I'm doing a poor job catching up with my New Yorkers as I'm now 5 months behind. The good news is that you've probably already forgotten about this article.

In the 2/23/09 issue, there's an article about weaponizing robots that focuses on one of the best gun-makers and his efforts to sell his inventions. The robots he has built, the ones with the guns, can only fire their weapons when the operator presses a button.* Quoth:

"Automating firing, that's taboo," [Adam Gettings of Robotex] said. But, with a little programming, "you could definitely do targeting and tracking. You could have it identify targets, A, B, and C, put squares around them. Then just hit a button and decide which person to take out."

Immediately, I thought of the Madden football games. In Madden, after the play starts, each player is assigned to one of the buttons on the controller. When you're ready to pass, you press that button and the quarterback throws the ball.

Madden Routes

The problem is that I often press the wrong button. Not a big deal when you're playing a video game, but it becomes a bit more of an issue when you're choosing whom to shoot. Here's hoping they have someone controlling this device who's better at video games than me. I suggest they look to Madden Nation for recruits.

* I'm glad people in our government are fearful of autonomous weaponized robots. No one wants another Skynet.