r/Futurology Oct 06 '22 Gold 1 Wholesome 2 I'm Deceased 1 Silver 1

Exclusive: Boston Dynamics pledges not to weaponize its robots Robotics

https://www.axios.com/2022/10/06/boston-dynamics-pledges-weaponize-robots
42.3k Upvotes

u/FuturologyBot Oct 06 '22

The following submission statement was provided by /u/Gari_305:


From the Article

Several robotics companies, including Boston Dynamics, are pledging not to support the weaponization of their products and are calling for others in the industry to do the same, according to a letter shared first with Axios.

Why it matters: Robots, like drones before them, have a wide range of peaceful and even life-saving uses, but can be turned into war-fighting machines, too.

This leads to an interesting question with companies such as Boston Dynamics not weaponizing their robots take into effect, will that lead an avenue in which other companies such as Ghost Robotics that will weaponize theirs? Will such a maneuver by Boston Dynamics lead them sit behind the curve, or is this move a good one to avoid bad PR?


Please reply to OP's comment here: https://old.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/xx36ty/exclusive_boston_dynamics_pledges_not_to/ir9q0wa/

2.6k

u/The_Bunglenator Oct 06 '22

We'll leave that to this other, unrelated company, Doston Bynamics.

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u/shthed Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22 Helpful

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u/TheJadedEmperor Oct 06 '22

The folding chair out of nowhere at 1:12 fucking killed me

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u/chodePhD Oct 06 '22

That’s really fucking good work. The real videos almost seem like cgi and it’s hard to tell the difference between the first video at times. The motion is spot on.

Everyone in manual labor/service jobs are fucked once robots git good.

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u/nicholasbg Oct 06 '22 Gold

Dogston Bombnamics

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u/ChunkyLaFunga Oct 06 '22

The Boston Notbombers.

Anyway, this is the inevitability of science. If they don't, someone else will. And they'll get there faster by examining BDs non-military technology.

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u/Comment90 Oct 06 '22

The side company is called Ghost Robotics.

They work out of Philly and have already weaponized Spot.

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u/downwardspiralstairs Oct 06 '22

That's fine the DOD already has a subcontractor working on it.

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u/ben1481 Oct 06 '22 'MURICA

It's like "hey I'm not going to put weapons on it, but if someone buys it I can't really control what they do"

1.5k

u/pbradley179 Oct 06 '22

Remember when the US had to have hearings about why the terrorists in the middle east preferred Toyotas?

586

u/Dungeonmancer Oct 06 '22

I must have missed that one. Why Toyotas? I assume they're easier to weaponize?

1.0k

u/Magmaul Oct 06 '22

Durable, easy to repair, quite plentiful in that part of the world. With enough effort you can attach a heavy machinegun or a recoilless rifle on top of anything, keeping it running is a whole another thing.

324

u/KindaSortaGood Oct 06 '22

To keep a Hilux running you just drain the sea water out of it after it's been floating in the ocean for several hours

239

u/SilentSamurai Oct 06 '22

Top Gear did it's best to kill it but it kept going.

That's a reputation you can't kill.

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u/bhobhomb Oct 06 '22

I saw a video of someone heavy 4-wheeling one through the desert for miles with zero coolant and somehow it didn't die

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u/der_innkeeper Oct 06 '22

Air is a coolant.

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u/fzepnts Oct 06 '22

Could you use my nipples as coolant, Greg?

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u/massinvader Oct 06 '22

Didn't the Toyota CEO say they had to stop making them because it wasn't profitable? Rarely break down so they never get replaced

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u/BannedSvenhoek86 Oct 06 '22

Forced obsolescence should be illegal.

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u/rockidr4 Oct 06 '22

Forced obsolescence would be putting a part on it that was designed to fail, and then not using that part anymore (See the modern John Deere tractor company). Discontinuing a car model because you can't sell enough of it to make it worth updating to the latest standards is just a bummerriffic aspect of living in a world where marketability trumps quality.

Unless you're saying all other modern cars should be illegal. Then I guess I get more where you're coming from. Sadly I think the Toyota Prius might be the top of my mind for cars that once they die they're just fucking dead and trying to get them updated back again is more expensive (in a variety of ways) than the benefit

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u/Im_so_little Oct 06 '22

They're still being sold today, just not in the US. You can even go to Mexico and buy one if you want.

This was never said.

