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Big Dogs and Drones for Crowd Control: The Commercialisation of Military Robots
Russia Today TV (2015)
  • Katina Michael, University of Wollongong

Could big dogs and anthropomorphic uninhabited systems one day be used for policing or crowd control and profiling. These systems have a multitude of functions like voice and video analysis capabilities, the ability to visual surveil people and record this as evidence to overcome resourcing issues for police and other law enforcement related agencies. The major problem with this is the potential for crimes databases, surveilling the population for the few, toward total information awareness. Whether it is ID, location information, networks, affiliations and associations, all of these biographic details are being collected continuously. From the military perspective, these kinds of lists are being collected for "kill lists" and the like, however, for everyday use, other kinds of databases might be amassed by these robots. Consider the company Knightscope with its autonomous data collection technology roaming the streets- a modern day Darlek and we are just about to begin building things like the modern day Cyberman. Science fiction becomes reality in this new technological trajectory and society has much to lose- beyond privacy rights, trust between stakeholders, it has to do with the loss of human rights and human dignity. Afterall machines can make mistakes and they are prone to error, the innocent loss of life, or the accidental punishment of someone not on a crimes list. How will analytics software overcome these issues, when the very people who build them are fallible.

  • drones,
  • crowd control,
  • functionality,
  • sensors,
  • big dogs,
  • actuators,
  • flexible,
  • terrain,
  • evidence,
  • data collection,
  • mobility
Publication Date
February 11, 2015
Citation Information
Katina Michael. "Big Dogs and Drones for Crowd Control: The Commercialisation of Military Robots" Russia Today TV (2015)
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