back to article Robotic High Noon in Colorado

Denver police earlier this week demonstrated the efficiency of their killbot emergency protocol by terminating a robotic potential threat to national security. According to TheDenverChannel, a concerned motorist raised the alarm at 3.30pm on Wednesday when he spotted a toy robot which had been "crudely" cemented to the base of a …

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Paris Hilton

Exploding toy.

Paris because.. well you know.

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Damned if you do damned if you don't ...

Well you cannot really fault them for their behaviour: if they did not respond and this ended up being an actual attempt at a terrorist act the wolves would be at the door baying for the blood of whoever decided not to investigate as if the toy was an actual explosive device

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Catch 22

"Some pedestrians, unable to reach their vehicles at a lot adjacent to the robot, decided to wait it out at a bar on 20th Street, asking uniformed officers to let them know when the road reopened."

...and the officers then booked them for drunk driving.

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The Terrorists

They have won.

People are so scared of everything. Years ago this would just be seen as a prank/ weird art project/ daft thing to do.

Now, anything slightly different from the norm, it's time for bomb squads and terror alearts.

Epic fail for "freedom", epic win for the Terrorists.

Oh dear.

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Unhappy

Sesame St -2011

"One of these things is not like the others. Quick! Call 911!!"

Game over. Terrorists win.

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Anonymous Coward

Destroying things you do not understand isn't really a new concept

is it?

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"Klaatu Barada Nikto"

"Did it work?"

"No idea, Sarge"

"OK. Blow it up."

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Linux

um easy

It was likely fitted with a wireless camera. Cemented in so that it would be difficult to remove. Perhaps someone wanted a way to check the traffic situation before leaving for work.

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Aw bless

They just wanted to blow stuff up.

Bless, Denver plod. Bless.

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OMFG - al qaeda\skynet mash-up!

full marks to the photographer for risking his/her personal safety to bring us such a terrifying snapshot

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Pint

I hope Al Qaeda is watching and learning.

They don't need to smuggle bombs into America. All they have to do is superglue a couple of hundred plastic toys to various major urban traffic routes and the whole country will grind to a halt.

Wanted on suspicion of terrorism, elderly gentleman, white beard last seen with large sack.

Beer, 'cause this has to be Friday.

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Silver badge

Cement?

By 'cemented', do they mean 'glued'? To this UK dweller, cement is the stuff that you mix with sand to make concrete/mortar.

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Cement

Any UK reader who mispent a childhood up to their eyes in Airfix Spitfires and whathaveyou would recognise both senses of cement. I can't be alone in this, can I?

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Pint

The "Real" Reason...

for the robot is buried in the story: "Some pedestrians, unable to reach their vehicles at a lot adjacent to the robot, decided to wait it out at a bar on 20th Street, asking uniformed officers to let them know when the road reopened."

Cheers for the sensible pedestrians...

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Denver cops have been reading BOFH...

...and aren't taking any chances!

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Joke

In Herts...

they would have eaten it...

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Big Brother

Almost as threatening...

... as Mooninites. Should prolly start glueing random stuff to random other stuff just to keep the fuckwits on their toes.

Makes you see pretty quaint activities like "guerilla knitting" in a much more radical light--what would they do if they found such a knit wrapped around a tree or a lamppost? Use a flame-thrower? Nuke it?

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IR

Denver Policemen

They don't like those robots hanging around

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Anonymous Coward

Collateral damage

...in the process of detonating the potential threat, police destroyed the overpass...

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Anonymous Coward

Reality check, anyone?

From looking at the pictures, it rather appears as though the toy robot was rather, well, er, DIMINUTIVE. As in, not very large at all. As in, far too small to contain enough of anything explosive (short of, say, fullerened antimatter) to damage a massive concrete bridge pier. Thus, there's no reason to think that any danger was averted by having the PD blow the tiny tinny terrorist to ye bits.

Indeed, aside from actually spreading any non-explosive hazard that might have been present (unlikely as it might seem), all the PD has done is eliminate any potential forensic evidence that may have been there (e.g., fingerprints, DNA, textile fibers, etc -- which were also unlikely to be of use, but there's no telling now...)

All in all, this seems to reflect a lack of imagination on the part of the responders; scraping the rebel robot off the bridge pier with a long-handled shovel (or simply whacking it with same) would have seemed to be a more useful response under the circumstances (and still quite safe if done by the fellow in the bomb-suit).

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Grenade

That robot might have been tiny...

...but packed with high explosive, I'm pretty confident that something that size could blow an appreciable chunk out of that support pillar.

Or perhaps spray passing motorists with ball bearings, nails, broken glass and other shrapnel.

Even a cup full of black powder when suitably compressed can make a hell of a boom, and these days we have things like semtex and TNT, Torpex, and $_DEITY only knows what else. Choose your poison?

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FAIL

A title is required

"...but packed with high explosive, I'm pretty confident that something that size could blow an appreciable chunk out of that support pillar."

And I'm about equally confident that it couldn't. Explosives don't work in the real world the same way they do on TV. Even packed with C4, it would have made a noise, but that's about it. Actually destroying things with explosive charges takes a bit more work; and a toy robot is not really a suitable container for a shaped cutting charge, which is what would likely be needed.

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Silver badge

A big noise.

Otherwise known as a shockwave. It tends to burst ear drums and cause all kinds of interesting stresses in hard or brittle objects. I just wouldn't want to be anywhere near something that size if it did go boom.

A shaped cutting charge if you want to use the minimal amount of explosive and contain the blast a little. Otherwise, with enough high explosive you can blow up just about anything.

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Joke

"A Toy Robot...?"

Why do I think that someone's been watching "A Fistful of Yen" sketch from Kentucky Fried Movie once too often...?

Mind you, the Toy Robot that featured in said "Enter The Dragon" spoof, did pack quite a lot of firepower for its size...

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Grenade

Nuke it from orbit

It's the only way to be sure.

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They watched the "Kentucky Fried Movie"

(technician 1) "It's a toy robot! AAAAHH!" (technician jumps through glass window)

(technician 2) "A toy robot?"

(small toy robot) "Eat lead, sucker!" (sound of M60 machinegun)

Ahh, nothing beats a Fistful of Yen! ("I serve a higher power." "But you'll get to kill 50, 60 men!")

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Coat

So this was the droid they were looking for?

Coat already on (well 2 actually) as it's -7c round these parts..

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