Meet Andros Mark V-A1: The killer robot used by Dallas police

The device, usually used by bomb disposal, was used by the police force last week

Details are continuing to emerge about a robot used to kill the suspect in the Dallas shooting rampage last week. The local police department tweeted the robot model number, as the ethics of killer-robots raises questions. 

The Andros Mark V-A1, produced by military tech company Northrop Grumman, is usually used for bomb disposal, but was used by police last week at a Black Lives Matter protest, during which five police officers were killed. The robot was used to deliver a C4 explosive and killed the shooting suspect. 

Features of the Mark V-A1 include a surveillance camera, an extendable arm and the ability to climb up stairs. The device is controlled wirelessly.

Questions:

While the use of the robot kept officers out of harm's way, many are now questioning the use of high-tech weapons like this. Illah Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, has warned of the disastrous implications this technology could have going forward. 

“Future such robots will have only more bells and whistles, all of which provide the affordance for a whole array of ways in which the robot can perform activities never dreamt of by the engineers, or by the purchasing agents who chose to equip the police department with them,” Nourbakhsh told Huffington Post via email. “This takes us to a Wild West where sophisticated machines unleash the creative potential of the users.”

“There are no laws, guidelines or oversight processes for killing with a bomb disposal ‘bot,” he added.

Others, however, are more concerned with the explosive used.

 

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