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back to article ROBOT COP scatters LIVE GRENADES in San Francisco STREET

In an apparent instance of mindless mechanical nihilism, a police robot in San Francisco scattered live grenades across a street using its mechanical arm. When the deadly frag-bombs failed to explode, the enraged tin cop apparently attempted to detonate them by running them over. We'll let this vid from local news channel KTVU …

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Happy

Robot?

More like a ROV I think. A robot is autonomous by definition I think.

It always used to irritate me that the BBC's 'ROV Wars' was sadly misnamed ...

A most amusing article though ... !

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Flame

Mobilephone ad

slow my browser on my really quite expensive workstation.

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Anonymous Coward

Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robots of this type are remotely controlled by humans

So that's why we haven't got an ROTM tag.

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Coat

"Grandads Grenades"

Sounds like a euphemism for something terrible.

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Anonymous Coward

Is that you Murphy?

Dead or alive you're coming with me!

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Silver badge

this is not a title

ROTM?

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Anonymous Coward

FOTM!

Fall of the Machines.

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Anonymous Coward

A better way to move grenades

Pick them up with your hands.

For some reason, soldiers seem to do it all the time.

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problem...

grenades, as with most older munitions, become volatile with significant age. A modern grenade, sure. Once made in the 40s? simply touching it could make it go boom... (or, the opposite, it may never explode). Without being able to easily identify the exact make and age of the grenade, it's much simpler just not to put people it it's way.

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Happy

Yeahbut...

60 seconds to look them over, pick 'em up, put them in a storage thingy and take them away versus an hour and a half playing with the world's most expensive remote control car. Which would you choose?

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Thumb Up

Sure

You go first.

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Badgers

Exactly

TNT, nitrocellulose, etc all become unpredictable with age. As the joke goes they can explode merely because you "thought about it".

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Anonymous Coward

"simply touching it could make it go boom"

but running it over, that's just standard practice...

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Thumb Up

I for one ...

... would choose the expensive rc car. Gizmos FTW!

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Bronze badge

Just one thing

In America if the the police dept have this robot they will use is instead of person. Unless its safer to have a human defuse the device .

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I don't get it?

I thought that grenades were designed to be safe to throw around (well, perhaps gingerly) until the pin was removed? SO, surely, in this case all they had to do was cart them away?

OK, so I don't know what I'm talking about and I realise very old explosives are unpredictable but it still seems a weird thing to do to "send in the robot" when obviously these grenades had been moved by people recently without going off. In fact, had the pins been loose one of those grenades could quite easily have been set off by the "robot" couldn't it? Whereas a person could check and say "oh shit the pin is loose".

What am I missing experts?

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Silver badge

It's in the name?

Robot on the loose? Grenades everywhere? Drama in the streets? People under threat?

Call for ---

"Lieutenant Troy Dangerfield"

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Boffin

RE: I don't get it?

"....What am I missing...." These "robots" usually have a remote vid camera to allow the operator to examine the device from a safe distance. The operator can then decide if he wants to get out of his van and walk over to the device, or be lazy and use his robot to juggle them remotely, as this one seems to have. There's also the factor of ego - "look at my metal toy, I'm the really important robot operator, it follows my every command, see how good it is at holding them grenades..."

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Anonymous Coward

Nor do I?

Yeah, i'd like to know as well. I mean, surely it's easier to just get out the level IV armour, walk in, pick them up and carefully put them in a container rated to stand the explosion of a modern grenade while they are taken to somewhere suited to blowing em up?

Playing pinball with grenades with the robot just seems more dangerous than getting a meatbag to do the job.

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Terminator

There was always something fishy about him...

...but who knew Lewis was a robot!

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Anonymous Coward

Remember this is in the US

"Under British rules, a job dealing with apparently unmodified grenades would count as Conventional Munitions Disposal (CMD) rather than the generally riskier and more uncertain Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD), and an operator would be unlikely to use a robot."

Yes but this is the USA ... I lived in SF Bay Area for a time 10 years ago and while I was there I remember with great amusement the day there was an accident on the entrace to the Bay Bridge in SF involving a lorry carrying a PortaLoo which clearly had been used as it tipped over spilling its contents over the road (a cue for a long list of euphemisms from the radio traffic reporter since shit is a banned word on US airwaves) and as a result a full "hazadous materials" procedure was called for.

Similarily on another occasion a lorry containing empty wine bottles had a crash in the Napa valley which took a couple of hours to clear - when it was the newsreporter talking to local traffic cop joked that it was lucky the bottles weren't full as it would have been a waste - only for the cop to say that it was lucky as in that case it would have been a HazMat incident and it would have taken most of the day for people in hazmat suits to clear!

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Megaphone

I blame unions.

California according to Gary North:

1. A gigantic debt

2. A gigantic annual deficit

3. A declining school system

4. High unemployment

5. A rotten business climate (48th worst)

Now add:

6. Sheer bloody-mindedness in nonzero-risk situations

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Silver badge
Joke

In fairness

that's about what I think of california wine too!

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FAIL

Remember this is in the US

I read a couple of days ago where the US EPA is proposing to label spilled milk as hazardous material and require full HazMat containment and clothing when handling spilled milk... The reason? Milk contains animal fats... which contain a type of OIL... and OIL is a hazardous material.

I have yet to see a MILK well blowout, either on land or in the Gulf of Mexico. Matter of fact, I've never seen milk spills that couldn't be contained with a couple of shovels full of dirt.

