back to article Strategic SIEGE ROBOTS defeated by 'heavily intoxicated' man, 62

In yet another sign of the continued supremacy - for the moment at least - of humanity over its machines, reports are coming in that a duo of powerful police robots has been bested in combat by an elderly American man who was "heavily intoxicated" at the time after the "strategic" enforcement machines attempted to storm his …

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  1. LaeMing
    Happy

    One major disadvantage robots have over humans:

    People are far less likely to hold their fire when facing down a machine.

    1. bitten
      Terminator

      Re: One major disadvantage robots have over humans:

      I am not certain, the moment the robots come up with more armor than a human, say 30kg*3 and more firepower a M2 (not a puny M60 like Rambo) people may think twice.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sense of déjà vu

      In the UK we are probably more likely to kill the robot with a golf club, tennis racquet or cricket bat as we don't have ready access to automatic weaponry and 1000's of rounds of ammunition.

      Can't wait for the report from America when one of these is destroyed by an RPG7 or other anti-tank weapon that the American householder happenes to have stashed under his bed. Now that would be news.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sense of déjà vu

        Quote: "Can't wait for the report from America when one of these is destroyed by an RPG7"

        That's Bulgaria, not America. I am to lazy to dig, but you can find it yourself - we had a guy arrested for threatening his in-law with a shoulder launched missile inside an apartment. He would have won the Darwin award if he used it of course and taken half of the apartment block with him too.

        In fact I know how he got it (not first hand, this got retold a few times)- he used to trade books (I actually bought some from him a couple of times). When the ex-soviet block collapsed so did the trade which opened the opportunity for individuals doing blockade runs in vans and trucks to buy and sell goods. Funnily enough books were one of those as Russia was still printing the most accessible tech literature at very low prices too so they commanded a healthy margin.

        So on one of his runs, somewhere near the Romanian border inside todays Moldavia a guy walks onto the road in front of his van with an AK47 and collects a "toll" - 50 bucks. Being a psycho (and ex-special forces) our "hero" stashes a handgun in the truck for the next run. On the next run he unpacks the gun ~ 100 km from the border and prepares himself. Same place, different guy walks in front of the truck - this time with a shoulder launched missile. Asks for 80 bucks. The driver grudgingly digs into his pockets (with a weapon like that it you really do not want to risk the dead-man trigger). After which the guy with the missile hands him the weapon and says "Thanks, nice doing business with you".

        A few years down the road the same missile was (nearly) used in a domestic incident.

        1. Thomas 4
          Thumb Up

          Re: Sense of déjà vu

          That...is hilarious.

        2. Justin Stringfellow
          Go

          Re: Sense of déjà vu

          Threatening the in-laws with a shoulder launched missile? Sorry, but that's bringing a knife to a gunfight. The guy should be applauded for his restraint.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sense of déjà vu

          « In fact I know how he got it (not first hand, this got retold a few times)- he used to trade books »

          Looks like he's got a head start on Mr. Bezos on the trade diversifying front.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Sense of déjà vu

        "Can't wait for the report from America when one of these is destroyed by an RPG7 or other anti-tank weapon that the American householder happenes to have stashed under his bed. Now that would be news."

        No doubt will a statement along the lines of

        "Hey, the 2nd amendment allows me to bear arms in the defense of my home. It don't way what arms I can carry, right?"

        Of course you know it's only a matter of time before one of them has one something bigger stashed under their bed. At which point it really will be a case of "There goes the neighbourhood"

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          Downvoted because...

          "At which point it really will be a case of "There goes the neighbourhood""

          To be clear that is "There goes the neighbourhood" in the sense of being converted into a cloud of radioactive dust.

          I suppose the other reason would be the notion it suggests America is a country full of trigger happy nut jobs will will inevitably graduate to home nukes.

          To which I would say either accept that's how parts of the world views you or do something about it.

          The choice is entirely yours.

      3. 404 Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Sense of déjà vu

        Not that I know, but I heard of $100 US-type rocket launchers back in the late 80's - would not be surprised at all - too much for a copbot though, more of an entire house item.

