Army Colonel Shows Compassion...for Robot

A robotics physicist, Mark Tilden was demoing quite a piece of technology in Los Alamos for an army colonel - a search and destroy robot for land mines. It's a five-foot centipede that will seek out a mine, set if off, put itself back together, and continue its work.

As the amazingly willful little creature was down to its last, charred leg, the army colonel aborted the demo. Apparently, the sight of this non-sentient being barely functioning, but soldiering on had an effect on the colonel who deemed the demo inhumane.

I'm pretty fascinated by the anthropomorphizing colonel. He has to know somewhere in his mind that it's just a robot, that it doesn't have "courage," or a sense of "duty." Assuming this colonel has seen action, it was too traumatic to watch the poor little robot put to its limits.

Ironically, the robot is actually incredibly humane - it would be saving countless lives and terrible agony. What's interesting is that the demo was inhumane for the colonel. It's basically an exercise in post traumatic stress for anyone that's fought in a war.

Couldn't find a video of the robot in question, but here's a creepy, primitive version.

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