Armed robots still not be withdrawn from Iraq after all

As has been the case before, it seems that reports of armed robots gone mad have been slightly exaggerated. This latest instance concerns the SWORDS robots made by Foster-Miller and currently deployed in Iraq, which were reportedly pulled from duty after some “control issues “that supposedly involved the bot’s gun swinging around when it wasn’t supposed to. Now according to Danger Room, however, that is apparently not the case after all, with the very same Army manager quoted in the original Popular Mechanics article telling the site that, “SWORD is still deployed,” and that “we continue to learn from it and will continue to expand the use of armed robots.” A Foster-Miller spokesperson further adds that, “the whole thing is an urban legend,” and that the only instances of uncommanded movements happened prior to the robot’s safety certification of 2006, each of which prompted further safety measures that are now in place on the robot.

Updated: Popular Mechanics has posted a further explanation and clarification of this whole situation, including word that while the robots haven’t officially been pulled from Iraq, they apparently aren’t exactly seeing any action either.


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