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Aren't Robots Guarding Nuclear Sites a Bad Idea?

| 12 Oct 2010 18:27

In order to cut costs, the U.S. government is using robotic vehicles to patrol the Nevada National Security Site, which stores nuclear waste, Cold War weapons and nuclear research.

At this point, I feel like we're just handing weapons over to our robot overlords. The Nevada National Security Site covers over 1360 square miles of desert that holds some of the most precious nuclear material and weapons research that our country possesses. Instead of human beings ensuring the security of such a site, the National Nuclear Security Administration now employs an autonomous vehicle program called Mobile Detection Assessment Response System or MDARS. The vehicle, according to the video, looks pretty much like a big ass camera mounted on a jeep. The vehicle can patrol on its on for up to 16 hours, but as soon as it encounters a threat, a human operator in a central bunker is notified and handles all decision-making. The operator can speak to trespassers hundreds of miles away using the two-way speaker system built-in to the MDARS.

Right now, there is only one working vehicle but the NNSA plan to roll out two more within six months. The program is all about cutting costs and will save U.S. taxpayers almost $6 million because it will get rid of the need to install cameras and close-circuit wiring in order to effectively monitor the high security site.

That all sounds great on paper, but what happens when Skynet hacks the robots to repel any human control, leaving our nuclear materials free to be plundered?

Judgment Day, that's what happens.

Source: Singularity Hub

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