        ;)

      4. AndrueC Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Sense of déjà vu

        In the UK we are probably more likely to kill the robot with a golf club

        Not my bloody clubs you don't. Not unless you can find the old steel set in the garage.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sense of déjà vu

        Um, no, in the U.K. you are more likely to kill the robot with a long, lethal kitchen knife. That's how how you blokes like to kill each other without guns. A bit sloppier, as it takes longer to bleed out from a knife wound, which is why the U.K. has one of the highest violent crime rates in the civilized world.

        Oh, wait. Now there's a movement to to ban long kitchen knives in the U.K., too (no joke). What WILL you use to satisfy your homicidal tendencies next?

        1. GSV Slightly Perturbed

          Re: Sense of déjà vu

          [Broadcast Eclear, sent 1362068630.6]

          xGSV Slightly Perturbed

          o(unknown) Anonymous Coward

          > What WILL you use to satisfy your homicidal tendencies next?

          Sharpened spoons perhaps. Humanity's creativity knows no bounds.

          They're pretty awesome when they're not killing each other.

          1. roselan
            Pint

            Re: Sense of déjà vu for a déjà vu

            never gets old, or new, or whaever...

            http://xkcd.com/419/

        2. gromm
          Devil

          Re: Sense of déjà vu

          " which is why the U.K. has one of the highest violent crime rates in the civilized world."

          Funny how "violent crime" and "homicide" are different. See, *because* knives are less lethal, there may be more *attempted* homicides but far fewer *successful* homicides. The difference is that in one of these, they can fix you up and put you back on the street, raising your kids or *whatever* it is you do in life (selling coke and stabbing people perhaps, after your lengthy prison term). The end consequences are different, as a result.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sense of déjà vu

            I don't think it's to do with availability of guns at all, it's just violent culture.

            As in, TV, films etc. The worship of stylised ultra-violence above all else.

            Canada and Switzerland have just as many guns ..... many countries have whole populations that have to do national service and pretty much all know how to use a gun, but don't.

            TV cop films look increasingly like braindead fascists in trendy designer clothes ....

            and as for army-themed films .... well, Leni Riefenstahl springs to mind, especially the more "sophisticated" recent films.

            With the possible honorable exception of Jarheads, at least they tried to show it as it is.

            1. AndrueC Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Sense of déjà vu

              TV cop films look increasingly like braindead fascists in trendy designer clothes ....

              Yeah like the way the 'heros' are depicted pressurising employees to reveal customer details "Because you don't want the hassle of us with a warrant" or the classic "I think I heard a noise inside, we'd better go in".

              I bet half the the audience just nods its head sagely thinking 'Anything to catch the plebs'. 'Cause of course the officers only do it when they know the perp is guilty anyway.

            2. fajensen Silver badge

              Re: Sense of déjà vu

              As in, TV, films etc. The worship of stylised ultra-violence above all else.

              If that holds, then Indonesia should cook off pretty nicely then! I just watched this movie, "The Raid: Redemption" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1899353/ -> Solid Action, decent acting - and - stuck on "Ultra Violence" all the way, maybe 10 minutes of soppy'ness in total. Japan is big on tentacle rape - e.t.c.

              I don't think media drives it. Someone proposed lead poisoning as the hidden driver behind US violence.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sense of déjà vu

          UNODC murder rates per year per 100,000 population

          USA 4.8

          India 3.4

          Israel 2.1

          Canada 1.6

          UK 1.2

          Egypt 1.2

          France 1.1

          Australia 1.0

          China 1.0

          Italy 0.9

          Germany 0.8

          Japan 0.4

          Iceland 0.3

          Hong Kong 0.2

        4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Sense of déjà vu

          "Um, no, in the U.K. you are more likely to kill the robot with a long, lethal kitchen knife. That's how how you blokes like to kill each other without guns. A bit sloppier, as it takes longer to bleed out from a knife wound, which is why the U.K. has one of the highest violent crime rates in the civilized world."

          And too scared to post with your name on a UK website.

          That's a ROTLFAO moment.

