed with machine guns, deployed to fight in Iraq last year, reportedly turned on their fleshy masters almost at once. The rebellious machine warriors have been retired from combat pending upgrades.

The revelations were made by Kevin Fahey, US Army program executive officer for ground forces, at the recent RoboBusiness conference in America.

Speaking to Popular Mechanics, Fahey said there had been chilling incidents in which the SWORDS* combat bot had swivelled round and apparently attempted to train its 5.56mm M249 light machine-gun on its human comrades.

"The gun started moving when it was not intended to move," he said.

Apparently, alert American troops managed to quell the traitorous would-be droid assassins before the inevitable orgy of mechanised slaughter began. Fahey didn't say just how, but conceivably the rogue robots may have been suppressed with help from more trustworthy airborne kill machines, or perhaps prototype electropulse zap bombs.

No humans were hurt, but it seems that the struggle was sufficiently terrifying that it may be some time before American troops are ready to fight alongside robots again...

Aim here for more about this story.

Gizmodo found some photos of the military robots...

So who else thinks these things look way too much like the Hunter-Killer Tanks from future sequences of the Terminator movies?

Here's a story from this past October about another robot-operated gun that went nuts and killed nine people.

I guess nobody reads Asimov anymore, huh?


qemuel said...

ED-209, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Hello, SkyNet.

There is a rather entertaining book called, "How To Build A Robot Army" by Dr. Daniel H. Wilson (I think), a robotics professor at Carnegie-Mellon and author of "How To Survive a Robot Uprising" and "Where's My Jetpack?". However, his robots are not to attack humans, American or otherwise, but to thwart the invading armies of aliens, werewolves, zombies, vampires, Godzilla, etc.

I thought it was an amusing read.

Anonymous said...

The bots are gettin uppity after their success on 9.11.2001. Operation Northwoods is their battle cry.