Mad scientists in Japan have scored a disastrous own-goal in the forthcoming, all-too-inevitable battle between man and cyberappliance for dominance of Earth.
Rather than relying on guards, CCTV cameras or locks, Tokyo-based Secom has developed a robot to deter intruders. Robot X can "chase intruders, take high definition video pictures of them, issue loud warnings and release a dense, billowing cloud of smoke to frighten them off" (our emphasis).
Those alarmed, as we are, by the spectre of cyberloos kidnapping primary school children or manacing small Italian towns can only react with horror to the latest turn of events. The physical description of Robot X will send a chill down any SF fan's spine. The devices are about one metre high and made from reinforced plastic; 120 kg in weight they can travel at up to 10 km per hour for up to 24 km on one battery charge, we learn.
New Scientist compares the devices to a cross "between a dodgem car and the robot R2D2" but we know better.
It's electrically operated, able to issue loud warnings and capable of issuing billowing clouds of smoke. Dear Lord the fools are creating an army of Dalek-style robot centurions. For now the devices might be "remotely controlled or pre-programmed" but that's just a sop to fool the public.
Long-term observers of the cyber-appliance menace recognise it’s just a small step from having these appliances patrolling the outlying regions of Narita Airport to them herding subservient humans into camps or down mines. You have been warned.