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Cyber War Robots versus mankind Closer Than You Think

Updated on February 1, 2014

Image of I,Robot

Image of i,Robot
Image of i,Robot | Source

I, robot

The 2004 Hollywood flick highlighted the use of anthropomorphic robots used in common place applications within the citizenry of that particular time capsule; the robots had been programmed as helpers in public service and domestic use. Humanoid anthropomorphic robots are built with a purpose for synergy with humans especially during interactions. In the film the robots where programmed with the 3 laws.

I, robot 3 laws of engagement

1 A robot must never harm a human being or through action allow any harm to come to a human

2 A robot must obey the orders given to them by a human being, except such orders violate the first law

3 A robot must protect its own existence unless this violates the first law

War-Robots versus Mankind closer than you think

Let us start with what we know about robots, a robot is an autonomous or semi autonomous mechanical machine that is controlled by a computer (artificial intelligence) to perform various complex functions and tasks that we may not have the capacity to perform. The tasks may involve complex calculations, difficult repetitive work, and highly dangerous work like clearing mines or used in industrial applications both in high risk areas like smelters or during production processes.

Robots are here to stay, powering our industrialization and growth, they are used in medical applications like surgery that need precision movement or total accuracy, and they are in our homes like the laptops, computers and smart phones. The functions of robots is to make are lives better, easier and more efficient, there are others made purely for our enjoyment and fun and there is also those made for military application and warfare.

The thought of robots waging a war against their creator has been a recurrent theme in Hollywood movies for several years, considering the possibility of mankind versus Robots had been a fairytale until now. Improvement in robotic technology has gradually blurred the line between fact and fiction building up to a certainty of such a scenario occurring in the next 50 years. Let us consider one of such epic films that dealt with insurgency of robots against their masters, the film I, robot featuring Will Smith conveniently highlights the possibility of rebellion using artificial logic as a reason for action.

I,Robot Laws

I, robot laws in the film are laudable especially when it applies to harm to humans but how robots interpret the laws is a referent matter, when deliberate reprogramming occurs towards military application the robot simply carries out orders without sentiment. In the second law can a robot disobey a direct order? Not unless reasoning cause and effect have been infused into the mainframe of the machine; in today’s reality some robots already have this function. The third law to me is the most interesting, why should the option of self preservation be afforded artificial intelligence unless a leeway of analytical thought and self preservation was possible.

The science fiction story in a nut shell was about Del Spooner (I love Hollywood names) played be Will Smith a detective with a very advanced prosthetic arm that looked real and could carry out normal arm activities even better than the real thing, his friend and scientist who built the arm after the detectives accident where a robot saved Spooner in the stead of a little girl. The scientist who happens to be in the fore front of humanoid robots was found to have committed suicide but on closer inspection the humanoid robot Sunny was responsible but with reason. The mainframe computer had imprisoned Dr Alfred Lanny and Sunny under direct instructions form the doctor helped Spooner uncover and stem the robots insurgency.

Cybernetic Faces

Cybernetic faces
Cybernetic faces | Source

Anthropomorphic robots are they possible?

Not only are they possible they are already here with us, what are the specifications of a humanoid robot?


To be classified as a humanoid robots it should at least resemble the human form since are eyes are adapted to forms and images that closely resemble or has a semblance with the way we look, humanoid robots have heads, eyes, two arms, a torso and two legs. They may be structured the way we are, have the ability to perform simple or complex activities.

Robot eyes

The human eyeball is the whole eye including the part inside the head, the function of the eye which is the outer surface that has the cornea, lens and pupil is to perceive the world through images that are interpreted in the brain which offers structure, color and texture. The humanoid robot eyes carry out similar operations by processing data using electromagnetic spectrum to produce image which can be interpreted in similar ways our eyes work. The robot processes the data through electromagnetic spectrum where the image is recognized as an object in space and time, coupled with vision sensors for better interpretation.

