They may not be as cuddly as RI-MAN
or as human-like as EveR-1
, but Reuters is reporting that soldiers in Iraq have nonetheless formed strong bonds with their battlefield bots, giving them names and grieving when they meet an unfortunate end. When one bomb defusing PackBot
named "Scooby Doo" was blown up after 35 successful missions, the bot's operator asked of iRobot, "Please fix Scooby Doo, because he saved my life."Of course, humans forming meaningful emotional attachments to their robot companions and servants is by no means unusual; studies have shown robo-pets to be as therapeutic as the real thing
, and bots like Paro the seal have been helping patients in nursing facilities for years now (and are even crossing over to starring in movies
). Still, if there's one kind of robot we'd want to stay away from as the robot-revolution looms near, it's that kind designed for military use. Ruh roh, Raggy.