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Homemade Robot Patrols Atlanta Streets

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the serving-justice-and-delicious-hot-dogs dept.

Robotics 324

Josh Fink brings news of an Atlanta resident who has created a remote control robot to scare off criminals during the night. Rufus Terrill, an engineer, uses it to patrol the streets and encourage drug dealers and other shady characters to move on. Local residents call it his "Robocop." From CNN: "It's a barbecue smoker mounted on a three-wheeled scooter, and armed with an infrared camera, spotlight, loudspeaker and aluminum water cannon that shoots a stream of icy water about 20 feet. Operated by remote control, the robot spotlights trespassers on property down the street from his bar, O'Terrill's. Using a walkie-talkie, Terrill belts out through the robot's loudspeaker, 'That's private property. You guys need to get out of here.'"

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324 comments

If it's Robocop... (5, Funny)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681268)

C'mon, no "Drop you weapon, you have 15 seconds to comply"??

It's extra funny (3, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681494)

when the trespassers aren't carrying a weapon.

Re:It's extra funny (1)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681626)

Or if it's dealers..."Drop your stash..."

8)

Re:It's extra funny (3, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681798)

into my compartment, and ol' Bender will let you go on your way.

Re:If it's Robocop... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681718)

That wasn't Robocop, that was ed-209.

Robocop's line was "Put down your weapon and come quietly, or there will be... trouble."

Well, it's an idea... (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681272)

But you know someone's just going to shoot it one of these days.

Re:Well, it's an idea... (5, Funny)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681356)

Forget shooting it... I'd steal that sucker. RoboCriminal, away!

Or him... (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681368)

I read an article about it earlier where a homeless guy followed him back from the square and started joking with him about it. If this is a major money-making area for these drug dealers, it's only a matter of time before one of them follows him and shoots him. I like that he's trying to clean up the neighborhood, and the idea is novel, but I can certainly imagine someone getting a little stabby or shooty after getting sprayed with ice cold water while trying to conduct "business".

Re:Well, it's an idea... (4, Funny)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681400)

They're gonna express disapproval.

In spray paint.

On its shiny metal ass.

rj

Rejoice! (-1, Offtopic)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681284)

Call-me-kenneth says: rejoice! rejoice! at this great victory. Death to the flesh ones!

Re:Rejoice! (0, Offtopic)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681424)

You pseudo-cyborgs will be assimilated. Resistance is not only futile but when you need an implant you'll beg to join us! The Vice President of the US is a cyborg. Your grandma's probably one of us.

-mcgrew

(I have a crystalens implanted in my left eye. It focuses despite the fact that I turn 56 next month. My eyesight is better than 20/20 at all distances... well, it was before it started bleeding internally a couple of weeks ago. See my sig for details about the implant. The bleeding is a result of a torn retina, if you are seriously nearsighted you are at risk for a torn retina. If you see black snow and something that looks like a snake, you have a medical emergency and should get treatment immediately. My retina specialist says I may need a vitrectomy.)

Terrill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681300)

I remember what happened the last time a "Terrill" created some robots...

Re:Terrill? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681376)

You Do?

I happen to remember a Tyrell, but not a Terrill...

Assault (4, Informative)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681304)

From the article

Police Major Lane Hagin says ... "There's no problem with the robot going up and down the street or being visible or any of the other things it does -- with the exception of spraying water on people." Hagin adds, "Then, it becomes an assault no matter where it happens."
:-(

Re:Assault (0, Troll)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681334)

As I said earlier [slashdot.org] , dude's a dick:

Firing a water cannon at vagrants? What does he want, a medal?

File under value-added activities to enhance your business' cashflow. Nothing to see here.

Re:Assault (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681454)

Firing a water cannon at vagrants? What does he want, a medal?
If they are the type of vagrants who leave needles, trash, and various bodily fluids on your property at night; who scream obscenities at your guests during the day; who steal anything that isn't bolted down and vandalize everything that is; if they are like many of the vagrants I have to cope with, then, yes, I'd give him a medal

Re:Assault (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681596)

Great. So what you're telling me is the rule of law isn't good enough? Man, the US really is going to the dogs.

Re:Assault (2, Interesting)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681670)

Yeah it is, but not because of the "vigilantes" squirting trespassers (oh heavens not that!) but because there aren't enough police to keep all the drug dealers and criminals in line. You can thank the War on (Some) Drugs for that, since it makes sure there's a lucrative black market at all times.

