Remember Johnny 5 from Short Circuit? It was the automated laser-armed U.S. military robot that got struck by lightning and turned into a peace-loving hunk of metal with the help of a lady named Stephanie.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think there’s that much hope for GLADIATOR. It was tested today at Schofield Barracks, and it doesn’t look very receptive toward the idea of peace. The video I saw showed it armed with about eight machine-gun turrets. It made short work of the target.
According to the UGV/S JPO, GLADIATOR is “a tele-operated/semi-autonomous ground vehicle for remoting combat tasks…” (emphasis mine).
I really don’t like the words “semi-autonomous” in that description. I don’t relish the idea of an armored vehicle with guns being given the ability to think for itself. That’s a little too futuristic for me.
I’m not worried about the machines rebelling against humanity or anything else silly like that. I just hope this trigger-happy robot can spot terrorists better than these guys. (I’m sure they’re just doing their jobs, but it doesn’t make sense to search elderly women just to be politically correct – I think the TSA is profiling and doing searches of the elderly in a misguided attempt to keep the anti-profilers, like me, happy.)
I think I want GLADIATOR disassembled.
(Photo courtesy UGV/S JPO.)