Autonomous Robot Weapons For Terrorists?

Killer robots created by terrorists? Terrorists have already proven resourceful in using cell phones and the Internet. Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, believes that robotics is yet another area in which terrorists might adapt modern technology to their own purposes.

Sharkey spoke at a one-day conference organized by Britain's Royal United Services Institute:

"How long is it going to be before the terrorists get in on the act? With the current prices of robot construction falling dramatically and the availability of ready-made components for the amateur market, it wouldn't require a lot of skill to make autonomous robot weapons."

According to Shakey, a small GPS-guided drone with an autopilot can be constructed for less than $500.

Hopefully, the terrorists won't read Count Zero, the 1986 novel by William Gibson; they might build a slamhound.

THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail in New Delhi, slotted it to his pheromones and the color of his hair. It caught up with him on a street called Chandni Chauk and came scrambling for his rented BMW through a forest of bare brown legs and pedicab tires. Its core was a kilogram of recrystallized hexogene and flaked TNT.
(Read more about Gibson's slamhound)

As far as I know, the first autonomous robotic bomb was the wabbler from the 1942 story of the same name by Murray Leinster.

Via Washington Post.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/27/2008)

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