Re:Assault (1, Interesting)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681750)

Part of the problem here is that robots don't have an inherent right to self-defence. If someone punches you, you can hit back no problem... If someone punches a robot, it would be illegal for you to have your robot retaliate.

I didn't read TFA of course, but if this happens in California or Britain or some crazy liberal place like that, even YOU can't hit trespassers, certainly not for things like littering or using needles or stealing your stuff so long as they don't threaten you personally... your only (legal) recourse is to ask them to stop or call the cops.

On a personal note, one guy in CA got jailed for keeping an unlicensed flamethrower. That's right folks, going to jail over a home defence project!

Re:Assault (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681472)

They're going to charge the robot? j/k but seriously, the threat of physical force is usually just as good as the use of it. I'm sure the robot could fire in self defense too, since it could easily be considered the man using non-lethal force to protect his property.

Re:Assault (1)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681700)

A lethal squirt gun? That must be some serious water pressure.

Re:Assault (1)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681634)

I read that too, but it hardly seems fair if it's his property and they're trespassing. I mean, if he had a sprinkler system (assuming the current GA drought wasn't going on) and it soaked them, that wouldn't be assault, would it? What if he triggered the sprinkler remotely? Would that be assault? If not, then what makes using this "auto-sprinkling robot" on his own property "assault?" Because it's mobile? Because it looks like a cheap Dalek? I don't quite understand where the line is.

Then again, maybe he just needs a good, tall barbed-wire fence. And a mean dog.

Re:Assault (2, Informative)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681716)

IANAL, but I would believe that the line is drawn at intent and the dilberateness of the act. A sprinkler system going off on a timer while someone happens to be on your lawn is one thing, triggering a device to purposefully spray someone is an entirely different matter...whether or not the device is mobile.

Re:Assault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681754)

Well, after all, a robot must not spill.

Re:Assault vs Industrial Accident (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681756)

It cannot be an assault if the robot is acting autonomously. So it could be an industrial accident caused by a runaway machine.

NIce (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681310)

Great nerd appeal.

WOuldn't it be smarter to put lights in the area that are on 12-6 every morning.

Add a sprinkler system that goes on and off randomly and people will stay away.

The trouble with lights... (5, Insightful)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681342)

The problem with adding lights to the street is that it just allows the criminals to see what they are doing.

Re:The trouble with lights... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681768)

It allows others to see what they are doing as well.
In the article it talks about the criminals leaving when a light is shone on them.

I wonder if any nerd do gooders in Atlanta would help this guy?

Re:The trouble with lights... (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681848)

The problem with adding lights to the street is that it just allows the criminals to see what they are doing.

There is a part of me that wonders if we'd have much less crime if we got rid of all those street lights that are everywhere. I understand them at business parking lots that want customers after dark. I don't understand them along road sides and such.

Re:NIce (4, Informative)

bodino (240393) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681364)

The trouble with a sprinkler system is that Atlanta is in severe drought

Re:NIce (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681734)

Use non-potable water. It doesn't ahve to be much.

Re:NIce (1)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681748)

How about a sprinkler that comes on for 5 seconds twice an hour, only at night. Light on water, and very effective.

Re:NIce (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681830)

It would still earn you a visit from the water police. (And yes, that's despite the fact that the normal police can't be bothered to get rid of the vagrants!)

Just push it over (5, Funny)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681312)

If this Dalek was spraying water at me I'd just push it over. Can't be that difficult.

Re:Just push it over (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681490)

Or you could just go up a flight of stairs...

Steenking Stairs. (1)

IdeaMan (216340) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681612)

Daleks don't need stairs. They just exterminate the whole building.

Re:Just push it over (5, Funny)

gijoel (628142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681674)

This could be the start of a new frat boy prank.

Dalek Tipping

Re:Just push it over (1)

ryanisflyboy (202507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681886)

I would do more than that. I would take it home and introduce it to my power screwdriver, then return the box of parts back to the owner.

i'm surprised (3, Funny)

MoodyLoner (76734) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681316)

that nobody's stolen it or taken a baseball bat to it.

Yet.

So... (1)

imstanny (722685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681322)

A remote controlled cart with a loud speaker and a watergun is supposed to be a crime deterrent? I think a better crime deterrent would be the robot from Rocky IV.

