TECH: SlugBot called "reckless"

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Wed Dec 12 2001 - 10:30:27 MST

The SlugBot is the brainchild of engineers at Intelligent Autonomous Systems
Laboratory who wanted to build the world's first fully autonomous robot.

The 2-foot-high machine uses an image censor that beams out red light to
pinpoint the slugs, which emit a different infra-red wavelength from worms and

It then uses a carbon fiber arm with a three-fingered claw grabber to pick up
the slugs and store them in a tank.

After a hard night of slug busting, the robot returns home and unloads its
victims into a fermentation tank. While the SlugBot recharges, the
fermentation tank turns the slug sludge into electricity.

But the robot, voted one of the best inventions of the year by Time magazine,
has attracted some criticism.

One Time reader called the invention "reckless" in a letter to the magazine.
"To create robots that devour flesh is to step over a line that we would be
insane to cross," he said.


--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI,
non-sensory experience, SETI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:25 MDT