Navy successfully tests laser-equipped robot, freaks us out in the process

Joseph L. Flatley
J. Flatley|06.01.10

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Navy successfully tests laser-equipped robot, freaks us out in the process
We do not like where this is heading, not one bit. The Navy has been testing laser-armed robotic gun turrets for a while, and now the Register (UK) is reporting that the technology has finally been used to knock a drone out of the sky, "in an over-the-water, combat representative scenario" at San Nicolas Island. Raytheon's Phalanx CIWS, generally outfitted with a 20mm Gatling gun, is a ship's last line of defense against incoming missiles. If they can be outfitted with lasers, there will be two distinct advantages: first, they wouldn't have to be reloaded; and second, when used on land, the surrounding area won't be littered with quite so much debris (shrapnel and unexploded rounds). Then again, we can think of one distinct disadvantage: there will be robots running around with laser cannons!
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