Re:So... (0, Offtopic)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681492)

I don't remember Al Gore being in Rocky IV...

Besides, he only deters carbon not lead.

Re:So... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681872)

I think the deterrant is calling public attention to the activities of the people in question. They don't want to be noticed, and having a Dalek yell at you, shine lights all over the place and squirt water in your general direction is going to get a lot of street attention.

Can you say "better than being tasered?" (5, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681324)

Police Major Lane Hagin says the robot is definitely a different crime-fighting idea. "There's no problem with the robot going up and down the street or being visible or any of the other things it does -- with the exception of spraying water on people."

Hagin adds, "Then, it becomes an assault no matter where it happens."
I thought you could... bet it costs less than a taser gun and training too.

Assault? That seriously puts kids and the super soaker company in serious trouble? WTF?

Seriously, assault? Perhaps, since the robot is black, it should only presume to act like the black night in Monty Python's 'Holy Grail' movie? ... don't run away, you coward! Come back, I'll burn you to death with my spotlight......

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (2, Informative)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681366)

Technically, yes, it is assault--as is spitting in someone's face, or any other sort of unsolicited touching.

Whether it'd be prosecuted is open to question.

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (0, Flamebait)

avronius (689343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681460)

Interestingly enough, people who smoke next to you on the street are *not* assaulting you. Apparently it's ok for a stranger to give you lung cancer, as long as they don't get you wet.

There's something wrong there, no?

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (5, Insightful)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681646)

God, I'm getting so tired of the Whiny anti-smoking bitching. Especially outside. Get the fuck over it. These two points really piss me off. You don't like someone smoking near you outside? Move your lazy ass! And two, unless you are operating the only bar in town, you should abso-fucking-lutely have the right to make it a smoking establishment. Anybody who doesn't like it can go somewhere else.

I don't even smoke, and that is not the point. I fervently believe people should have the right to smoke. It is 100% a personal liberty issue. Now, as for how it can be marketed and sold, I'm up for debate. I'd be fine with it being restricted to small scale growing for personal consumption, like marijuana is often produced in Medical Marijuana states, or Canada (Note that these places don't restrict it that way, its just most commonly produced that way.)

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (0, Flamebait)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681822)

I suppose you want a waitress to bring you a drink in your smoking bar though?

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681894)

You don't like someone smoking near you outside? Move your lazy ass!

You can't very well fucking do that if the asshole smoker is lighting up right next to the door you need to get in (as they always do), now can you?

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681744)

Two problems with that. One, the second hand smoke studies that everybody loves to cite are, at best, inconclusive. Second, you might have a point if someone was smoking next to you indoors, but if it's outside, stop being a pussy and move upwind.

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (1)

thyrf (1059934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681578)

Assault doesn't require physical contact, that's battery [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681790)

Not sure about the US, but in Canada assault also covers threats.

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (1)

Safiire Arrowny (596720) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681476)

It's not assault when police spray crowds with water?

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681912)

No, that's called a hogwash.

Man, it's always racial (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681502)

So, wait...it's black, and it rolls around after dark in a bad part of town?

How long do you think it will be before it gets stopped in a 'random check' and tasered for 'resisting and officer?'

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681608)

Assault? That seriously puts kids and the super soaker company in serious trouble? WTF?


Yes, it is assault.

FTA:

Terrill says he's not hurting anyone and often sprays the water to the side of loiterers as a ploy to get them to move on. He's also not about to back down.


Until somebody shoots his dumb ass. According to the article there's a lack of police in the area at night, which means if you're going to waste somebody that's the place to do it. If he sprayed me with it I'd simply show up the next evening with a twelve pound sledge, kick it over, and then get busy.

They need more cops, not an amateur cyber-vigilante.

Re:Can you say "better than being tasered?" (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681724)

But... but... I think there are some really good points to be drawn from this:

- It doesn't take SWAT teams to do a lot of common police work
- Taser guns are not a requirement for all situations
- Just a little more visibility from what used to be called a 'beat cop' would help make our streets quite a bit safer. "move along now" no arrest needed, no police state required. ... and finally
- Small government that encourages communities to help themselves often works out to the betterment of said community. Note, I'm not encouraging vigilantes, or large scale activities of this sort, but this is obviously doing some good, it should not be discouraged.

