Life imitates art: in order to escape the detection of a cutting-edge military robots, US marines allegedly used a cardboard box as cover. Despite being a powerful, AI-equipped deadly machine, the robot was bested by a technique most-known for its comedic inclusion in Japanese stealth-action video game Metal Gear Solid.
Robotic military tools have been rapidly expanding in adoption. As the US military brings robots into common sense training, Russian military forces are already shoving rocket launchers onto robot dogs. Furthermore, the US is partnering with Ghost Robotics to develop rifle-equipped robots for the battlefield.
However, it looks like DARPA-tested military robots are easily fooled by cartoonish antics. In his new book our Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, Pentagon policy analyst Paul Scharre detailed marines using cardboard boxes to escape robotic detection.
Via GamesRadar, two US soldiers were tasked with reaching the robot’s AI targeting system. In order to accomplish their objective, the two marines hid under a single cardboard box and shuffled towards the robot remaining undetected.
As the robot was only designed to visually detect foes, the soldiers’ were able to sneak by whilst uncontrollably laughing. After all, could you keep in your giggles while sneaking under a box? We thought not.
“You could hear them giggling the whole time. Like Bugs Bunny in a Looney Tune's cartoon, sneaking up on Elmer Fudd in a cardboard box," reads an excerpt in Scharre’s book. Has Solid Snake ever laughed whilst crawling in a box?
While the military continually searches for the weaknesses in its robotic tools, so are civilian hackers. With commercial robots dogs easily converted into remote weapons, hackers are creating remote deactivation devices to fight against the evolving technology.
On the other hand, commercial robots are the next big trend for tech companies. Electric car company Tesla has already invested heavily in its Tesla Bot humanoid robot, a device it claims will bring an “age of abundance” to humanity.
Will household robots take off in our generation? Or are we decades away from mass adoption?