The Coming War With Robots: LawnBott (Not Bum Bot)

BumBot

Let’s allay some fears over Bum Bot, who patrols outside a bar in Atlanta. For one thing, the name refers to the drunken louts it targets – Bum Bot is not after your hinder. Second, if you’re not a drunken lout, Bum Bot is no threat to you. Third, Bum Bot is not a robot – it’s a remote-controlled faux-bot that the bar owner directs at all times. And last time I checked, there is not a Coming War With Bar Owners Who Send Fake Robots Out Into The Streets of Atlanta.

On the other hand…

Today’s New York Times salutes a new product, the Kyodo LawnBott LB3500, which mows your lawn by itself.

LawnBotts.com points out that “robotic lawnmowers are many times safer than its manual counterparts just because you eliminate the human needing to be around it while it’s operating.” This is the same sense in which military drones are safer than manned vehicles and weapons: They protect their owners. But if you’re not the owner, look out.

“Look out” is a pretty good course of action whenever a robot’s been programmed to cut things.

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