Major robotics companies pledge not to add weapons to their technology to avoid the risk of harm | robots

Many robotics companies have pledged not to support the armament of their general purposes robots She encouraged other companies to follow suit.

In an open letter, six leading robotics companies pledged not to add weapons to their general use technology and said they would oppose others doing so.

“We believe that adding weapons to remotely or autonomously operated robots, widely available to the public and able to navigate to previously inaccessible locations where people live and work, raises new risks of harm and serious ethical issues,” the letter read. open, First mentioned by Axios.

“We also call on every organization, developer, researcher, and user in the robotics community to make similar pledges not to build, license, support or enable the association of weapons with such robots.”

The letter is signed by Boston Dynamics, Agility Robotics, ANYbotics, Clearpath Robotics, Open Robotics, and Unitree Robotics.

The co-signers also pledged to review applications to purchase their bots to prevent potential weaponization and to investigate technological features that could be weaponized in the future.

“To be clear, we are not dealing with current technologies that states and their government agencies use to defend themselves and uphold their laws,” the letter read.

“The benefits to humanity of these technologies greatly outweigh the risks of abuse.” Photograph: Angrett Hills/Reuters

In a statement to Axios, Boston Dynamics said it was concerned about attempts to weaponize commercially available robots, adding that such developments could further erode public confidence in the technology.

“For this technology to be widely accepted across society, the public needs to know they can trust it,” the statement said. “And that means we need a policy that prevents bad actors from misusing it.”

Emergency departments have used Boston Dynamics’ “Spot robot” – a dog-like machine – to survey situations, NPR . reported. The company said the robot was not designed for surveillance or as a substitute for police officers.

The six robotics companies said in their open letter that they are “convinced that the benefits to humanity from these technologies greatly outweigh the risks of abuse, and we are excited about a bright future in which humans and robots work hand in hand to tackle some of the world’s challenges.”

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