Friday, February 29, 2008

Fox News: Terrorists may use Robots in future attacks

It can be tough for the good people at Fox News. They need to make sure that every American understands the infinite menace of the terrorist threat. So imagine their joy when they received a press release from the University of Sheffield, titled 'Killer military robots pose latest threat to humanity'. After a quick editorial meeting, they decided the headline was nearly perfect, except that it didn't make the link between terrorists and killer robots clear enough. So I give you 'Scientist: Terrorists may use robots in future attacks'.

Terrorists with killer military robots - that does sound pretty scary. The American army have a robot which is an unstoppable truck-sized surveillance robot, as well as flying robots which shoot missiles at terrorist leaders. Imagine if the terrorists got their hands on them and shot missiles at Prince Harry. The news article showed a picture of a Dalek - imagine if the terrorists allied with the Daleks. And what about the threat from the Decepticons, how much more deadly would Osama bin Laden be with Megatron at his side?

The news report says that this might be far fetched [surely not] but in fact iRobot, which makes the Roomba robots, also makes bomb-defusing and surveillance robots for the Pentagon. The company encourages reprogramming of the Roomba, and has even created a special version strictly for hackers and tinkerers (who could be terrorists).

But the Roomba robot turns out to be a good deal less scary than a Dalek or a Decepticon. A Roomba is, in fact, a cleaning robot. It is equally good at vacuum cleaning, floor washing and pool cleaning, with its powerful suction and rotation brushes. Even if a terrorist got hold of one of these and reprogrammed it, what's their plan? 'Now, with our unstoppable robot army which can self-adjust from carpets to hard floors and back again, we shall defeat the infidels and hoover up their freedoms. Mwahahaha!!!'

With thanks to Daily Kos.

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