Coming Soon

Coming soon to a law enforcement agency near you: robotic bloodhounds.

[The Pentagon is] looking for contractors to provide a "Multi-Robot Pursuit System" that will let packs of robots "search for and detect a non-cooperative human".

The Pentagon gets it first. Eventually the tech works its way down to law enforcement. The U.S. Marshals would love to have packs of robots chasing down "non-cooperative humans."

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  • Display: Sort:
    We called them H-Ks. (none / 0) (#1)
    by jerry on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 09:43:38 PM EST
    Did you see this war?
    No. I grew up after. In the ruins.
    Starving. Hiding from the H-Ks.
    - H-Ks? - Hunter-killers.

    Just don't make any that (none / 0) (#2)
    by Melchizedek on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 09:53:07 PM EST
    look like a young Rutger Hauer.

    Fahrenheit 451, anyone? (none / 0) (#3)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 01:06:48 AM EST
    The mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in a dark corner of the fire house. The dim light of one in the morning, the moonlight from the open sky framed through the great window, touched here and there on the brass and copper and the steel of the faintly trembling beast. Light flickered on bits of ruby glass and on sensitive capillary hairs in the nylon-brushed nostrils of the creature that quivered gently, its eight legs spidered under it on rubber padded paws.

    Nights when things got dull, which was every night, the men slid down the brass poles, and set the ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the hound and let loose rats in the fire house areaway. Three seconds later the game was done, the rat caught half across the areaway, gripped in gentle paws while a four-inch hollow steel needle plunged down from the proboscis of the hound to inject massive jolts of morphine or procaine.

    Let them have it (none / 0) (#4)
    by koshembos on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 08:40:20 AM EST
    The Pentagon has problems operating it's drones in Afghanistan/Pakistan; they alway hit a wedding party. (They couldn't do it if they wanted to.) Drones and guided bombs are much simpler than hunting robots.

    Can we imagine the mess the robots will cause?

    It is another step (none / 0) (#5)
    by JamesTX on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 10:07:00 AM EST
    in the direction of technological tyranny, where the elite are trying to replace their normal human interface with the poor with technology. Those of us below income level will soon have little actual interaction with the people who matter in the world. We will only interact with the menus they provide for us through computer screens.

    One good thing about this is that it will be hard for them to justify deadly force in the case that a machine "feels threatened", but I'm sure there are some creative ideas being hatched in that area.

    This will also lead to a dilution of the personal accountability and responsibility for bad enforcement actions. When the machines violate rights, there will be no person to whom culpability can be easily assigned. If the computer program is "approved", then nobody can be accused of doing anything wrong.

    It's not looking good!

    Ultra-violence.... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 10:33:49 AM EST
    While a criminal may hesitate to defend their freedom to the death against a human mercenary of the state, I don't think they will hesitate in the slightest against a robot or a drone.

    Sounds like a recipe for an even more violent society... stray bullets whizzing past robots and drones programmed to do the state's tyrannical bidding and flying into the streets.  Safer for law enforcement, but much more dangerous for your average citizen.

    Not a place I wanna live in, to be sure.

    OK, here's my question... (none / 0) (#7)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:05:57 AM EST
    How are the H-K's going to find me?  Visual ID, DNA match, chip in my head, olfactory match?

    I need to know so I can get to work on outsmarting them.

    Most electronics... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by kdog on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:13:05 AM EST
    are susceptible to water and power spikes....I'll have a hose and a taser ready.

    You truly are... (none / 0) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:27:50 AM EST
    ...a luddite, my friend!  Although I was thinking more proactive than reactive, those are certainly good tips.

    My aversion to violence... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:38:36 AM EST
    against humans prevents me from defending my liberty against flesh and blood mercenaries...I'll take a short stint in a cage to avoid bloodshed, just the kinda guy I am:)  

    I have no such aversion to smashing a tyranny gadget into smithereens...I'd probably enjoy that:)


    For some reason... (none / 0) (#12)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 12:08:27 PM EST
    ...I'm reminded of the scene from "Office Space" where they take the copy machine out to a field and smash it to bits with a baseball bat.

    PC Load Error indeed.


    Thor Shield (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 11:43:36 AM EST
    Don't forget to get some of this taserproof fabric. A line of underground hoodies, sweats, socks, shoes and gloves should do the trick.

    Seems like the fabric may be hard to get unless you have a badge though.