From the Gadget Lab blog:
Remember this scene from Robocop? It's the public unveiling of ED-209, and a programming glitch causes the giant killer robot to gun down an innocent suit. A chilling scene, and one which was almost re-enacted for real in Iraq.
Last year, three remote controlled, gun-toting robots, named SWORDS, were deployed in the war zone and then suddenly pulled from duty. Nobody knew why until Popular Mechanics quizzed the US Army's Kevin Fahey at the RoboBusiness conference this week. Apparently, one of the robots went rogue: "the gun started moving when it was not intended to move" said Fahey. Unlike ED-209, the 'bots were shutdown before any shots were fired, but it seems that the incident left people spooked enough to pull the plug on the operation.
Non-Answer on Armed Robot Pullout From Iraq Reveals Fragile Bot Industry [Popular Mechanics via the Reg]Killer Ground 'Bots Out of Iraq: How Come? [Danger Room]
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