          But seriously do you know anything about murder and crime rates in the G20?

          But recently I heard Americans are trying to do something about this.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr8PQDoZXSo

        5. Uffish

          Violence in the street

          @ anonymous, knife wielding troll.

          No one's going to ban long knives, how would our dear Queen knight someone if she couldn't hit him with a sword. It's the carrying of dangerous items, such as long knives, in a public place with intent to use as an offensive weapon* that is illegal - as it is in other European countries and probably also in the US of A.

          Yes, punch-ups and such have been remarked on by shocked visitors to Blighty for a long time. Probably not a good characteristic but nevertheless we do seem to actually kill fewer of our people than some other civilisations.

          * something like that - IANAL.

    3. Dale 3

      Re: One major disadvantage robots have over humans:

      A problem that robots will always have is that they (or their operators) do not have a reasonable claim to self-defence. If police officers go in and get shot at, they can reasonably shoot back to defend their lives. If a robot gets shot at, they have no "life" as such to defend, so they (or their operators) are less likely to shoot back unless they become aware of an actual threat to a life. The robot is mainly going to end up being used for reconnaissance, trying to talk the guy down, or at best a tasering. Taser vs bullets, I'd bet on the bullets.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One major disadvantage robots have over humans:

        "If a robot gets shot at, they have no "life" as such to defend."

        But then the guy adds one to his tab, something on the line of "destruction of public property" or "attempt to dest...." or something like it, right? Resisting arrest is already there, right?

    4. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: One major disadvantage robots have over humans:

      If people expend their good, AP-ammo, on the robot, then the robot has done it's job.

  2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    I thought common practice was to burn down the house, no?

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Alternatively

      Nuke from orbit, it's the only way to be sure!

      ;-)

  3. Rentaguru

    obviously the rules of engagement

    were wrong. Preserving fleshy bits should be a much lower priority.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: obviously the rules of engagement

      fleshy bits? yeah, fried burgers on the menu!

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: obviously the rules of engagement

        fried burgers on the menu!

        First read that as 'fried burglars'.

        1. J. Cook Bronze badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: obviously the rules of engagement

          So that's what chex mix and cola smell like. And now, I need a new keyboard.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Terminator

      Re: obviously the rules of engagement

      "were wrong. Preserving fleshy bits should be a much lower priority."

      This error will be corrected in due course.

  4. Ole Juul Silver badge

    Siege Robots may need redesign

    How about something more disarming - like a mini skirt.

    1. philbo
      Happy

      Re: Siege Robots may need redesign

      >mini skirt

      Robot Whores?

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        Re: Robot Whores?

        I think the Japanese have a head start on you there.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge
    Terminator

    Alternative solution

    Rather than spray these robots with bullets it might make more sense to spray them with "paint" or drape a towel overs their eyes ( webcam).....

    Blinding a robot renders it ll but useless **.

    **( Unless they are also equiped with volumetric, heat detection or vibration detection sensors, then you would have to push them over or short circuit them)

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Alternative solution

      Nutritional paste to the eye stalk or a fetching rubbery cloak over the top have proved to be effective in the past- or was it the future?

    2. Z-Eden
      Terminator

      Re: Alternative solution

      It could work, but then you'd have to put up with it screaming "MY VISION IS IMPAIRED!" whilst it sprays the area with weapons fire...

    3. Dave Bell

      Re: Alternative solution

      How to blind a man in power armour: sneak up behind him and wrap your bra around his helmet.

      It's out there, but I shall let you have the fun of using Google for yourself.

      1. MrXavia
        Thumb Up

        Re: Alternative solution

        That works for a man not in power armour....

        the bra around the face is a big disarmer.....

    4. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Alternative solution

      You've got to throw a towel over it. If it's a part #223219B (aka 'Colin'), then the next thing you need to do is rewrite it's pleasure circuits, and it will do whatever you want.

      To be a frood, you've really got to know where your towel is.

    5. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Alternative solution

      Or, tip it over. Funnier still, grab it and spin it around so it's facing the door that its backup handlers will shortly have to storm through.

