Thursday, October 18, 2007

Robot Cannon Kills 9, Wounds 14 (Update with video)

No, that headline is not sci-fi, or misleading.
We're not used to thinking of them this way. But many advanced military weapons are essentially robotic -- picking targets out automatically, slewing into position, and waiting only for a human to pull the trigger. Most of the time. Once in a while, though, these machines start firing mysteriously on their own. The South African National Defence Force "is probing whether a software glitch led to an antiaircraft cannon malfunction that killed nine soldiers and seriously injured 14 others during a shooting exercise on Friday."

Essentially, they were using live ammo for a training exercise, and the cannon didn't fire when it should have. Shortly thereafter, it began firing uncontrollably.

I really wonder how far mankind will go before deciding there should be limits to everything?

Update: Here's a video of a similar incident a few years back:

Warning: Turn your sound down, the first second or so is obnoxiously loud

Noah Shachtman has some interesting commentary about the video over at Wired.

1 comment:

  1. Skynet11:55

    500 rounds, 9 killed and 14 wounded?! That robot will never take over the world.


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