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u/massinvader Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

thats a tacoma by another name.. technically the hilux name hasn't been used in the US since the 70's. we're referring to the now discontionued hilux. generations 2-6

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u/Fuzakenaideyo Oct 06 '22

Simply the best, better than all the rest...

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u/CantaloupeMoney9906 Oct 06 '22

That Top Gear segment proved it. Meanwhile a F150 would have straight up exploded after the first test.

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u/BigBennP Oct 06 '22

I have a friend that works in sales of industrial technology. The computer systems and software that they used to design and build stuff like new trucks and construction machines and almost everything else.

He was actually talking this last weekend about this.

He says that Ford is super easy to sell to because they're design teams are always looking for the newest innovation. Any new technology that can shave a few dollars off the construction cost or a few seconds off the build time.

Cummins on the other hand apparently has been using the same engine design since the 1960s and is virtually impossible to sell anything to because you have to convince them that it can do what they're already doing the exact same, but maybe do it cheaper. They're unwilling to risk any loss of quality for expediency.

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u/Verto-San Oct 06 '22

They were putting AA guns and artillery on those trucks I don't think recoilless rifle is the achievement here

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u/trademarked187 Oct 06 '22

Didnt one have a full on howitzer?

71

u/jjb224 Oct 06 '22

Sounds like r/shittytechnicals would love that

36

u/Narethii Oct 06 '22

Literally the top post there is a seal of approval for Toyota trucks, and the second post is a picture of a Toyota pick up with a cannon mounted in the bed...

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u/Annicity Oct 06 '22

That sub is 90% Toyota Hilux.

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u/hihcadore Oct 06 '22

I think one had a cannon like from the 1700s too

Not literally from the 1700s but homemade technology that was just above a trebuchet. I’m salty they never used Toyota mounted catapults or small trebuchets to launch grenades or maybe broken glass lol.

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u/jtclark1107 Oct 06 '22

Drive by trebuchet just launches sack of my camel spiders 😂

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u/milk4all Oct 06 '22

Maybe had something to do with how well it handles all that dust and sand, or how easy it is to is to get at parts that need regular cleaning. I imagine regular maintenance in desert conditions is way way more critical than elsewhere because of the dust and heat

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u/ancrm114d Oct 06 '22

Damn Japanese building reliable trucks.

/s

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u/coolaznkenny Oct 06 '22

Same reasons ak47 are so loved.

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u/electricskywalker Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnWKz7Cthkk

Watch all 3 parts of Top Gear destroying a Toyota Hilux and you'll understand why its the default go to for technicals. They bury it, drop a camper on it, smash it with a wrecking ball, light it on fire, let it go out to sea in a high tide, and then put it on a 240 foot tall building that is imploded and it keeps running with only a mechanic and no spare parts.

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u/Aprch Oct 06 '22

So it's like the AK-47 of trucks?

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u/GojiraWho Oct 06 '22

More or less, yeah

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u/TPRM1 Oct 06 '22

It’s the don’t-give-any-fucks of trucks.

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u/reverend_bones Oct 06 '22

I mean, they never did let Hammond have a go.

Can you really say you tried your best if you don't even let the Hamster drive it?

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u/Unholybeef Oct 06 '22

WhistlinDiesel bought one and did all he could to try and break it and it still ran until he dropped it 8000 feet from a helicopter.

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u/_far-seeker_ Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

So were these shows aired before or after the Congressional hearing Terror Financing unit of the Treasury Department inquiry?😏

Edit: I was mistaken on which part of the US Government was investigating this.

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u/Insaniteh0110 Oct 06 '22

Pretty sure the original trio (Clarkson, Hammond, may) had the truck immortalised on a stand in the Top Gear studio

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u/newusername4oldfart Oct 06 '22

They chained it down to let it get flooded by the sea, but the chains broke and it sailed away. It eventually washed up and they were blown away.

https://youtu.be/xnWKz7Cthkk?t=91

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u/vagueblur901 Oct 06 '22

One of the most reliable vehicles most people can get.

Specifically they chose the trucks because they are easy to convert to gun trucks and they can go through hell and back, top gear did a episode on them and they specifically tried to destroy one but it wouldn't die.

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u/JudgeAdvocateDevil Oct 06 '22

It's disingenuous to say they did an episode on 'them'. That was only a Hilux(Tacoma) for the multi-part indestructible challenge and the polar special. They're reviews of other Toyotas has been mixed.

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u/porntla62 Oct 06 '22

A hilux very much isn't a Tacoma.

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u/tarzan322 Oct 06 '22

A Hilux is a Hilux. It is not sold in the US. But it is a very good truck overseas.

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u/_far-seeker_ Oct 06 '22

to convert to gun trucks

I believe the military term for armed and otherwise modified civilian vehicles is "technicals".

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u/Barnyard_Pussy Oct 06 '22

You are Technically correct, but calling it a "gun-truck" is pretty accurate.

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u/unstable_nightstand Oct 06 '22

Some of the most reliable cars ever made, if not the most. Specifically the Land Cruiser series

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u/SyntheticManMilk Oct 06 '22

They favored the Helix

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u/Illusive_Man Oct 06 '22

it’s spelled hilux

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u/Jomihoppe Oct 06 '22

Which is an insanely tough vehicle I wish they sold them in the us

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u/_icemahn Oct 06 '22

Why would they? Then you wouldn’t buy next year’s model

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u/MavenCS Oct 06 '22

Good enough for Terries, good enough for me!

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u/Illusive_Man Oct 06 '22

I thought it was just because they are extremely reliable

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u/TPMJB Oct 06 '22

Have you never owned a Toyota? They last forever!

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u/Wolfram_And_Hart Oct 06 '22

Seriously. I have a 2013 that my grandfather drove, it doesn’t even have 40k miles on it. I told my son it’s probably going to be his car, with how much I drive now a days it probably will be.

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u/TPMJB Oct 06 '22

Lol my 2014 Camry has less than 100K on it. Since I work from home I've driven it like 500 miles in the last year. Pretty sure it will outlive me at this point.

My Scion had 240K on it before someone crashed it. Ran like the day I got it.

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u/Aditya1311 Oct 06 '22

The hearings were more about where the terrorists were getting those Toyotas - there were videos of vehicles that had clearly come from America and other western countries that were somehow making their way to the middle East and they were investigating how that happened.

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u/ApexProductions Oct 06 '22

Yes that's the parallel they're drawing to this story. Boston Dynamics isn't weaponizing but when they sell to the DoD, it's kinda just a PR stunt.

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u/Kermit_the_hog Oct 06 '22

”look look, I know some of the labels in the leaked diagram might be a touch concerning to certain watchdogs out there.. but ‘projectile rail mount’ and ‘ammunition drum’ could refer to ANYTHING! Let’s not go making unwarranted assumptions people!! I personally have it on good authority that the very system in question was part of a DOD test program for the rapid and accurate mass distribution of high velocity aid to children.. those drums were literally filled with teddy bears!! The thing we should all be talking about here is that 80% of those teddy bears ended in high precision deliveries of what we like to call “autonomous cranio-facial love hugs”..

“Um.. sure, so what about the tear gas dispensers?”

”Stop right there, I know what you’re trying to uh.. get me.. um.. see it’s like this, uh.. you seen how just incredibly overly happy teddy bears can make the occasional kid. We just need to be prepared to even their keel a little.. you know with a few tear.. .. know what, this meeting is over.”

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u/thejml2000 Oct 06 '22

I read this in Cave Johnson’s voice.

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u/Vamanoscabron Oct 06 '22

Got a doom chuckle outta me

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u/Mirved Oct 06 '22

If you buy one you sign a contract that you dont put weapons on it.

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u/Pantssassin Oct 06 '22

A YouTuber borrowed someone's robot dog (different company from Boston dynamics) and put a gun on it to show how easy it is for a minimum viable product of that. Apparently the company that makes them was trying to get the serial number and all that to "do updates" but they were basically trying to brick it

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u/Barnyard_Pussy Oct 06 '22

That one tech tinkerer youtuber begged for months to get a dog and sponsorship from Boston Dynamics. Eventually he just bought one and was like "now I don't have to worry about ruining sponsorships".

He rigged the damn thing up to detect an empty cup on the floor, walk over to it and piss beer into it.

Edit: Video

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u/crackedcosmonaut Oct 06 '22

I heard BD liked it.

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u/AnesthesiaFetish Oct 06 '22

This pledge is kind of like the hippocratic oath right?

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u/PhilosopherDon0001 Oct 06 '22

". . .but it does come with this handy weapons mount. "

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u/HighOwl2 Oct 06 '22

You can buy a knockoff of their robodog for $3k and people have already strapped automatic weapons to them.

https://youtu.be/-bgad3HRb64

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u/BurnsinTX Oct 06 '22

Yeah….after you buy one you can do whatever you want. I (through work) have 4 of them and we attach all kinds of things. Not weapons though, not our jam

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u/The_Parsee_Man Oct 06 '22

So not weapons or jam. What about jellies, marmalades, and preserves?