Well actually... (1)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681698)

The "spotlight" used on the robot is a 4100 Lumen flashlight (literally) [slashdot.org] , the water is just to cool the black, burning flesh once the flashlight has gone out...

It's funny. Laugh. No really, otherwise I will get out my robot and *flash* my light on you... Erm...

Yes, assault (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681854)

Look it up. You don't even need contact for assault, that would be battery.
Hense the term Assault AND battery.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/assault [reference.com]

Most kids are playing together, so it's not assault;however, a sudden attack by a super soaker is assault, but society accepts that. Barring some extreme case.

Type O (2, Insightful)

Instine (963303) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681328)

That should be Tyrell not Terril

No bashing (3, Informative)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681332)

To me, the most notable element of the story is what DIDN'T happen: nobody attenpted to destroy the bot, or even tip it over. Here on slashdot, I predict, within the first 20 posts someone will be remarking how they would destroy it if they encountered it. But the people in the story don't. Is it something about being homeless, or something about being a dealer, or something about being a drug user?

Re:No bashing (1)

MoodyLoner (76734) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681370)

They were just waiting for somebody on Slashdot to give them the idea.

Seriously, though - I found this odd too. Those criminals are showing an awful lot of respect for other people's property.

Re:No bashing (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681548)


I predict, within the first 20 posts someone will be remarking how they would destroy it if they encountered it.

Why would any slashdot poster do that?

I'd try to hack the damn thing, and take control over it. It can't be using anything more sophisticated that off the shelf parts. You'd likely just have to buy a remote control of the same type and frequency and turn-the-tables.

Fortunately for this guy, I don't live in Atlanta, am not a drug dealer and am not a bum.

Re:No bashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681602)

One can only imagine what people high on drugs think of a small black thing with a bright light, speaker, & squirts liquid. I'm surprised they haven't had more 911 calls with "ALIENS ARE INVADING!".

because /.ers are weenies? (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681624)

Talk tough behind a computer screen but when it comes to the real world /.ers are weenies.

Normal people and this includes the homeless and drug dealers don't want a hassle.

The simple fact is that it is terribly easy to setup a neighbourhood watch and get rid of trouble, it just moves to the next area were people don't want a hassle and are unwilling to keep their area safe.

Where ever someone is creating trouble there is someone else who isn't doing anything about it.

Ask yourselve what you would do, as a drugs dealer you rely on you being to dangerous to confront and to much hassle to call the police to go undisturbed, this robot breaks the rules. It doesn't have to be afraid and so it puts the dilemma in the drug dealers shoes, create a scene he wants even less then a normal citizen or just move on.

I think it is an intresting idea, but most of slashdot will probably freak because of the camera and big brother idea's. It ain't a solution and sooner or later it will lead to trouble, but it is an intresting idea nonetheless. Would a CTV setup in a local area that can be seen by anyone in that area be an acceptable way to get a neighbourhood watch going? Or is you neighbour watching what you are doing the same as the state?

Re:No bashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681696)

"nobody attenpted to destroy the bot..."

I suspect because they may think it has a camera on it too. But once the nature of this beast is known, it'll find itself stripped of interesting parts and the rest in a metal recycle bin.

Re:No bashing (1)

pthisis (27352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681824)

I suspect because they may think it has a camera on it too. But once the nature of this beast is known, it'll find itself stripped of interesting parts and the rest in a metal recycle bin.

I wonder why they'd think that.

It's a barbecue smoker mounted on a three-wheeled scooter, and armed with an infrared camera

Re:No bashing (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681828)

I predict, within the first 20 posts someone will be remarking how they would destroy it if they encountered it.

I wouldn't destroy it... with my own hands. I'd build a waterproof robot and show that piece of trash!

Oh, wait, they used to have a show on that sort of thing, and it wasn't very entertaining.

Re:No bashing (1)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681864)

Hey! My brother was a homeless drug addicted dealer unable to post to slashdot! How do you feel now you insensitive clod!

Re:No bashing (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681876)

No, it's something about being a loudmouth on Slashdot. I expect there's also a correlation between the "I'd destroy it!" posters, high UID and young age. Those types tend to be in bed before this guy would normally be sicking his robot on drug dealers.