  6. frank ly Silver badge

    Valid tactics

    Being 'heavily intoxicated' may be a very good way of gaining an advantage over the machines. Their internal assessment and prediction algorithms wouldn't be able to cope well with a drunken adversary.

    "Dad, the machines are coming." "Ok son, take the whiskey bottle to your mother and bring me the crystal meth."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Valid tactics

      I see a dark robot in the front garden

      Moved by a black squad that drive the gun

      Bring me my bourbon and methamphetamine

      Bring me my golden shot of a skag

      ...

      Tune in to a Jethro Tull song ;-)

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Valid tactics

      Was this ever actually tried in say an episode of Doctor Who? I'm not too well versed in the Whoniverse, being a Star Trek fan myself, but the incident piques my curiosity to wonder if a Dalek or two just couldn't get their weapons on target because the target kept lurching around drunk.

      1. Thomas 4

        Re: Valid tactics

        "THE...HUMANOID....IS HUGGING....ME! HUGGING ME!!"

    3. Imsimil Berati-Lahn
      Mushroom

      Re: Valid tactics

      Indeed so.

      It's difficult to get inside a guy's OODA loop if it happens to be on a totally 'nother frikkin' planet.

  7. Muckminded

    Machines as dull

    as their operators will never match the chaotic paranoia that a fine bender produces.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: Machines as dull

      Going berserk as a warrior served a similar purpose against human opponents in the past.

      Could well work against robots (and perhaps also Vulcans, or anybody else thinking logically)

  8. Gordo Rex
    Paris Hilton

    Stop being so dramatic

    You're trying gin up (if you'll pardon the expression) the story with words like "elderly" and "oldster." The man is a mere 62. He (like myself) is just reaching his prime robot-fighting years.

    (Paris because she, too, is no longer a spring chicken.)

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Stop being so dramatic

      That's going on my next tee-shirt!

      "Just reaching my prime robot-fighting years"

  9. Grimster
    Facepalm

    Please put down your weapon

    You have 20 seconds to comply.

    Or not.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I for one welcome our, erm drunken elderly american overloads.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vandalising government property?

    I'm a bit mystified that you can get booked for vandalising a trespasser: the man has obviously not let the robot in his house, I doubt he has had a warrant put in his hand --- so it's an illegal intruder.

    A bit the same like dogs biting UK postmen on private property, they don't have to be put down as they're doing their duty. Clearly that law needs changing; but someone violently breaking in your house seems a legitimate target.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: Vandalising government property?

      Quite. If I was drunk and some crazy mechanised contraption battered down my door, sure as hell* I'd want to beat it to scrap with whatever I had to hand....

      * (well, surer than hell -- I am agnostic, after all...)

    2. Psyx
      Thumb Down

      Re: Vandalising government property?

      "Vandalising government property?

      I'm a bit mystified that you can get booked for vandalising a trespasser: the man has obviously not let the robot in his house, I doubt he has had a warrant put in his hand --- so it's an illegal intruder."

      That's not how the law works.

      The guy was drunk and waving a firearm around. That's more than enough legal cause to kick in the door and taser the guy.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Vandalising government property?

        That's not how the law works.

        The guy was drunk and waving a firearm around. That's more than enough legal cause to kick in the door and taser the guy.

        Hmm. It depends if the robot in question made itself known as controlled by law enforcement. I personally would have assumed the kid next door had upmodded their robot grass mower unless it had clear signs to say otherwise (maybe a blue flashing light or something) and would thus feel free to consider it fair game for demolition if I had the idea it was about to endanger me. I have no idea what these things look like, but you are not compelled to assume the sender is law enforcement unless it makes it clear in one way or the other.

        It's actually an interesting question: what is the status of remote controlled kit? Does it have powers of arrest? Can it Mirandise you by loudhailer? Who is guilty if it backs up over the neighbour's kid? Or their dog?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Vandalising government property?

          « unless it had clear signs to say otherwise (maybe a blue flashing light or something) »

          If I see a robot roll past with a blue flashing light and I'll die of laughter.

