3.02.2004

 

Police and robots

Police robot hands officers advantage in touchy situations

As with soldiers and firefighters, there are many dangerous situations where robots can help police officers. The article describes a situation that recently unfolded in Oregon where an armed assailant had already killed one person and was firing on officers from a duplex.

According to the article:This would appear to be a description of the Andros F6-A:


Andros F6-A

The robot cost about $120,000. According to the article:It is interesting to note that this robot is armed, with both shotgun shells and tear gas.

It is easy to imagine all sorts of robots handling security in the near future. They can patrol airports, schools, university and corporate campuses, subway systems, shopping malls, government facilities, stadiums and arenas, terrorist targets (power plants, nuclear installations, major bridges), etc., etc. -- at the perimeter, near the facility and inside the facility. They probably won't look like the Andros F6-A of course and they will be far more agile -- many will be humanoid, while others will be high-speed vehicles.

I am able to speak about robots at many colleges, museums and conferences. When people think about the potential unemployment robots might cause, someone inevitably asks, "well, if unemployment reaches 10% or 20% because of robots, why won't the people simply revolt and destroy the robots?" The simple answer to that question is, "People won't be able to touch the robots." Robotic security forces will be protecting the robots, and these security forces will be impenetrable.

We really need to think about this as a society before the robots arrive. Robots have the power to create what is essentially heaven on earth for every human being on the planet. Alternatively, robots have the power to imprison most of the people on the planet. We can choose either path, but only if we think about it ahead of time. The book Manna describes both possibilities. The paper Robotic Freedom talks about another possibility. We really do need to be thinking about and discussing the future, because robotic security forces and military forces will begin surrounding us within a decade.

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