Friday, March 24, 2006

U.S. Air Force testing robots as security guards

u0307999 ZHAI NING U.S Air Force is taking steps to try out new robotic security guards to replace the human duties in order to save potential losses of life and improve efficiency. There are two major robotic is on trial at EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Florida. mini-robot deployed

One robot being tested is a Jeep-size, four-wheeled vehicle that has been equipped with radar, television cameras and an infrared scan to detect people, vehicles and other objects. It carries a breadbox-sized mini-robot that can be launched to search under vehicles, inside buildings and other small places.

Another robot is fashioned from an off-the-shelf, four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle, giving it added versatility because a human also can ride it like a normal ATV. Both vehicles can be remotely operated from laptop computers and can be equipped with remotely fired weapons, like an M-16 rifle or pepper spray.

Those robotics can be programmed to patrol and in case of suspicions, they will sound loudly to tell potential threats, and interesting can use different languages to question the intruders. But the Air Force still use a human to be always around because the military doesn't want to give machines complete discretion. Very practical example of what the situation is about the security robotic. But it also pose a problem to us, how much we can believe a robotic to secure us, and how about the social issures with the deployment of the robotics?


Home said...

u0303819 Ang Yong Chee

While the robot is certainly much more efficient and more durable than it human counterpart , i agreed with Zhai Ning about the degree on trust we can place on these robots .

The fact remains that the robots are deployed in highly sensitive and "risky" places, and hence these robots are be subjected to potential sabotages or tamperings by infiltrators(terrorists).

The infiltrator(s) could "radio jammed" or use an EMP attack on the robot to render these robots useless before striking at the control station (head quarters )should these robots are used for early detection purposes .

Furthermore , the robots might not be able to react "appropriately" whether in a geniune case or a false alarm , without the risk of injuring the innocents.

Therefore , it could be best if the patrol team is made up of a few human members and a robot.

Home said...


I think this robot's IA still not enough to be reliable and autonomous. I predict 40 years later we can upgrade this robot to a fully-functional one. At that time, I will dare to say we will have a robot war between conflicting countries.

Industry said...

u0204781 Peh Meng Wee

I definitely agree with Ang Yong Chee on the EMP thing. An EMP would effectively knock out the robots. Decapitating the security system. In times where terrorist are pretty well funded and creative, it is probably not a good bet to trust the robots too much on providing comprehensive security.

Edutainment said...

U025313R Chua Kin Chye
I agree that in this case, robots should not be given total autonomy. This is because the nature of the operation is that of a sensitive nature where life and death is on the line. A mis-calculation or malfunction on an armed robot could be disastrous. On the other hand, this robot can serve to protect the security personnel in the sense that the robots will be on the frontline.
Hence, I feel that the robots are feasible, but only if coupled with a human factor.