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u/SoyMurcielago Oct 06 '22

Is there room for ketchup or mustard?

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u/EngineeringD Oct 06 '22

What do you do for work that justifies the cost?

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u/BurnsinTX Oct 06 '22

Surveying, using a robot for surveying is much more cost effective. Specially in hard to get to places. That being said, these robots are good, but not good enough yet for our use case.

Also there are some cheaper ones if You want to play around with them. They don’t have the obstacle avoidance and some other fancy stuff, but they are RC and pretty tough.

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u/literalpond Oct 06 '22

The robots : fine I’ll do it my self

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u/Chewbongka Oct 06 '22

That fern with a machete has your back.

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u/Nugatorysurplusage Oct 06 '22

^

No one gives a shit about their pledge. They developed the tech to license/sell it. Someone else will just do it.

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u/IphtashuFitz Oct 06 '22

Someone else will just do it.

Heck, people don't realize that Boston Dynamics is just a subsidiary these days. They used to be owned by Google, which eventually sold them to SoftBank Group, which then sold majority ownership to Hyundai. If Hyundai told them to start building armed robots, or sold them off to another company that wanted weaponized robots, then this pledge would be out the door in no time at all.

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u/i_give_you_gum Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

It's like they don't remember Google's mantra would be "don't be evil"

and then they changed to Alphabet bought them and changed their slogan to "we are going to rape your data for everything it's worth"

Edit: whoa sorry all, I'll never say anything bad about a tech conglomeration that turns users into products again

Edit: or not fully know the pedantic details regarding a giant company that was sold, restructured, or whatever the hell else it did before it turned into a digital vampire.

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u/okram2k Oct 06 '22

Alphabet didn't buy Google, google became alphabet to better manage all their acquisitions.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

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u/Bioshock_Jock Oct 06 '22

Justin Hammer has entered the chat.

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u/bnetimeslovesreddit Oct 06 '22

There secret companies in australia doing and even russia showing knock off spots

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u/CodingLazily Oct 06 '22

Wasn't the Russian version just a hood on someone else's robot?

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u/euphoriamine Oct 06 '22

Yeah they put clothes on some robo-dog they bought from Alibaba

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u/dsynfolt Oct 06 '22

Good luck with that, here in Australia we have no heavy industry, a smaller engineering and manufacturing base than Cuba and Kazakhstan has faster, more reliable internet access than we do.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

At least the Ukrainian kids are about to get some cool robo-dogs for Christmas!

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u/AwTekker Oct 06 '22

A subcontractor called Schmoston Schmynamics.

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u/thetbk Oct 06 '22 Silver

Robot companies: “We won’t weaponise these.”

Also robot companies: “We can sell you this robot with a great API/SDK in any quantity you like and we can’t wait to see what you can make with them…”

981

u/here-i-am-now Oct 06 '22

Remember when google’s motto was “do no evil?”

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u/FirstEvolutionist Oct 06 '22

It's the great part of talk vs action. You can pledge whatever the hell you want today and then, later on, "unpledge it".

Companies get sold, change leadership and business strategies all the time.

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u/Bierbart12 Oct 06 '22

Honor has always been a myth

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u/Comment90 Oct 06 '22

No.

But it has always been faked by many.

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u/mydogisanassholeama Oct 06 '22

Yeah, it is too easy to be cynical and it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle

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u/nevaraon Oct 06 '22

Honor is dead, but I’ll see what I can do

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u/noiwontpickaname Oct 06 '22

Honor is not dead as long as he lives in the hearts of men

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u/NUKE---THE---WHALES Oct 06 '22

“Stand amongst the ashes of a trillion dead souls, and ask the ghosts if honor matters. The silence is your answer.”

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u/CantinaMan Oct 06 '22

I asked and I swear I could hear a slight whale call

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u/cockalorum-smith Oct 06 '22

I think they really mean, “a trillion dead whales”

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u/lamegoblin Oct 06 '22

Javik gang

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u/Nethlem Oct 06 '22

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u/IAmYourDad_ Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

Oracle got big by building database for the CIA. All big corp wouldn't get to where they are today without receiving government money.

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u/danwooller Oct 06 '22

Isn't Boston Dynamics owned by Hyundai?

