Sci-Tech

Leading robot firms promise not to weaponise technology

Leading robot manufacturing companies have promised not to allow their robots to be used as weapons and have encouraged other companies to follow.

In an open letter, six leading firms pledged that they would not weaponise technology and explicitly opposed others who are doing so.

The companies that signed the letter included Boston Dynamics, Agility Robotics, ANYbotics, Clearpath Robotics, Open Robotics, and Unitree Robotics.

The letter said that weaponising robots that are widely available to the public and are remotely or autonomously operated “raises new risks of harm and serious ethical issues”.

The letter suggested a need for new policies to prevent the misuse of robots, reported Axios.

“We also call on every organization, developer, researcher and user in the robotics community to make similar pledges not to build, authorize, support, or enable the attachment of weaponry to such robots,” the letter read.

The letter clarified that the signees did not have any issue with “existing technologies” but wanted to “prevent possible weaponisation”.

“The benefits for humanity of these technologies strongly outweigh the risk of misuse,” the letter read.

They added that they were excited to work “side by side” with robots to deal with the challenges the world faces.

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