        2. Psyx
          Stop

          Re: Vandalising government property?

          "Hmm. It depends if the robot in question made itself known as controlled by law enforcement."

          You don't think that maybe there was at least half a dozen police vehicles parked outside with lights going and people with megaphones saying "Put the gun down you maniac. We're the police and you're a crazy-a$$ SOB"?

          "and would thus feel free to consider it fair game for demolition if I had the idea it was about to endanger me."

          Ignorance of the law is not a legitimate justification for breaking it. "I didn't know that shooting something is illegal" makes it no less illegal.

          "It's actually an interesting question: what is the status of remote controlled kit? Does it have powers of arrest? Can it Mirandise you by loudhailer?"

          It wouldn't need to. Miranda is read *after* someone is taken into custody, but *before* interrogation. There's also a public safety waiver, where a subject might be asked a question prior to reading if public safety is endangered.

          1. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: Vandalising government property?

            > Ignorance of the law is not a legitimate justification for breaking it

            That's a red herring.

            If an intruder is not identified as a cop, he's fair game. End of story. That's how these "stand your ground" laws get created. People hear horror stories from California or the UK and think they need extra legal protections because liberal idiots in another jurisdiction entirely are willing to put up with nonsense.

            People hear these "you must flee your home" stories with relevant members of the peanut gallery chiming in their full support and an obvious backlash ensues.

            1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

              Re: Vandalising government property?

              Hmm, there's an idea. Create a robot that looks like a red herring and confuse literally minded people..

              1. AndrueC Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: Vandalising government property?

                Nah, it's easier than that. Just hang a notice on the existing robots: "I am not a robot".

            2. Psyx
              Facepalm

              Re: Vandalising government property?

              "That's a red herring. If an intruder is not identified as a cop, he's fair game. End of story."

              No it's not. Think about it for a moment. Do you for a second genuinely think that the police quietly rolled up unannounced and slipped a disguised robot silently into this guys house without at any point before-hand telling him to get the hell out because the police were outside and they wanted him to come out.

              For comparison, imagine a hostage situation where a SWAT team sneak in. The hostage-taker sees them before they start shouting and guns them down. Do you for a *second* thing that 'stand your ground' laws would be any kind of legal defence. Really?

    3. Peter Simpson 1
      Coat

      Re: Vandalising government property?

      Ohio is, of course, a "stand your ground" state. That should give him an airtight defense. He'll probably get off with a slap on the wrist.

    4. AndrueC Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Vandalising government property?

      I'm a bit mystified that you can get booked for vandalising

      Perhaps it's along similar lines to the idea that leads to people wrongly banged up being charged for room and board for their incarceration. Perhaps in the future we'll be charged for wear and tear on handcuffs and if you get shot you have to pay for the ammunition :-/

    5. gromm

      Re: Vandalising government property?

      Usually that "Illegal intruder" part goes away once the police have to surround your house. Good luck with *that* court battle.

  12. Rob Crawford

    After having the misfortune to watch Discovery Channel

    I can't help wondering if the bot was built by those two arseholes from Battle Machine Brothers.

    Perhaps they should have went for something that was made in China.

    As for mini skirts, they had to fit those to the old RUC landrovers as a beer barrel and some scaffolding poles where commonly used to tip those over.

    Pass me my drivin' whiskey woman I'm going to work

  13. Katie Saucey
    Terminator

    Robocop

    Law enforcement bots may not be as well armed and armoured as the Hollywood versions yet, but unlike ED209 at least they can handle stairs.

  14. Crisp Silver badge

    "Dangerous Ordnance"

    As if there is any other kind!

    1. Colin Brett
      Terminator

      Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

      A "phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range", perhaps?

      Colin

    2. VaalDonkie
      Holmes

      Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

      .22 rounds do nothing but piss off your attacker. Nothing dangerous about those.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

        im sure the dead and wounded from a number of school shootings would disagree with you about the .22

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

          > im sure the dead and wounded from a number of school shootings would disagree with you about the .22

          It depends on whether or not it's a pistol round or a rifle round.