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u/sth128 Oct 06 '22

That's a common misnomer that Google somehow abandoned that notion.

The "don't be evil" part remains Google's code of conduct. It is located at the concluding paragraph:

And remember... don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right – speak up!

While it's useful to have "don't be evil" as an operating principle, it's extremely naive and impractical as an actual guide. Real life isn't always as cut and dry and simply telling someone "don't be evil" is not saying much.

That's about as useful as telling someone "don't fuck up". It's much more useful to give them detail instructions and specific examples to best avoid fuckups. And that's what their code of conduct does.

Anyone who says "oh Google no longer tries to not be evil" is just an attention grabbing idiot who didn't bother reading the whole story.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

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u/Leemour Oct 06 '22

TBF, IIRC when William Osman equipped a robot that looked similar to the Boston Dynamics robot with weapons, they actually tried to shut it down remotely. They didn't know this robot was not one of theirs, but tried to shut it down anyway. It didn't work, because the robot was too heavily customized and IIRC it wasn't even theirs, but they contacted him and wanted to know the serial number (so they knew which to turn off).

I sort of believe them if they personally don't want to weaponize robots, but you bet your ass someone will and already has, AND it's on youtube.

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u/saltywelder682 Oct 06 '22

William Osman

Was the name of his company Oscorp?

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u/MoffKalast ¬ (a rocket scientist) Oct 06 '22

He's something of a scientist himself.

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u/real_bk3k Oct 06 '22

So they tried to Kill Bill's robot?

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u/snarejunkie Oct 06 '22

I agree with your sentiment, and I'd add that, it's actually valuable for BD to pledge they won't weaponize their bots, because the key effect there is that their extremely competent team of engineers will never be used to make what would be incredibly efficient and deadly weapons. There's a reason BD is at the leading edge of robotics, and the fact that they pledge not to weaponize bots prevents the rapid weaponization of robots not only because they aren't pursuing it, but they are the most well known robotics company in the world and are setting a precedent.

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u/SkyzYn Oct 06 '22

Helps them hire and maintain the best roboticists too. A lot of them want to know they aren't building weapons, or at least have a level of removal they're comfortable with (subcontractors).

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u/Teh_MadHatter Oct 06 '22

To be fair, Boston Dynamics is owned by Hyundai and has been owned by publicly traded companies since 2013. Hyundai has military contracts, especially through its Rotem division.

Also, Hyundai Rotem is contributing to national security by developing smart, unmanned weapon systems along with tanks and other types of armored vehicles.

So Boston Dynamics might not want to develop military robots, but these are smart people. They know they don't get to make the final decision. So this is just PR.

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u/Kaarsty Oct 06 '22

This! I support a fairly large email server program and while we make efforts to prevent spammers using it to spam people on the internet, there is an API available and with it you can do just about anything if you have the means and intelligence.

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u/RomromEmpire Oct 06 '22

Ha ha. No. They'll sell the robots to the pentagon, which didnt pledge anything lol

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u/OLSAU Oct 06 '22

Worse ... they will not even limit sales to military, but sell to police, security firms and mercenaries ... as long as the robots are not "widely available to the public", as they literally write!

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u/brokenearth03 Oct 06 '22

If there is no weapons, why arent they available to the public? Curious.

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u/OLSAU Oct 06 '22

Read what they wrote. Your guess is as good as mine.

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u/AntipopeRalph Oct 06 '22

The “integrated assault system” they just so happen to carry is “self-defense” against those that are “hostile” to these “autonomous enforcement drones”.

And don’t ever see the robot itself as the “weapon”. It’s just out there doing it’s “job” hunting humans and enforcing property rights.

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u/Cookiezilla2 Oct 06 '22

because with only a few thousand dollars you could make a bomb that delivers itself directly to Mark Zuckerberg's front door

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u/brokenearth03 Oct 06 '22

We should crowd fund a 'private security Corp' to protect the public from all these other threats. And since it's a corporation, no one can go to jail!

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u/breaditbans Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22 Gold

Hyundai bought BD. So maybe the Koreans will have a robot army.

But we already know where that goes. The Chinese will build a clone army of super warriors and stomp the robot army into submission, sending the Jedi order into hiding.

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u/Darehead Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

Haven't they already shown demos of autocannons that detect and fire at human shaped objects?

Edit: it's called SGR-A1 and was developed by Samsung Techwin.

