To the bunkers! No really, to the bunkers

In another sign the robot revolution is coming, a robot cannon used by the South African military malfunctioned and tragically killed nine and wounded fourteen after firing uncontrollably.

Mechanised self-targeting machine guns with artificial intelligence systems to distinguish between targets (e.g. humans) and non-targets (e.g. trees) are becomingly increasingly common.

Last year Samsung announced that it had developed a machine gun toting robot sentry that can identify and shoot a target up to two miles away.

The system uses twin optical and infrared sensors to identify targets from 2.5 miles in daylight and around half that distance at night. It has a microphone and speakers so that passwords can be exchanged with human troops.

If the password is not accepted the robot can either sound an alarm or fire at the target using rubber bullets or a swivel-mounted K-3 machine gun.

South Korea’s northern border is the most heavily militarised zone in the world, and the southern government has poured millions of dollars into automated military technology.

The Intelligent Surveillance and Guard Robot was jointly developed with a South Korean university, and is designed to replace some of the troops guarding the border with North Korea.

North Korea?!? When World War Three is over, someone is going to get a Darwin Award for that decision.

Where’s Asimov when you need him?

Link to ‘Robot Cannon Kills 9, Wounds 14′ from Wired (via BB).
Link to new story on Samsung robot sentry.
Link to Samsung page with specs of their robot sentry.

One Comment

  1. Posted October 21, 2007 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Scientists and engineers need to read and watch a lot more Science Fiction novels and films. So much trouble can be avoided if they do this.
    From those sources one can learn:
    1. Clones will invariably age faster and degenerate quickly. They will also be ‘evil’. See Dolly the sheep.
    2. Computer will rise up against humans and enslave us. This will happen because the internet will become intelligent / self-conscious (see ‘emergence’ theory)
    3. Human beings will become infertile and resort to cloning. In the future they’ll travel back in time to steal our present day genes in order to increase their own gene-pool.
    4. All other aliens will be highly aggressive and seek to enslave or eat us.


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