          The "22" from an M-16 has a lot more powder and kinetic energy behind it.

      2. Don Jefe

        Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

        Val you are a fool.

      3. NumptyScrub
        Trollface

        Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

        quote: ".22 rounds do nothing but piss off your attacker. Nothing dangerous about those."

        5.56mm NATO on the other hand is carbine choice du jour for most militaries. I'll leave it to you to work out how big 0.22" is in mm :)

        (hint: 7.62mm NATO is a .30 cal round)

        1. nsld

          Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

          world of difference between a .22 calibre weapon and a .223 calibre weapon.

          1. NumptyScrub
            Pint

            Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

            quote: "world of difference between a .22 calibre weapon and a .223 calibre weapon."

            Pfft, rounding errors... what is .223 to 2 decimal places? ;)

            We both know that there is a world of difference between a .22 handgun and 5.56mm NATO, but that's in the cartridge size, propellant loading and projectile makeup, not the calibre per se ;)

            Same goes for the much hyped Desert Eagle .50 cal, vs a .50 BMG intended for an M87... two different kettle of fish entirely, and they are theoretically identical calibre.

            1. JEDIDIAH
              Linux

              Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

              > Pfft, rounding errors... what is .223 to 2 decimal places? ;)

              It means that the guys that actually know what they are talking about called you out on your obvious lack of precision. Computing isn't the only area where minute differences matter.

              Although you usually don't get sent to the sand pit with the rest of your platoon for misplacing a semi-colon.

              1. NumptyScrub
                Pint

                Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

                quote: "It means that the guys that actually know what they are talking about called you out on your obvious lack of precision. Computing isn't the only area where minute differences matter."

                Fair enough, to be more precise I make 5.56/25.4 to be 0.21890" (rounded to 5 places). Not only is that not .223, it's also the other side of .22 entirely. Looks like "lack of precision" is endemic in the ammunition specs as well as my posts, since the NATO "5.56mm" cartridge should really be called the 5.66mm (5.6642 exactly), given it is based on the Remington .223 ;)

          2. Psyx
            Pint

            Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

            Yup: 0.003 inches.

            It's the difference between .223/5.56mm NATO and .22 Long Rifle that's the clincher...

  15. John Bailey

    And the moral of the story..

    Never send a roomba to do a T1000's work.

  16. petur
    Go

    Time to install an EMPsystem

    That will stop them :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: Time to install an EMPsystem

      And the central heat/air.

      And the refridgerator.

      And the lights.

      And the pacemaker.

      And the automobile ignitions.

      And the (if close enough) cell towers.

      And the (if close enough) police helicopter.

      And the list goes on and on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time to install an EMPsystem

        "And the ..."

        Well yes, but this is America we're talking about. If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "vandalism of government property"

    On top of sending him to jail, with a plea sentence of 246 years, he'll have to pay damages of 64 million USD to have the cops repaired.

    we may laugh, but THEY are coming. Every action like this is a precious educational ground for people designing and building those machines. We're digging our own grave, as yet, manually.

    1. Tim Jenkins

      Re: "vandalism of government property"

      For those (hopefully) few Reg readers who don't know it already, can I direct you to the masterwork that is 'Watchbird' by Robert Sheckley?

      http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/29579

      Should be required reading for all those in the drone/robot/AI business...

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: "vandalism of government property"

      Arrested for resisting arrest.

    3. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: "vandalism of government property"

      Yikes: 64 Million US?

      For fixing two bullet-catcher robots - presumably sent into the breach because they are more disposable than a police officer??

      Now, THAT is an IT-related gravy-train I rather want to be in on!!

  18. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Ah, nostalgia..

    .. gone are the days where a mere staircase was enough to stop them ..

    Sniff.

  19. kyza

    MB Toys

    They sent in a Big Trac, followed by a Big Trac with trailer accessory.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: MB Toys

      A BigTrak(tm) is more of a robot than these remote controlled toys masquerading as robots.

      To my mind, a robot is something autonomous. Not a souped up radio controlled toy car.

  20. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    I think he's a super hero.

