Commercial Robotics

Robots to be Street Legal in Japan

Posted 28 Jan 2003 at 15:11 UTC by steve Share This

A Financial Times article describes recent moves in Japan to deregulate the cities of Fukuoka and Kitakyushu to allow robots to walk the streets. Current radio interference and traffic regulations in Japan prevent robots from moving freely about the streets. Allowing them to enter public areas could help people grow accustomed to their presence and help researchers test the robots outside of controlled lab environments. Among other robot street-walkers, expect to see the Tmsuk 04. (Interestingly, Tmsuk's CEO notes that the Tmsuk 04 is capable of using a gun - a handy survival tool on some streets.)

My robot wants to get a driver's license, posted 28 Jan 2003 at 19:05 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

I was contemplating how much it would take for a robot to get a driver's license, in order to drive legally in the USA, in Texas for example. Such issues will be coming up in the future, as robots advance to where they can drive a vehicle on the public roads. Currently the laws tend to prohibit a robot from being able to drive. But what if a robot could successfully take the written exam, and drive a automobile or truck for the driving skills test with the driving test person in the vehicle telling the robot what he/she wants it to do?

Dripping paranoia and self flattery... , posted 28 Jan 2003 at 20:24 UTC by Jhoffa_ » (Journeyer)

The article states:

    "At present," he said, the Tmsuk 04 robot, which is already being sold to research organizations for $45,000, "can pull the trigger of a gun. Even if the first purchaser is a goodwill organization, if it sells the robot to someone else and the second buyer is, say, a cult and has some evil intention, it can be very dangerous."

A Basic Stamp and a relay "can pull the trigger of a gun" also. Sorry, I just see this statement as ridiculous and it gets worse later when Kobashi starts pining about government regulation as an answer to this non-existent threat.

    "We need some rule to be established to own a robot, like the license system to own a car," he said.

I can see it now, Ted Kennedy and Rosie O' Donnell making the case that the 'little people' shouldn't have armed robots.. Only the elite who (ostensibly) 'deserve' them..

Considering that we can't even build a bot that's fractionally as efficient as a legally blind and handicapped housekeeper, I think this kind of talk is premature to say the least. (and bordering on delusional to say the most)

When it can clean the windows and the shower, then we'll address the "evil robot cults" and other such things..


Whither ED209 ?, posted 28 Jan 2003 at 22:27 UTC by motters » (Master)

I suppose there is a reasonable case to be made that perhaps one day a terrorist or other loony could teleoperate an armed robot and cause damage to persons or property whilst himself remaining concealed, but I think this would be some way off in the future. Most terrorists probably have a very low IQ anyway and so would be technically incapable of carrying off such a venture.

Maybe in the future there will be robocops walking the streets bashing roboterrorists.

"Stay out of trouble!"

- Bob

Low IQ, posted 29 Jan 2003 at 16:11 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

Actually, the terorist with the brains gets it all working. Then they have the suicide terrorist carry out the attack. That way the guy with the brains is able to avoid getting caught. On Sept 11 the terrorist pilots all appeared to have college degrees, from upper middle class families and yet they still did the terorist attack. Not a lot of low IQ there in that bunch.

So it is not impossible for them to do it, it is whether anyone can stop them before they do it.

Besides telepresense is what the military really want. They want robots to wage the battle while the soldiers controlling them are safe. Thus you loose robots and not experienced soldiers. Plus autonomous robots for mine sweeping, patrol, scouting, and big massive assaults will be really popular. Throwing 100,000 autonomous war machines into a battle against an enemy position is what the military wants to do. Maybe with some command and control units, and your in business. None of our soldiers get wasted in the battle.

Teleoperated Terror, posted 30 Jan 2003 at 18:06 UTC by roboteq » (Master)

Creating a teleoperated robot is no longer rocket science. Most Journeyers and Masters here would know how to build one and plenty of tips and hardware is available for less sophisticated people to do the same. Some basic info is even on my web site's faq.

As a robot controller maker, this is one of my greatest paranoia. Already one of our user has showed me pictures of a paintball gun- equipped robot. Another was able to remote control his via internet, with live video feedback. Add the two, put live amunition, and you can create real trouble.

We should be very cautious of the potential danger of our science if used by people with bad intentions.


I tend to agree, posted 31 Jan 2003 at 16:43 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

It seems that is a risk nowadays. Some moron will put a firearm on a robot and have it shooting at things remotely.

But the legal ramifications in today's environment tend to mean that if we supplied or helped a moron do this we may be legally liable for the damages as well. Look at the flurry of lawsuits against firearms manufacturers when guns have been used in crimes and murder. Or the stores that sold the firearms legally (not counting the illegal sales of course).

Could one get sued or goto to jail if their devices or modules or designs or innocent help and assistance were used by a criminal in the execution of a crime?

See more of the latest robot news!

Recent blogs

30 Sep 2017 evilrobots (Observer)
10 Jun 2017 wedesoft (Master)
9 Jun 2017 mwaibel (Master)
25 May 2017 AI4U (Observer)
25 Feb 2017 steve (Master)
16 Aug 2016 Flanneltron (Journeyer)
27 Jun 2016 Petar.Kormushev (Master)
2 May 2016 motters (Master)
10 Sep 2015 svo (Master)
14 Nov 2014 Sergey Popov (Apprentice)
Share this page