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Using police robot to kill Dallas shooter

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QuoVadis

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Following the recent shooting of police offers in Dallas from an individual reported as Micah Johnson, there has been another aspect (from that of rifle ownership) that has sparked controversy but caught my attention in particular: according to several sources, this was the first time in history the US law enforcement have used a robot to deliver lethal force, to kill. Several news reporters have posed questions about the legal, ethical and technical implications of doing that.

 

What caught my eye was the technical aspect in particular: a remotely controlled robot delivers lethal force. Could that robot be interfered with by non-authorized personnel (civilians)? What if someone hijacks the frequencies and sends different commands? How secure and protected from outside interference are such devices? If there is a mistake being made by the operators can they easily blame it on technical malfunctions and used as scapegoats?

 

More importantly: can this give new ideas to those who want to achieve mass killings? There has been an incredible rise in the number of drones being used by "home users", so far mainly for "entertainment" purposes. There is nothing to stop an individual from pulling an "eye for an eye" and using the same method to drive a robot with explosives into a police station without the need to sacrifice him/herself.

 

Coming back to the security aspect: if this method is being used more often, could someone prepare a home-made EMP to disable such devices? Could they actually remotely trigger the device whilst it's in police custody and therefore have even more casualties?  Nonetheless, it will be interesting to observe the legal and ethical challenges of employing such methods and whether the security aspect will be overlooked (most likely) in favor of these.

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