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Killerrobots: South Korea wants to deploy robot sentries on its border

South Korea is planning to use robot sentries in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea in the near future to save money and improve border control. The SGR-A1 developed by Samsung Techwin makes use of infra-red cameras, alongside a combination of heat and motion sensors. Besides its purpose to detect intruders it makes you think twice about crossing the borders of South Korea illegally.1
The robot sentry has already been tested at the demilitarized zone along the border of North Korea and will carry a fair amount of weapons. This 200.000 US-Dollar robot tracks multiple targets at the same time and can “identify and shoot a target automatically from over two miles (3.2 km) away”, according to the company.2
The whole idea of the Samsung SGR-A1 is to let this military robot sentry do the work of its human counterparts at the demilitarized zone between the South and North Korea border, so that there will be a minimal loss of life on the South Korean side just in case the conflict escalates. The robot also guaranties the perfect sentry mission as it will not become tired, ill or lose concentratation. Even in cases of bad weather the robot will not fail in its mission.1
However, the robot sentry does not distinguish between friend or foe – anyone who crosses the line is considered a potential enemy.3 Despite assertions that the robot remains under the control of a human operator from a remote location, an automatic modus exists which enables the robot to decide and open fire on its own.1

  1. Deutsche Mittelstandsnachrichten, Roboter: Südkorea entwickelt ersten Terminator, 02.10.2014 [] [] []
  2. Defense Review, Samsung SGR-A1 Armed/Weaponized Robot Sentry (or ‘Sentry Robot’) Remote Weapons Station (RWS) Finally Ready for Prime Time? 17.09.2014 []
  3. Ubergizmo, Samsung SGR-A1 Robot Sentry Is One Cold Machine, 14.09.2014 []