War Robots Invade Washington
Thats right. Theres nothing quite like having a friendly robot nuzzle up to you, only to look down on a pair of fully automatic, autoloading, remotely controlled 12-gauge shotguns swiveling around. A few feet away, more shotguns, and a little further away, a larger, diesel-powered, autonomous robot packing a 30-caliber machine gun set up for totally automated operation. "So," I ask iRobot Chairman Helen Greiner, who is showing me her collection of military hardware, "can you send the one with the shotguns out for a couple of ducks for dinner?"
Incidentally, if a few of these robots look familiar, its because the same basic design is also used by iRobot when it makes those robots you see on television disarm bombs, fight fires or search for victims of a building collapse. We did not see, unfortunately, anything we could use to clean out the basement. Some tasks, it seems, are too much for even the most capable robot.