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Old 04-11-2008, 11:49 AM   #1
space
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Default US war robots in Iraq 'turned guns' on fleshy comrades

Skynet 1.0!

The author always has a pretty cynical slant on these things, but it always gives me a chuckle.


Taken from here

US war robots in Iraq 'turned guns' on fleshy comrades | The Register



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.

As Fahey pointed out, "once you've done something that's really bad, it can take 10 or 20 years to try it again". That said, it seems he expects to deploy a new and more trustworthy armed ground automaton within a year - perhaps the MAARS**, an upgraded SWORDS packing a heavier 7.62mm machine-gun and featuring improved safety features.

MAARS is also said by its makers to have "Transformer-like" abilities akin to those of Optimus Prime. Rather than being able to disguise itself as, say, a mobility scooter or a dessert trolley, the MAARS is actually only able to transform - with help from human allies - into a slightly different robot.

The Pop Mech analysts consider that the rattled GIs in Iraq are just being silly.

So SWORDS was yanked because it made people nervous. Meanwhile, the V-22 Osprey program has killed 30 people during test flights, but the tiltrotor aircraft is currently in active service.
Hmmm. ®

*Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Direct-action System. This is an armed variant on the popular TALON bomb-disposal job from Foster-Miller, lately acquired by the UK's Qinetiq govboffin spinoff outfit.

**Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:06 PM   #2
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I wouldn't want some machinegun equipped robot anywhere near me. The difference btwn a SWORDS and a V-22 is one has a human always at the controls.

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Old 04-11-2008, 12:12 PM   #3
Rudd
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SKYNET!!!!!!!


glad the GIs are ok


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Last edited by Rudd; 04-11-2008 at 12:18 PM..
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiN|ScarFace View Post
I wouldn't want some machinegun equipped robot anywhere near me. The difference btwn a SWORDS and a V-22 is one has a human always at the controls.


Its not autonomous - its controlled by a soldier, but obviously it seems to have a mind of its own which cant be a good thing in this situation!
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Last edited by space; 04-11-2008 at 12:23 PM..
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:28 PM   #5
SiN|ScarFace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacemanc View Post


Its not autonomous - its controlled by a soldier, but obviously it seems to have a mind of its own which cant be a good thing in this situation!
Yea, thats my point, if the V-22 ignored the pilot or just decided to fly into the ground that would be scary too. The fact this thing can do things on it's own, intended or not, is a big problem, thus it got pulled.

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Old 04-11-2008, 12:33 PM   #6
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Actually, part of the problem with the V-22 is the heavy degree of computerization. With one of the board computers deciding that something is wrong and trying to compensate...resulting in a deadly crash.


[R-MOD]Jigsaw] I am drunk. I decided to come home early because I can''t realy seea nyithng. I hthknk i madea bad choicce.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [R-MOD]dunehunter View Post
Actually, part of the problem with the V-22 is the heavy degree of computerization. With one of the board computers deciding that something is wrong and trying to compensate...resulting in a deadly crash.
Still missing the point. Yes it's computerized but the craft itself isn't made to kill people, so when it goes wonky, the FALL kills you, along with a side of fire. The robo killer is made to kill people, so when it goes wonky and points it's weapon at you, that is bad, because it's going to kill something, the problem is it can't tell friend from foe on it's own.

Oh well, killer robots are bad, I rest my case.

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Old 04-11-2008, 12:58 PM   #8
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Its starting to feel like a political discussion thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiN|ScarFace View Post
the problem is it can't tell friend from foe on it's own.

Thats just asking for trouble !
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:46 PM   #9
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Scary stuff, but this is the U.S. Military we are talking about. I am sure they would never put robots who thought for themselves in real-combat .

(Sarcasm FTW).
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:10 PM   #10
Oink-Blabber
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I hate robots.
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