The Sound of Science

Fridays 9am – Sheffield Live! – 93.2FM

Show 69 first broadcast on 25th September 2009


This week I interview two of the members of the newly establish International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) to find out about some of the issues of the new military technology.


Talon SWORD- US military robot

Robot Arms Control – limiting military technology

Now if you’re a regular listener to the programme you will know that I have been banging on about the new robot weapons coming into play in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are thousands of these on the ground and in the air.

You can download programme 58 to hear Obhama advisor, P.W. Singer give a lot of facts about them.  The majority of these are for surveillance and bomb disposal but the worry is that an increasing number are being armed. At present there is always a person in the loop to make decisions about killing people …. but the US plans show a drive to reduce the role of the person and eventually do away with them altogether and let the robots decide who to kill.

This seems quite astonishing and many people just don’t believe it but it is all there in black and white if you care to look for it. Here is a link to the US unmanned aerial systems roadmap 2009-2047 and here is link to a Daily Telegraph article of mine on the topic. You can get a lot of information very quickly and quotes from generals etc with a google search for military robots or unmanned systems or autonomous robot weapons. It is worth havin a look.

These are not super smart machines like terminator but dumb killing machines and the US are not the only country at it – they are  proliferating – there are over 50 other countries with military robot programmes.

A group of us have now gotten together to set up the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRA) and I interview two of the members: Juergen Altmann  a physicist from Dortmand the Technical University in Dortmund in Germany – author of Military Nanotechnology and  Rob Sparrow from the Philosophy department in Monash University in Australia

juergen rob noel ed

Jeurgen-Noel-Rob at Sheffield Station


September 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment