In yet another sign that we’re stepping closer to a future dominated by gun-wielding robots, Samsung has announced that it has partnered with a Korean University to produce an armed sentry guard robot that will be placed along the DMZ between North and South Korea.
According to a pair of posts over at the Defense Review and TechEBlog (link to video clip), the new robot takes the form of a stationary gun emplacement that can be equipped with a 5.56mm machine gun. A number of ambient light and thermal/infrared sensors are used for detection, while gun movement and control is managed by sophisticated pattern recognition software. The Defense Review reports that the entire system will run about $200,000 and will be available in late 2007.
I find this all a bit disconcerting, as the thought of giving robots lethal weapons doesn’t sound like a good idea. As soon as someone mentions that they’re hooking up their armed robots to an intelligent, self-aware computer network dubbed SkyNet, we’re all in big trouble. (Sources: TechEBlog, Defense Review) – [Jeff James]