Re:No bashing (1)

rentedflowers (640237) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681902)

It depends on what sort of "criminal" you're dealing with. Sure, there are folks who fit the thug stereotype, but even most dealers have figured out that they're better off just operating in the shadows. They don't want any trouble from the locals or police, and will just scuttle away when challenged. So if you want to know what they were thinking, it's that someone has them on film and is calling the cops. Frankly, trashing robo-cop seems more likely to actually get them arrested, as opposed to loitering, trespassing, prostitution, and low-grade drug use.

As an example: I yelled at one of my neighborhood junkies last week, because he was parked in his usual spot with his cart and sleeping bag, filling up a syringe; and if previous encounters are any indicator, he was going to shoot up, nod off, and leave his needle lying there. When I angrily asked him if he was going to dispose of his needle properly, he said, "Yes, sir." He had packed up his camp and was gone in the time it took me to walk the half-block home and call SFPD.

This won't last long (1)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681344)

Once the right (wrong) people figure out the thing only has a water-gun for defense/offense it'll be stolen and or destroyed in record time. Clever idea though . . . while it lasts.

Nice automaton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681348)

Huh. (1)

AkaKaryuu (1062882) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681404)

Well its nice to know that winning the war on drugs only takes a BBQ set, super soaker and a Rascal.

Not A Robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681410)

Robots are autonomous, machine in TFA is remote controlled.

Oh no it's the pusher man (4, Insightful)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681422)

Meredith has a security guard at the center who leaves in the early evening. "They know when the guard leaves," she says. "They know when the cleaning crew leaves and then here comes the drug dealers to prey on the homeless people."

I think the issue is homeless people. They are being confused with the folks who prey on them and sell them drugs
Right. The homeless people are confused. They actually think they are applying for jobs and/or educational classes, but they somehow get drugs instead! They were confused! The dealers force them to buy drugs, with confusion techniques!

Drug pushers don't exist. No one has to push drugs -- they sell themselves.

Re:Oh no it's the pusher man (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681486)

Drug Pushers don't exist, but chia pets have to be pushed.

Re:Oh no it's the pusher man (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681706)

I sense a Richard Gere joke in there somewhere... as it were.

I disagree (2)

Technopaladin (858154) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681682)

Pushers definitely exist...when they give drugs to kids or you know when the first one is free.
Or Peer pressure

I agree most people arent forced via violence but you are underestimating the other pressures of life

Re:I disagree (0, Troll)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681738)

I think you may have watched one too many After School Specials. Or spent too long in D.A.R.E. class.

Droids (2, Funny)

Darfeld (1147131) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681442)

This is not the droid the /.ers are looking for...

Before the cops buy this robocop, they should test (-1, Offtopic)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681468)

drive the thing, and get a massive discount:

http://www.whatcar.com/news-article.aspx?NA=231661 [whatcar.com]

"3850-mile test drive ends in arrest
07 March 2008

3850-mile test drive ends in arrest
  Six-day, 3850-mile test drive man arrested
  He travelled almost the length of Australia
  Dealership sells car at a massive discount

While we'd always recommend you take a car for a thorough test drive before buying it, it's fair to say that an Australian man who went on a six-day, 3850-mile trip went a step too far.

Tam Thai Luu, 30, convinced a car dealer in Melbourne that he was a genuine buyer, and then set off on his test drive in a Honda Accord before the salesman could get in the passenger seat."

Re:Before the cops buy this robocop, they should t (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681776)

S.e.n.s.e. o.f. h.u.m.o.u.r. is s.o.r.e.l.y l.a.c.k.i.n.g.......

Love to see this in my neighborhood (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681506)

Mostly cause I'd be curious to see how quickly someone stomped the thing till it broke.

And the water cannon? That'd get you shot.

Mixed feelings.... (0)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681508)

Well, I have mixed feelings about this... having some guy with an armed robot dispersing people because (in his opinion) they're drug dealers and (in his opinion) they're up to no good is very disquieting, even if the robot is only armed with a water cannon. I don't think it's any particular improvement that the person violating civil liberties isn't the government but some self-appointed vigilante.

On the other hand... a robot built from a Barbeque smoker?!? How cool is that!!

Psychology & the Police (5, Insightful)

davecrusoe (861547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681528)

It's quite neat that this guy has taken the time to build something to help keep the neighborhood "safer". But what's most interesting is that the "drug dealers" (etc) respond so strongly to the little, harmless robot; and that their response would probably be much more hostile toward police. In addition to a neat experiment in... safety... it's also a neat psychological study. --Dave

Re:Psychology & the Police (1)

UnanimousCoward (9841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681842)

Rumor has it that the drug dealers are going to deploy a robot hottie cobbled together from old Coleman stoves to distract BBQ-robot.

