Killer Robots

The US Army hosted a Robotics Rodeo last week at Fort Hood in Texas challenging the robotics industry to help fill combat needs.

The Viper, pictured left, climbs 12-inch stairs and wades through mud, snow, and sand.

Robotic weapons seem to be a good use for war. What do you think?


  1. All I can think of is the scene in Robocop.

    [Mr. Kinney points a pistol at ED-209]
    ED-209: [menacingly] Please put down your weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply.
    Dick Jones: I think you better do as he says, Mr. Kinney.
    [Mr. Kinney drops the pistol on the floor]
    Dick Jones: [ED-209 advances, growling]
    ED-209: You now have 15 seconds to comply.
    [Mr. Kinney turns to Dick Jones, who looks nervous]
    ED-209: You are in direct violation of Penal Code 1.13, Section 9.
    [Entire room of people in full panic trying to stay out of the line of fire, especially Mr. Kinney]
    ED-209: You have 5 seconds to comply.
    Kinney: Help me!
    ED-209: Four... three... two... one... I am now authorized to use physical force!
    [ED-209 opens fire and shreds Mr. Kinney]

  2. Hopefully these Army-bots are not sentient Mike :)

  3. Sentient or not, if they have weapons and are automated that concerns me. Think how many automated devices seem to have minds of their own. If these are controlled remotely, then great.

  4. My thinking is that they are controlled remotely.. unless the are manufactured by Cyberdyne Systems.

  5. If I was in combat and "somebody" had to charge around a corner and storm the enemy's position, I'd rather it was the Viper than me. Such weapons make killing less personal and easier to do but is that good?

    During World War II only 15-20% of US soldiers actually fired their weapon at an exposed enemy soldier. When these soldiers were being trained they practiced killing human-like dummies, such that even practice reminded the soldier that he would be killing a human being.

    Training methods were changed to make killing as impersonal as possible. As a result, 55% of the soldiers in the Korean War and 95% of the soldiers in the Vietnam War and later wars shot at the enemy.

    Although today's soldiers are less reluctant to kill in combat, they suffer more psychologically than earlier soldiers. The suicide rate in the military is climbing at an alarming rate. In January 2009, more soldiers committed suicide than were killed in combat.

    The combat robot may be good for the soldier but bad for Mankind.

  6. Agree Joe.. my son would have loved to have had one of those bots firing weapons for him. He often says that if he can survive two combat tours in Iraq he can survive anything.

  7. I think if I see one of those guggers coming, I'm gonna run like the wind.

  8. I think if I see one of those guggers coming, I'm gonna run like the wind.

  9. As long as the evil of warfare remains 'necessary', I'd rather put machines than people in harm's way.


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