The Sound of Science

Fridays 9am – Sheffield Live! – 93.2FM

Show 7 – First broadcast 27/06/2008

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Armed Military Robots (part 2 of 2)

Presented by Professor Noel Sharkey, University of Sheffield

Get involved in the discussion at the AUVSI forum on Armed Unmanned Systems

This week is part 2 of a two part special on Robots of War. Last week Noel explained the ethical issues of using military robots that are allowed to apply lethal force on their own terms. These are not terminator style robots. they are more like tanks, trucks or fighter jets. There are over 4000 robots currently deployed on the ground in Iraq. These are mainly for explosive disposal although some are armed. There are also many robot fighter planes such as the Predators and the Reapers. For now there is always a person in the loop to decide when to kill, but this is could change soon.

Movers and Shakers

This week’s Mover and Shaker is Rear Admiral Chris J. Parry CBE. Noel talks to him about everything from the Cold War to terrorist use of robots.

Chris Parry was educated at the Portsmouth Grammar School and read Modern History at Jesus College, Oxford. He joined the Royal Navy as a Seaman officer. He was mentioned in despatches during the Falklands war and received the 1983 Prince Philip Helicopter Rescue Award. In 1986, he became Staff Aviation Officer and then Executive Officer of the destroyer HMS YORK.

He was promoted Commander in 1989 and, after appointments in Defence Policy at the Ministry of Defence, he commanded the destroyer HMS GLOUCESTER from 1994 to 1996. On promotion to Captain, he commanded the Maritime Warfare Centre from 1996 to 1998 and was responsible for the teaching and evolution of Joint and maritime doctrine, tactical development and operational analysis.

In January 2000 he commanded the HMS FEARLESS and was the Flag Captain to the Amphibious Task Group. From April 2001, he was the Director of Operational Capability in the Ministry of Defence, and he was directly responsible to government Ministers and the Chiefs of Staff for the provision of independent assessments of operational capability

In September 2003, he took command of a number of amphibious task groups and then in 2005 he became Director General Development, Concepts and Doctrine until 2008.

Noel Interviews

Noel talks to RIchard Moyes – Policy Director of Landmine action about the landmark new treaty on Cluster Bombs. RIchard has just returned from 10 days of painstaking negotiation at Croke Park in Dublin where 111 countries signed up for the ban on cluster weapons.

International Military Robotics

Noel attended the International Military Robotics conference at Cafe Royal just off Picadilly Circus in London.Noel interviews Nato chair of MIlitary Applications for Multi-Robot Systems Frank Schneider, Lt. Colonel Stefan Kern from the German MoD, Major Carl Lunberg from the Swedish Army and Dephine Dufourd from the French DGA (ministry of defence) about the European plans for using robots in war.


Next week’s Mover and Shaker is Nobel Laureate, Sir Harry Kroto. Our Feature slot is part 1 or a two-parter on the Science of Coffee – how to make the perfect espresso. The news takes on a local green flavour with a discussion about the carbon footprint of Delia Smith’s “How to cheat at cookery” and a look at local heats of The Great Engineering Debate: Solutions for the Planet.


June 28, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. It’s amazing

    Comment by Broorislisyday | August 3, 2008 | Reply

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