Robot Wars – USA

Dispute rages over ethics of killer machines

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It is estimated that the work of one in fifty US soldiers is now being done by a robot. As the use of technology in war grows, this report goes in search of the truth about the military’s newest recruits.

The iRobot Development Laboratory in Boston, Massachusetts, may look like a scene from a science fiction film but this „hall of cool stuff“ serves a very real purpose. The US army are increasingly using robots to disarm roadside bombs and fly unmanned aircraft in the Middle East. Now they are even creating armed robotic soldiers that can withstand repeated attacks. But whilst the young generation of US soldiers „know it will save their lives“, these developments raise some serious ethical questions about the ability of technology to make human judgements in delicate situations. Are the lines between fantasy and reality becoming dangerously blurred?

A Film By SBS
Distributed By Journeyman Pictures
May 2011

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