Bosstown Dynamics, the future of law enforcement

Originally published at:


This has bad idea written all over it. And even if you think giving robots guns is a good idea, this is poorly though out. Instead of using a manipulator to use a pistol designed for humans, why not have a dedicated weapon incorporated into an arm with a sensor aligned with it. The robot could just put the arm around a corner or over a wall to see and shoot with a reduced chance of being seen or shot. The entire ammunition supply could be incorporated into the arm, so no changing magazines. The gun would be difficult to remove and use for adversaries that had disabled the robot. You could armor the end of the arm (since it is more likely to be exposed to fire) without paying the weight penalty of armoring the entire robot. I am reminded of Victorian science fiction where they developed mechanical horses to pull carriages rather than develop automobiles.


Yeah well, that video would be a lot less humorous, wouldn’t it.


A truly hilarious and terrifying wonderful thing!


So I wonder what the insurance rates are for company employees wearing little to no ammunition resistant gear who engage in safety testing for armed AI robots with weapons?


Good robo, appreciates the cyber-doggie.


A robot couldn’t do my job, but a monkey, yeah a monkey could do it.


The only thing keeping my employers from replacing me with primate is the difficulty in getting them to use toilets.


Shit will save humanity, mark my words.


I’m guessing there is going to be a conversation next time the policy is up for renewal. Indeed getting the gun safety stuff under somebody else’s insurance would be a reason to have a robot using an existing firearm.


I’m guessing the robo-dog is yellow as an homage a “Old Yeller.”

Maybe if they explained to the robot that the robo-dog had a computer virus akin to rabies that would have made it easier.


Yes, citizens, plumbing ! It’s the latest invention to hit Rome! It moves water from one place to another!


I still love this Tetra Vaal short.

And I’m still ultimately for robot cops. Robots don’t get scared, they aren’t racist, they don’t have internal biases. They have no life, so there is no “shooting in self defense”. There is no confusing a cell phone for a gun. There is no accidentally shooting the gun. There is no shooting someone in the back as they run. They can’t be bribed. They won’t accept or coerce a blow job to get out of a ticket. They don’t go home and slap their wives around. They don’t speed around town off duty knowing they can show their ID and get out of it. etc etc etc. There is no false testimony, turning off body cams, or mis-remembered events.

I mean, yes, you could program them to be murder hobos. But assuming a program like this was set up in good faith, it should reduce police brutality and police shootings. If not, then by the statistics and behaviors of the robots you could point out where systemic biases have been programed into them.

Of course this is way off in the future. We will have self driving cars before we have police robots (those mall ninjas don’t count.) I might live long enough to see it?? Who knows.


wait so to be clear this is CGI ?

because that would be a huge relief

because why even give it a gun and waste bullets, it could walk up to you and rip one of your arms off or kneecap you, how exactly would you stop it?

imagine police just airdropping a dozen of them into a riot for crowd control, why would they even risk injuring one of their own, and why wouldn’t they just have them be as violent as necessary since no repercussions

for that matter why wouldn’t Russia just drop a hundred off in Key West and have them march up to washington…


Automatic sensors can be racist. Just not intentionally.


Yes, robots do not have to make a choice between “being judged by 12 or carried by 6.” But googling “algorithmic racism” is an exercise left to the reader. And the state of the art in image analysis means that confusing a cellphone and a gun is MORE likely for a robot.


I am aware of the fact we can program AI with biases, we can put it in our algorithms, and I’ve read that even those water faucet sensors can work poorly on all skin colors.

But if you pinpoint these issues, you can fix them. You can’t fix a racist cop (unless you get a rare epiphany and conversion.) You can’t deny these issues exist because the statistics will plainly show, or if you have access to the code, you can point it out with analysis. You can’t make excuses for them like you do with cops now.

Hey I could be wrong, but I welcome our robot overlords.


Yeah, but you don’t program a robot to shoot unless other people’s lives are in danger. If a thug unloads on the robot and no one is around, he just takes it. He doesn’t have to beat the guy to a draw and over react. It can sit there, get shot in the chest, and then carry on from there.

Some of these police shootings are because people are panicky, stupid creatures, and stress makes them even more so.


How about instead of a society where improved versions of this killer bot replace cops, a society that itself is improved to the point where we more or less no longer need killer cops?

(You know, with better education, a fixing of the ever-widening wealth gap, etc.)


But you were unaware that my only purpose for mentioning it was as a pretext for a Better Off Ted clip from one of its funniest episodes.


Why not both? :robot: