Boston Dynamics and other robot makers pledge not to weaponize their creations

Boston Dynamics and other manufacturers have signed a pledge not to weaponize their robots , even though they may still be part of law enforcement.

Boston Dynamics and five other robot companies have pledged not to weaponize their most advanced creations. 

The company that created the quadruped Spot and other important names in this field have signed an agreement to prevent this technology from being used for nefarious purposes in the near future, despite the fact that it is increasingly proliferating in the industry.

In an open letter  to the entire robotics industry, these tech firms said that “adding weapons to robots that are remotely or autonomously operated poses new risks of harm and serious ethical issues . “

“We pledge not to weaponize our general-purpose advanced mobility robots or the software we develop that enable advanced robotics and we will not support others to do so ,” said Boston Dynamics, Agility Robotics, ANYbotics, Clearpath Robotics, Open Robotics and Unitree Robotics .

Robots are on their way to joining law enforcement

This letter signed by some of the world’s leading robot manufacturers comes at a critical time for the development of this technology. A large sector of the population fears that the integration of these specimens into the militia and law enforcement around the world will take place quickly, causing these machines to be seen on the streets patrolling alongside police or military personnel .

Despite this, the published letter does not rule out that robots can be used by these organizations. “To be clear, we are not opposed to existing technologies that nations and their government agencies use to defend themselves and maintain their laws,” the companies mentioned, leaving open the possibility for their creations to be used for surveillance or reconnaissance with the Police or the Army .

Spot, Boston Dynamics and robots at the service of order

It is important to note that Boston Dynamics , owned by Hyundai , has drawn much of the attention of concerned citizens since it is the manufacturer of Spot , the quadruped robot that has been tested by various police departments in the United States and by the army. from France. However, in both cases, the so-called “robot dog” did not become a weapon and was more an instrument for reconnaissance tasks since they were operated remotely by humans.

Furthermore couple, the fact that Boston Dynamics started its development almost exclusively with US military funding is also relevant. The US military thought it could use the company’s larger experimental robots as pack mules to transport equipment for infantry troops, but scrapped their development because they were too noisy and the manufacturer turned to commercial sales.

While Boston Dynamics and the other signatories to the letter may have halted a path to robotic weapons manufacturing, it is not certain that this will prevent the wider adoption of this technology in the near future by other companies.