Time to dismantle the EPA and get those "scientists" in the EPA a real job, cleaning up OIL spills.

Fail, because the US EPA is hazardous to the health of the country.

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Silver badge

Lucky

"Pretty interesting to see it unfold" says the presenter just as the package unfolds and the grenades fall out...

The operator must have been one cool number (or just plain stupid) - he would have looked like a proverbial sieve had any of those bombs gone off...

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FAIL

Scattered live grenades ?

The grenade fell out of the paper bag. Probably not something the operator was expecting to happen. Moving the robot before locating the grenade was not a good idea. I wonder if the operator was a newbie?

To put things straight:

1, The grenade was not scattered across the street using it's mechanical arm, it fell out of a paper bag.

2, The robot is being operated by a human and is not capable of being enraged.

3, The robot ran over the grenade because the operator did not know where the grenade was and was stupid enough to move it, not because it was trying to detonate it.

I think you should get a job with the Sun newspaper. They always seem to have space for a big tit.

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Grenade

a big tit'le

Day: Friday

Section: Bootnotes

You must be new here.

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Grenade

nothing unusual

At least 80% of cops are mentally defective, so this idiot is right in there with the average level of incompetence.

They use the ROV because they have it and it looks 'cool', not because it is necessary. The idiot quotient at work.

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Grenade

New here?

We like to call that "tougne-in-cheek," it's generally the case with elReg's reporting style. Everyone who has read elReg for any length of time should be familure with it by now.

grenade, obvious reasons.

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WTF?

Perhaps you should watch the video again...

... this time with your eyes open.

Look closely. As the ROV starts its move back to the van with the paper bag, at around the 2:38 mark on the video, you can just see the bottom of the bag bursting open and *multiple* grenades fall out. Given the location of the camera on the ROV, it's unlike the operator would have seen it. We can't see the position of the smaller ROV, so it's possible that had been left looking at the original location of the bag.

The reporters commentating on the action only see a final grenade fall out of the bag—you can clearly see this at the 2:57 mark. In fact, it's clear that, until the robot goes back for the second grenade, the reporters weren't even aware that more than one had fallen out. They certainly didn't spot the other grenades falling out of the bag, even though there were (a) two of them, and (b) they were watching the same footage I was.

Cut the ROV operator some slack, people. To err is human. Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Dead Vulture

Lewis probably wrote this while down in the pub...

Yeah, the grenade fell out of the bag and the operator didn't see it happen.

C'mon Lewis, I was hoping for the start of the mech men jihad!

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skynet averted then

shame, was looking forward to being eaten by the toaster.

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Pint

@Andy E

You must be a hoot at parties!

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Silver badge

Nice to see them at work/play

When its little friend came over to join in the fun, I was hoping that they'd both start playing catch with the grenade.

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Happy

Three... Two... One...

Bad Robot!

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Coat

I think you ought to know...

... I'm feeling very depressed...

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Happy

Marvin!

.... a brain the size of a planet ....

You are showing your age, as am I.

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Coat

Should have used Pod 1

With a name like Lieutenant Troy Dangerfield he should be working for International Rescue and not the LAPD.

Mines is the one with the Kevlar in the pocket.

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Happy

Botnote

Top man, Mr Page!

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Grenade

Really?

Troy Dangerfield? is his partner Max Power?

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Joke

Lewis Page was an armed forces EOD operator...

Which explains how he's able to brave this lot every day. But it also seems to me he'd be the most qualified to handle the FoTW. Maybe overqualified?

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Happy

LP4FOT?

Yeah, but who wants to deal with the backlash from Andrew's wildly inflammatory articles?

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Alert

Title

Well, Andrew certainly doesn't!

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Silver badge

@I don't get it

>I thought that grenades were designed to be safe to throw around until the pin was removed

Yes, assuming they haven't been stored somewhere warm and damp for 50years for the explosive or detonator to become unstable. And weren't made in a hurry in a WWII factory with 'emergency measures' quality control. And you know that nobody had a fiddle around with them in the preceding 50years.

Old explosives are like legacy server apps - walk past them very carefully and don't breath on them in case they go off!

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Paris Hilton

erm - damp + paper bag!

While I tend to agree in principal, the reasoning about "stored somewhere warm and damp for 50 years" would really need taking into account about the PAPER BAG that they were found in! And which presumably the family had examined before calling the police...

Paris - cos she knows what to do with damp wrappings, etc, etc....

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Happy

The I.T. Crowd :o)

# Moss: "I think this might be a bomb disposal robot, Roy..."

# Bomb disposal guy: "I'm having a couple of problems with it."

# Moss: "What system does it use?"

# Bomb disposal guy: "Vista."

# Moss: "We're all going to die."

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Happy

le Tit

Any relation to Tony Dangerfield I wonder (1960s singer for those wot don't no)

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Coat

GOTCHA, Lewis!

Ha! Clearly the bot was defective (and possibly overexpensive) Should've used an european model instead!

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Joke

Could this be Mr. Page at work?

http://knowyourmeme.com/system/icons/213/original/robocop-unicorn.jpg?1241550204

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Grenade

I remember

my father, a rather-successful* WW2 bomb disposal chap, telling me that one of the advantages of being in bomb disposal was that one didn't have an officer breathing down your neck as one worked...

(* you can perhaps guess why)

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