Military Robotics

Robots to Target Non-cooperative Humans

Posted 24 Oct 2008 at 18:03 UTC (updated 24 Oct 2008 at 18:03 UTC) by steve Share This

NewScientist noticed in the latest batch of DARPA SBIR proposals Army project A08-204 to develop packs of 3 to 5 robots that will hunt down "non-cooperative humans". The robots would weigh less than 100lbs and be semi-autonomous. The article goes on to note that police expert Steve Wright last year predicted pack-hunting robots, saying, "what we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs." They also quote AI researcher Noel Sharkey on potential misuse of this technology, "once the bits are joined, there will be a robot force under command of a single soldier with potentially dire consequences for innocents around the corner." The SBIR report references several research papers on pursuit-evasion game theory as applied to robots and navigation. While these multi-robot pursuit systems sound a bit ominous, the project proposal suggests numerous beneficial uses as well, such as search and rescue, fire-fighting, and reconnaissance.

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