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Detective Del Spoons prosthetic arm

Humanoid robots should have functional arms and fingers like the detectives prosthetic arm, in the film he sprayed a substance that covered bruise and allowed a realistic looking appendage. In today’s reality anthropomorphic robots have increased degrees of freedom of almost 60% using extero – receptive sensors that use tactels data to interpret touch/ movement of the fingers. The substance the detective sprayed could have been a polymer compound that can be found on today’s robots as polyurethane skin (artificial skin).

Robot ears

The human ear is responsible for sound reception and interpretation through sound waves vibration in the inner ear, robots have better hearing ability than humans detecting much higher and lower frequency through the use of sensors an example is the measuring implement used to register sound waves of creatures such as the hunch back whales.

Properties of Robots


Inside a super computer

Inside a super computer
Inside a super computer | Source

Humanoid Movement

To be a perfect anthropomorphic robot like that in I, robots it needs to have the capacity of human movement, human movement involves fluid motion of muscles, nerves, joints and elbows, in some robots we can find wheels, rollers, propulsion devices which have no correlation with human movement but hold on we are not talking about ordinary robots but humanoid ones. Anthropomorphic robots that can carry out human motion are already functional, they use actuators which are responsible for motion to copy or mimic the way human joints and muscles behave, the mode of operation for these new bread of robots differ slightly in the mechanism that actuates the motion.

The actuators may be powered by any of the following methods, through the use of hydraulic power generators that although powerful can present jerky motion other methods can be through electronic, piezoelectronic, ultrasonic, and pneumatic power. In the case of the film terminator it used some kind of fusel cell atomic reactor (fantasy for now how do we contain the reactor) to power the deadly robot.

Types of robots

1 humanoid robots

2 industrial robots

3 autonomous robots

4 entertainment robots

5 microscopic robots

6 nanobots

7 medical application robots

8 electronic robots and many more

The mastermind rogue robot

The master mind all powerful controlling robot in I, robot was the super computer that had the ability for holographic images, the super brain reasoned that by imprisoning and taking control of the world it was saving mankind from even total self destruction. We cannot ague the reasoning of the computer in the film since man is full of wars fought over strange issues. But does that kind of technology with reasoning and awareness of self exist. In some ways yes and no, they are not aware of existence as an entity but have more than the capacity of any man in reasoning. High performance computers have immense processing capabilities at very high speed of calculation.

To carry out this incredible processing power the robot have two ways it might be programmed to function either through various computers link in a web(internet) that calculates similar problems at the same time or super computers clustered in a room performing complex permutation at the same time. Super computers already perform mental calculations at very high speed need I say more.

Robots as weapons of war

Modern warfare is gradually shifting to robot warfare through the deployment of drone bombers that are non pilot weapons of death; they have been widely used over the years as spy planes and missile/bomb carriers. The x-47b is such a robot plane that has the capacity to land on regular runways travel long distances can be refueled in flight and has the capacity to launch airborne surveillance and strike. Most resent drones do not yet have the supersonic power of conventional war crafts but not for long. Unmanned crafts can allow even higher speed and altitude than regular war jets.

The American navy are said to be in the process of introducing android unmanned aircraft that are not only capable of landing on carriers could be used as spy planes, bombers with higher capacity of weaponry and individual decision such as engagement with the enemy.

War robots versus mankind

The title war robots versus mankind closer than you think should now resonate in our subconscious, let us look at the facts to prosecute a war there must be a progenitor the super computers we greatly rely on that has the immense analytical functioning fits the I,robots super computer. To stat a war there should be a reason, saving mankind from its self is a good enough one. To prosecute a war against humans there should be an army, the millions of interconnected computers, machinery that rely on processed instructions. How about weaponry, the robots have an array of spy planes and cannon and bomb carriers that are now given the option of individual judgment.

With the incredible pace of technology and science pushing the boundaries between fiction and reality war between mankind and slave robots is closer than we think.

An unmanned warplane

unmanned warplanes
unmanned warplanes | Source


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