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u/ElGosso Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

Lmao who tf approved that project? "Hey, do you guys remember that Collateral Murder video that made WikiLeaks famous where the US Army Apache just indiscriminately shot at a bunch of people and killed a couple journalists? Well, what if we trained a robot to do that?!"

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u/theshiyal Oct 06 '22

In other news, today Boston Dynamics because the primary supplier for Northrop Grumman’s new Devil Dogs project.

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u/molwiz Oct 06 '22

Michael reeves already made it piss beer what can they do to stop anyone from giving the dog a gun?

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u/superninjax Oct 06 '22

I did a thing actually did it, though for a different model/brand i think

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u/ISpikInglisVeriBest Oct 06 '22

That was intentionally made over the top to be funny, but you can tell they could actually make it work with very little modification.

Smaller gun, mounted upside down to be closer to center of gravity, make the robot crouch to the ground before shooting to counteract recoil, feed bullets with a drum or belt for higher capacity...

Any hobbyist could massively improve this with little effort.

Now, imagine what the basically unlimited budget of the US military could do.

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u/usr_bin_laden Oct 06 '22

Now, imagine what the basically unlimited budget of the US military could do.

I think these robots are overly expensive and overly complex and we're probably already living in the era of explosive-drones ala "manhacks".

Why even dispatch a unit of robots with guns when you can just send a swarm of exploding birds / bees ?

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u/Comment90 Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

Dispatch a few robot dogs to an area to cover a wide field of fire with sniper rifles.

Sit in standby potentially even with a small solar panel to go net neutral or positive on battery drain. When an enemy is spotted: Aim and shoot. Go back to standby.

Maybe they could even carry a light, camouflaged, waterproof enclosure to prevent water damage while in standby. Maybe it could even have a Faraday cage and a bit of heating and dehumidifying to be able to eventually get rid of any water picked up on the trip to its spot. A little deployable sensor array and transmitter/receiver outside the standby box, and a cable to link the robot to the deployed array.

If they could get it to work, they'd have multiple permanent snipers nests and no food supply or exhaustion to worry about.

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u/AntipopeRalph Oct 06 '22

Why even dispatch a unit of robots with guns when you can just send a swarm of exploding birds / bees ?

Because assault robots are terrifying and intimidation is a powerful tool for asserting the power of authority.

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u/ThatGuyInTheCorner96 Oct 06 '22

Is an assault robot more intimidating than a swarm of exploding drones that can come from literally any direction?

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u/AntipopeRalph Oct 06 '22

Alfred Hitchcock gives a very good argument for why suspense is more potent than surprise when it comes to building tension.

https://youtu.be/DPFsuc_M_3E

Scary hunting dogs are similar. You know what’s coming. You fear what is coming. You must live with all those minutes of dreading what is coming.

Surprise attacks are simply that. A brief moment of shock with minimal ability to process it.

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u/ISpikInglisVeriBest Oct 06 '22

A single Switchblade drone costs almost $60k and you can only use it once.

A quadrupedal platform can function as a support unit for infantry and it can be reused. Even if it costs twice as much per unit as a switchblade drone, you've made your money back the moment it pulls off two successful strikes.

You can mount RPGs on it which have no recoil and can make things go boom with good enough accuracy to replace the need for a soldier getting to a disadvantageous position to shoot it.

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u/Zulrock123 Oct 06 '22

I’m 100% sure these already exist, someone has already taken an aircraft 50 cal and attached it to one of the bigger dog robots. It may even have been tested

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u/Eskimo_Brothers Oct 06 '22

I gave my dog a gun, but she is a corgi they are really smart and loyal. It sounds like insanity to give one to a robot dog.

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u/Tuga_Lissabon Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

This assurance makes me feel so good... oh wait, what's that subsidiary doing?

EDIT:

You just need a "terrorist threat" that will "force" a realignment "for security" and its done. The threat will appear when the moment is right.

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u/Forsaken-Increase782 Oct 06 '22

Dyston Bonamics: Side eyes DOD with a knowing wink.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/OgnokTheRager Oct 06 '22

Step-company, what are you doing??

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u/Lyanroar Oct 06 '22

I’m stuck in the dryer with this annoying machine gun on my back, can you pweeeease help me?

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u/Evenstar6132 Oct 06 '22

You have no idea how accurate your analogy is.

Boston Dynamics was acquired by Hyundai Motors (yes, the car company) and they have subsidiaries that literally manufacture tanks and artillery for the South Korean military. If Hyundai Motors is the step-parent, Hyundai Rotem & Hyundai WIA are the step-siblings to Boston Dynamics.