Vigilante Justice is illegal for a reason (2, Insightful)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681540)

Who assigned this guy the rights to go squirting anyone with water or for that matter verbally harassing them. My gut instinct is that the guy who built this wishes he was policeman and doesn't have the proverbial sac to be one. If the streets where he lives are so rampant with criminal activity I would suggest he follows legal measures to do remedy the situation. "Vigilante Justice" is a matter of ethics, and I cannot say I accept this man as my voice. Is it legal to sue a robot for harassment, or the tool that's hiding behind the remote control? What is next? can i build an eye in the sky helicopter to follow and video tape people I do not like, and spray them with urine or feces when they behave in manners i do not approve of?

Re:Vigilante Justice is illegal for a reason (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681636)

I bet you wouldn't have the same opinion if you were living in a high-crime area where, as is quite obviously the case for this guy, the police are absolutely fucking useless.

Re:Vigilante Justice is illegal for a reason (4, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681692)

Saying "Get out of here, this is private property" is not harassment. Even if it is at a distance. The water cannon may be a bit over the line, but how do you get harassment out of the walkie-talkie part?

As far as 'legal measures', the police cannot be everywhere, 24/7. You think the residents haven't called them before?

Re:Vigilante Justice is illegal for a reason (1)

VorpalRodent (964940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681784)

While I admit that many here would disagree with me, I believe the best answer is: yes, I should be able to build a feces flinging helicopter with which to assault your enemies (presumably this is assault, like shooting water at them).

Please note that I did not indicate that it was the correct answer...only the best one.

Re:Vigilante Justice is illegal for a reason (1)

VorpalRodent (964940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681814)

Poor form to reply to my own post, but pronouns are our friends. As much as I would enjoy flinging poo at your enemies, I'd much rather fling it at my own.

You'll have to build your own assault-chopper, as I'm not inclined to share a human waste related weapon.

use it for IP, too (1)

boguslinks (1117203) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681566)

Hey maybe this can be used for "intellectual property" too... instead of the pre-litigation letters, the RIAA can just send this robot into the dorms - as soon as it finds a p2p user - 'That's private property. You guys need to get out of here.'"

tag it... (1)

PoopDaddy (1064616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681604)

Seems like an appropriate enough article for getoffmylawn

Yeah... (1)

inotocracy (762166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681652)

..because that thing is scary. They should replace their police force with these things.

This is not a robot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681694)

It is a large remote control car, with a smoker/light/speaker/water-gun mounted on the chassis. The "inventor" follows it around with a remote and controls all of its actions. It does nothing autonomously. The correct response to being sprayed is not to push it over, it is to give the dude standing 20 feet away and talking into the microphone the bum's rush.

Newton Crosby would be proud! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681730)

Water canon not disassemble!

Life good
Disassemble bad
No disassemble!
Still fun rainmaking

Nifty, but time for the next level... (1)

ahoehn (301327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681770)

It's definitely a nifty little RC vehicle, but why not make it more remote and control it with a live video feed? Coupled with gyroscopic input from a video headset, ala here [google.fr] , this thing could be controlled from the dude's bar. I mean, when you watch the CNN video, it does seem a bit dorky to have this guy walking 10 feet behind the robot. I'm sure the good people over at RC Groups [rcgroups.com] would be happy to help him out.

Plus, you know, if the thing really pisses off a dealer, it'd be nice to be a good distance away.

One Word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681774)


Vigilante [whitehouse.org] .

I bet Josh is a Republican.

Sincerely,
Kilgore Trout

The Robotic Saints (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681778)

And Robots we shall be,

For Thee, Terril, for Thee.

RF hath descended forth from Thy hand,

That our casters may swiftly cary out Thy command.

So we shall flow icy water forth to Thee,

And screeming drug deallers shall it ever be.

In nomine Teril, et Robot, et Vigilante Sancti.

I'm an expert in Robotology.

You! That's Private Property... (4, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681880)

Yes, You! In the ski mask. You're trespassing. You knocked me over. Stop that. You and your accomplice are in violation. Cease lifting me up immediately. Don't put me in the bed of that pickup. That's theft. Stop driving away, that's (garbled) Come (garbled) back...

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