CYBER: The Killer Robot Future Is Already Here

Hacking. Disinformation. Surveillance. CYBER is Motherboard’s podcast and reporting on the dark underbelly of the internet.

The killer robots are here and they’re not going away. 

We’ve all seen footage of the cute robot dogs stumbling around with weapons strapped to their back, and loitering munitions (or so-called “suicide drones”) have become a fixture on the battlefield in Ukraine.

There’s a general fear in the air that the near future will be populated by semi-autonomous killing machines. But killer robots have been here a long time. Did you know one of the first aerial drones was deployed more than 100 years ago? Did you know cops have already used a robot to kill a suspect? Did you know the Netherlands has already deployed robots on the ground equipped with machine guns?

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Kelsey Atherton knows, and he’s here to tell us all about it. Atherton is a military tech writer specializing in robots, nukes, and other terrible futures. He’s written for Motherboard before and his substack is Wars of Future Past.

Stories discussed in this episode:

Robot Dog Maker Boston Dynamics Pledges Not to Let Its Robots Kill You

Robot Dog With RPG Strapped to Its Back Demoed at Russian Arms Fair

Police Outsourcing Human Interaction With Homeless People to Boston Dynamics’ Robot Dog

The Netherlands Has Deployed NATO’s First Killer Robot Ground Vehicles

Robot Dog Not So Cute With Submachine Gun Strapped to Its Back

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Hacker Finds Kill Switch for Submachine Gun–Wielding Robot Dog

It’s Going to Be Okay

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