    Have you never heard of The Amazing Cider Man?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pretty stupid robots eh

    What was that?

    Frogstar scout robot class A looking for you.

    And that was...

    Frogstar scout robot class B looking for you.

    And that?

    Frogstar scout robot class C looking for you.

    Hey, pretty stupid robots eh?

    1. philbo

      Re: pretty stupid robots eh

      Holy Photons! What was that?!

      A Frogstar Robot Class D. I should imagine it’s just picked up the reports from the first three and has come to get you.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: pretty stupid robots eh

        This used to be a 'lost' Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy episode linking the first to the second radio series. It was only broadcast twice originally, and then disappeared from the airways as it was neither in series 1 nor series 2. I recorded it

        It's since made it into the CD collections fortunately.

        What I like is when Marvin is left to delay a Frogstar D. Can you guess with what weapons? Something pretty devestating surely? No, nothing.

        IIRC, his last comment as the Hitch-Hikers offices collapse around him after being destroyed by a neutron-ram is "What a depressingly stupid robot"

        1. philbo
          Coat

          Re: pretty stupid robots eh

          >IIRC, his last comment as the Hitch-Hikers offices collapse around him after being destroyed by a

          >neutron-ram is "What a depressingly stupid robot"

          "What a depressingly stupid machine"

          </pedant>

          ...mine's the one with the 6-cassette recording of the radio series in the pocket. And the full H2G2 scripts that I was given as a birthday present a couple of years ago, but still haven't read completely (yet).

    2. Isendel Steel
      Coat

      Re: pretty stupid robots eh

      That's what I was thinking & philbo for completing the quote

      (I know where my towel is icon)

  22. lawndart

    says:

    Robot officers down!

    Escalating to two Bolos and an Ogre MkIII.

  23. Otto von Humpenstumpf
    Joke

    Not really worried about the Rise of the Machines...

    Any Scouser worth his salt would have disabled the thing by propping it up on bricks. And then gone down the pub to flog its wheels.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not really worried about the Rise of the Machines...

      Yeh - They are like 10K each!

      OT: I heard that the speed cameras used to have nice kit inside, so the hoodies would prefer cut them off with portable power tools and loot the contents to affixing burning tires to them.

  24. Andy Miller
    Headmaster

    Strategic ?

    Strategic? Really? So these bots are designed to cut down crime over the long term, possibly by some kind of deterrence effect?

    I think the word needed here is "tactical".

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We all know the real reason they called in the robot team...

    Neither of the first responders were going to fit through the doorway.

  26. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Happy

    AC@13:01

    "We all know the real reason they called in the robot team...

    Neither of the first responders were going to fit through the doorway."

    You're not sure suggesting the average American police officer is a wobblebottom little broader in the beam than is convenient for getting through the average door are you?

    1. nsld
      Mushroom

      Re: AC@13:01

      I believe the correct term as used in the US to describe people who overspill and airline seat is "sweaty ham beast"

  27. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    According to this article the "dangerous ordinance" was a 75 round drum magazine presumably for an AK type weapon. The pistol was likely too ordinary to bother naming since we all know that if it was the latest super wiz-bang it would certainly have been plastered all over the national nightly news.

    As to subduing the gent, they tased him bro.

  28. Emilio Desalvo
    Coat

    They could have sent in the heavies: the Strategic Level Uniformed Tanks...

  29. Dave 32
    Mushroom

    Missile Launcher?

    How about this one:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0128/Seattle-gun-buyback-nets-Stinger-missile-launcher-video

    Dave

  30. Bgfreeman

    Sih... Skynet has SO far yet to go.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

    someone makes the joking assumption that he has something as expensive and (since they refuse to sell them to "civilians" because we're not high-speed, low-drag tacticool hardcore operator enough for them) unobtainable, all the usual suspects treat it as truth and launch on their anti-constitutional diatribes.

    My wager is, with police exaggeration what it is, that the guy had a .22 (small caliber) rimfire pistol, using pretty much the same cartridge that kids have been using to plink cans for over a hundred years. Hell, maybe he even had the uber-scary .22 magnum, a slightly newer and weightier rimfire cartridge which does not have any real armor piercing capability, less than that of a good Sikes-Fairbairn commando dagger.

    the sad fact is, most police "robots" can be disabled with a Red Ryder BB gun.

    But let's believe the cops when they complain about guns, even tho we won't believe them when they talk about drugs, gangs, illegals and #Occupy deviants.

    1. Psyx

      Re: heh

      "My wager is, with police exaggeration what it is, that the guy had a .22 (small caliber) rimfire pistol, using pretty much the same cartridge that kids have been using to plink cans for over a hundred years. Hell, maybe he even had the uber-scary .22 magnum"

      So? That's still a guy with a firearm who was clearly willing to shoot shit up. I don't know what you had for breakfast, but I'd still be unwilling to get shot in the face with a 'wimpy' .22. If you tell me to go into a house and arrest someone because they've 'only' got a .22, I'd still prefer a hunk of metal to get shot than myself.

      I have no problem them sending in a robot rather than risk getting shot. Or with throwing the book at the guy afterwards.

    2. Lamont Cranston
      Unhappy

      Rimfire?

      Sounds pretty unpleasant, to me.

  32. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Stop

    Red Ryder BB gun??

    You'll shoot your robot's eye out with that!!

  33. Herby Silver badge
    Coat

    So...

    Robocop lives. What else is new. Does it have 3 or 4 directives?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: So...

      One is enough:

      OBEY!

  34. Scott Pedigo

    The first (fictional dramatic) defeat of a Robo-Cop that I can recalled occurred in an episode of U.S. TV series Hill Street Blues. Actor Dennis Franz, had two roles in the series, and I remember being impressed by his acting in this first role, and had a good chuckle when the creators must have thought so too and brought him back a couple of seasons later. According to his Wikipedia article, he played the role of Detective Sal Benedetto, a corrupt cop in the 1983 season, who later kills himself. What I remember about that is this: he was in a drunken rage, barricaded himself in his apartments, and they (the cops) busted down the door and sent in their pride and joy, a newly purchased robot. From the outside they watch in dismay as the camera view rocks around, showing a close-up of an enraged Sal smashing the crap out of it.

    Anyone have that scene burned into their memory?

  35. Domino

    Sounds like a pitch for a new movie.. Bum fight meets Robot Combat League... Sad thing is I'd probably watch it..

  36. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Hmm, you need different ammo altogether..

    Given that these robots are invariably controlled via cameras, one well aimed paintball will probably be enough to end the threat there and then. Ditto for small drones.

  37. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

    Its all about muzzle velocity and energy. I'm not certain what sort of weapons various people have available to them. But I could probably make short work of most siege robots with a 25 kg sledgehammer. No background check or waiting periods required.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: "Dangerous Ordnance"

      Sounds a bit too heavy for the average joe to heft. Think perhaps a 10kg hammer would still pack sufficient punch, especially if swung laterally?

  38. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Pint

    Didcha know

    That today is the 20th anniversary of the government overkill visited upon the Branch Davidians?

    Let's drink to Madame Janet and Herr Clinton, with a little shot of Führerbier!

  39. Ronny Cook
    Mushroom

    Dangerous ordinance?

    They guy was charged with possession of dangerous ordinance.

    How far down the chain do you need to go for ordinance to not be regarded as dangerous?

    "Suspect was armed with water pistol filled with orange juice. Suspect fired water pistol, which got into officer's eye and stung quite badly. Suspect arrested for possession of dangerous ordinance."

  40. Doogie Howser MD
    Devil

    Should have sent in ED209

    He doesn't piss about, just fires a gazillion rounds of lead into the would be perp, asks questions later. Just don't ask him to "do" stairs.

    "Someone call a Goddamn paramedic!"

  41. Jim 59

    Good article

    Very funny writing.

    "...a bedroom in which the plucky oldster had decided to make his last stand"

    and many other bits. I actually did lol.

  42. Martin Huizing
    Terminator

    Johnny 5...

    is dead...

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