DIY Robotic Suicide Booth Used In Australia

An 81 year-old Australian man used a DIY robotic suicide booth to kill himself yesterday.

He investigated the requirements for the device online; he was apparently able to download the basic plans for a device. After constructing a device that would fire a .22 semi-automatic pistol, he positioned himself in front of the device, and set it into motion. The man, whose name has not been released, despaired upon learning that he would no longer be able to live independently.


(Suicide booth from Futurama)

Science fiction fans may recall the Suicide Booths from the Futurama series; for only twenty-five cents, people (or robots) could enter the booth and be killed by robotically operated knives, saws and other implements of destruction. General Motors aired an ad about a robot thinking about suicide.

In the classic Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon, two warring planetary societies used what amounted to a computer game to wage war on each other without all that messy bombing and destruction of property. The "score" was settled by the end of every day, as people lined up dutifully at suicide booths.

Kurt Vonnegut used a similar idea in his very early stories like Welcome to the Monkey House; the Ethical Suicide Parlors were staffed by human beings.

Perhaps the earliest reference to this idea is the government lethal chamber from the 1895 story The Repairer of Reputations.

As I recall, John Varley used the idea of a computer-based interactive suicide note in his award-winning 1984 story Press Enter.

Via Man shot by killer robot; thanks to Moira for pointing out this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/21/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

A Basic Income TED Talk
'They de-emphasized what lack of work would do to Mr. Everyman'- Philip Jose Farmer, 1967.

FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator And Psychohistory
'The reactions of human conglomerates to fixed social and economic stimuli...'

Secrets Of Charismatic Speakers Revealed
'The tone, the timbre excellent - imperative, very sharp.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

'Digital Drugs' (Like Herbert's Semuta?) Dismays Saudis
'The effect (described as timeless, sustained ecstasy) is elicited by certain atonal vibrations...'- Frank Herbert, 1965.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Smart Window Tints, Powers Itself
'The polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission.'

A Basic Income TED Talk
'They de-emphasized what lack of work would do to Mr. Everyman'

What Can Magic Leap Expect From New 'Chief Futurist' Neal Stephenson?
'The goggles throw a light, smoky haze across his eyes...'

Should SETI Talk To Molecular Cloud Barnard 68?
'I myself am building basic chemicals at about 10,000,000,000 times the rate at which building is occurring on the whole ... surface of your planet.'

LikeAGlove Smart Garment Knows Your Size
'The tailor set moving a mechanism...'

EXACTO Bullets Change Course In Mid-Air
'This little weapon ejects a rather ingenious missile...'

Button-Pushing Robots Have Taken Our Jobs, Thankfully
'The ten forked ends of each arm commenced a rattling pressing of the buttons.'

Puls 'Smart Watch' Replaces Your Cell Phone
Even before Dick Tracy, there were Ideas about this.

Small Molecule Walker Takes First Steps
'The bits were in motion.'

US Navy Laser Ready For Use
Fifty years from cartoon to reality.

Fast Lightweight Autonomy Indoor Drones For DARPA
'the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom... and sought the security of a shadowed corner.'

Ninebot One Self-Balancing Wheel
'It had been a long time since the Chief Engineer had ridden one of these silly-looking little vehicles...'

FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator And Psychohistory
'The reactions of human conglomerates to fixed social and economic stimuli...'

Stellar Navigation Based On Network Analysis
'We are a traveling people. We need a travel station here.'

New 'Smart-Skin' Senses Pressure, Humidity, Heat
'You can even sense with your fingertips...'

Mimo Baby Monitor
'In every diaper there is a fine copper wire.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.