So yeah, Boston Dynamics won't weaponize its robots but you can bet their step-companies will.

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u/AntipopeRalph Oct 06 '22

Remember when Google used to say “do no evil”?

Yeah…turns out that wasn’t the corporate pledge we all thought it was. They stopped the moment it didn’t make sense to parrot the line.

Why would this organization do any different? Their robots won’t be weaponized up until the exact moment they are weaponized.

Companies, organizations…people change their minds all the time when different incentives are at play.

In 20 years or less their robot dogs will patrol neighborhoods looking for curfew violations, and use Face ID to look for people with outstanding warrants. The moment their robot dogs are part of enforcement is the moment their robot dogs will be weaponized.

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u/mrjobby Oct 06 '22

YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS TO COMPLY

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u/Tuga_Lissabon Oct 06 '22

Good old robocop

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u/Mountain_Offer1348 Oct 06 '22

All human technology is weaponized if it is useful to do so. Boston Dynamics might as well pledge for the sun not to rise.

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u/PM_ME_YOUR_COY_NUDES Oct 06 '22

Pledges don’t mean anything these days. Gotta be at least a pinky swear.

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u/amirolsupersayian Oct 06 '22

I mean a kitchen knife is an object contributed to countless murders. Human itself is a buggy mess

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u/iRan_soFar Oct 06 '22

They won’t because they don’t make guns. Don’t worry others are already working on it.

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u/Rorasaurus_Prime Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22 Take My Energy

Because we all know companies stick to their pledges. Anyone remember “don't be evil”?

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u/Kaarsty Oct 06 '22

I remember being a teen and reading books about Google in my spare time (I’m a curious geek) and when I read “don’t be evil” I thought to myself “This is who I want to work for. This is where the world is going.”

Narrator: he/it didn’t

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u/Trixles Oct 06 '22

Yeah. For me at least, growing up and truly realizing how shitty most people treat each other was a real slap in the face xD

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u/Kaarsty Oct 06 '22

Same :-/ it’s left me with a generally cynical and sorta stoic world view.

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u/Not_A_Bird11 Oct 06 '22

I’m sure they won’t and I’m sure they will never have anyone from the company leave after getting poached to some random no name company that obviously shares the same feelings and is t a contractor for the dod lol

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u/ReporterLeast5396 Oct 06 '22

Don't need to. It was developed for DARPA, with them retaining all the R&D. It's already happened. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2293908-us-military-may-get-a-dog-like-robot-armed-with-a-sniper-rifle/

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u/crm115 Oct 06 '22

Everyone is saying how the pledge comes with a big ol' winky face. But Boston Dynamics already has set a precedent when they took back their robots from the NYPD when their use did not conform to their standards. Also, Boston Dynamics is a private company so they have no reason to make this pledge if they don't mean it. It's not like the have to worry about their stock tanking from PR backlash since they aren't publicly traded. So, if I'm being a realist, I'm sure at some point their robots will be weaponized by someone but I'm not as cynical as the rest of you that this pledge is just a cheeky lie for PR points.

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u/SoftwarePatient5050 Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

Unless you've got another article, this one says that the NYPD terminated the lease, not Boston Dynamics:

The NYPD abruptly terminated its lease and quit using the robot last month.

The article says nothing about Boston Dynamics taking it back due to any kind of violation of their standards.

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u/cman674 Oct 06 '22

This is reddit, he didn't expect anyone to actually read the linked article.

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u/STS986 Oct 06 '22

While true, they’ve created a monster that will be reverse engineered. To be fair, robot mercenaries are an inevitability wether it’s Boston Dynamics, Lockheed Martin or Raytheon

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u/Paracortex Oct 06 '22

We could promote legislation a la Asimov’s Laws pf Robotics.

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u/thelastwordbender Oct 06 '22

Asimov's laws of robotics are applicable for AI robots which can think for itself, not for remote controlled hellhounds

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u/goodolarchie Oct 06 '22

I wouldn't mind preventing apocalypse scenario #475: Terminator / Black Mirror "Metalhead"

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u/andydude44 Oct 06 '22

But the point of IRobot is that the laws failed

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u/Psychological_Tear_6 Oct 06 '22

Only the movie, not Asimov's original story. The movie actually screwed up by having the laws fail in a way they were specifically safe guarded against.

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u/Infamous_Librarian14 Oct 06 '22

Actually, Boston Dynamics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group, which makes them publicly traded. They’ve been public since 2020.

Hyundai Motor Group has defense contracts through Hyundai Rotem.

It’s not absurd to think a mega-corp with defense work bought a robotics company with clear defense implications for a specific reason. Boston Dynamics isn’t the one that needs to make this statement, it’s Hyundai.

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u/Rachter Oct 06 '22

Yes…Boston Dynamics won’t weaponize them but you can be sure as shit those that purchase the robots will.

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u/remek Oct 06 '22

Yes, like Ukraine civilians weaponized toy drones. This cannot be avoided

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u/Doctor_Amazo Oct 06 '22

... oh now we know those robots will be fitted with guns and hunting down soldiers

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u/Gari_305 Oct 06 '22

From the Article

Several robotics companies, including Boston Dynamics, are pledging not to support the weaponization of their products and are calling for others in the industry to do the same, according to a letter shared first with Axios.

Why it matters: Robots, like drones before them, have a wide range of peaceful and even life-saving uses, but can be turned into war-fighting machines, too.

This leads to an interesting question with companies such as Boston Dynamics not weaponizing their robots take into effect, will that lead an avenue in which other companies such as Ghost Robotics that will weaponize theirs? Will such a maneuver by Boston Dynamics lead them sit behind the curve, or is this move a good one to avoid bad PR?

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u/zer0_badass Oct 06 '22

Yeah it only make sense that just becuase one company pledges and plans to never weaponize doesnt mean all robotics manufacturers will follow suit. Sadly where there is money there is somebody willing to make said money. Heck someone may even do it for fun making robots with weapons.

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u/fritz236 Oct 06 '22

Its a maneuver to allow them to gain IP by designing and patenting the robots and technologies and then licensing the individual technologies to other companies or filing copyright infringement suits against the militarized versions if they're basically clones.

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u/_Benny_Lava Oct 06 '22

Sure, they will just sell them to a corporation who will weaponize them!

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u/humbertcole Oct 06 '22

I'm glad nobody believes that the pledge stops weaponization

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u/modernangel Oct 06 '22

Pretty sure any such "pledge" is worthless, would love to be wrong though

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u/3inchescloser Oct 06 '22

Ahh yes, that's why darpa was funding them since years ago. For casual enjoyment of robots. What's that? The parent company has military contracts? Nothing to see here folks

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u/TinyFugue Oct 06 '22

Yeah they're not going to weaponize them, but they're going to offer a package that has the robots pre-equipped with mounting points.

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u/DesastreUrbano Oct 06 '22

They just need to programm a number of killings and then the robot stops. And make it to not be possible to override it

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u/YosarianiLives Oct 06 '22

This sounds like exactly what an evil corporation who's weaponizing a robot would say

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u/PBJellyChickenTunaSW Oct 06 '22

Do they also pledge not to sell them? Otherwise this doesn't really matter

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u/prototyperspective Oct 06 '22

The issue with such things, also concerning open source robotics, is that entities that may currently be most problematic may not do so while those that are somewhat less problematic heavily regulate this.

It may need international regulations but I don't know how such could get implemented and wouldn't also face the same issue.

Comment if you know of a good solution(-contribution).

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u/D_DriveErrorr Oct 06 '22

They themselves yeah. Duh no shit. But wb the people who buy these things

They already got these with cameras & guns the nyc police department has one even though they’re supposed to be defunded they keep getting newer weapons but the infrastructure of the actual stations and computers are in shambles they’re still using IDE pcs and windows 7

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u/ryocoon Oct 06 '22

HAHAHHAHAHAH Windows 7.
Some of the DOD stuff is still on DOS 6 and ancient builds of Solaris UNIX.

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u/OLSAU Oct 06 '22

"We believe that adding weapons to robots that are remotely or autonomously operated, widely available to the public, and capable of navigating to previously inaccessible locations where people live and work, raises new risks of harm and serious ethical issues"

Weasel wording highlighted by yours truly.

I simply can't take these people seriously. And neither should you !

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u/pawnografik Oct 06 '22

Bollocks. Good spot. And there I was naïvely thinking “what a positive step to see in the world”.

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u/tyriancomyn Oct 06 '22

Google in 2000: “Don’t be evil”

Google in 2018: Woah erase that shit.

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u/TheRealIsNow Oct 06 '22

This Black Mirror is starting off promisingly enough...

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