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Robot To Serve Security Detail At FIFA World Cup In Brazil

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the you-have-20-seconds-to-comply dept.

Robotics 32

Hallie Siegel writes "PackBots will be deployed in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup Soccer season to bring a high-tech approach to security. The nation's government has secured a $7.2 million deal with PackBot's creators for 30 of the military bots. The robots will be stationed throughout Brazil's 12 host cities, during the soccer matches to boost security and help examine any suspicious objects."

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RoboCops (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46293083)

What could possibly go wrong...

Re:RoboCops (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 9 months ago | (#46293107)

What could possibly go wrong...

Exactly. I wonder how much of that $7.2M has been earmarked to pay off damages/compensation, should anything go wrong?

Re:RoboCops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46293259)

What could possibly go wrong...

Exactly. I wonder how much of that $7.2M has been earmarked to pay off damages/compensation, should anything go wrong?

They're bomb disarming robots. This is not new technology, they are not autonomous.

Re:RoboCops (4, Funny)

opusman (33143) | about 9 months ago | (#46293231)

Drop your weapons. You have 20 seconds to comply.

Re:RoboCops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46295465)

..and the football .. and the vuvuzela.. and the pastel.

Re:RoboCops (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 9 months ago | (#46293729)

What could possibly go wrong...

Quite a lot [imdb.com] from what I have seen

ED-209 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46293735)

I am disappoint. I was hoping for something that looked more like ED-209.

More cherry (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 9 months ago | (#46294293)

I was hoping for something a little more cherry [imdb.com] .

More cherry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46299191)

that DOES seem more Brazillian

Re:RoboCops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46294649)

It isn't autonomous. It is just another tool like the big can that is used by a bong disposal unit.

No robocop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46293087)

C'mon, with José Padilha now in charge of Robocop, why go for iRobot?

Obligatory... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46293097)

Number 5, is alive!

Re: Obligatory... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46294031)

Actually the obligatory comment should be "It's football, not soccer!"

Incorruptible (1)

aslashdotaccount (539214) | about 9 months ago | (#46293111)

Too bad these machines aren't real AI units capable of autonomous policing. That might actually reduce the potential for extortionist behaviour (not that I'm saying this will be the case...).

What is it for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46293141)

Ok, we know where it will be used:

PackBots will be deployed in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup Soccer season to bring a high-tech approach to security. The nationâ(TM)s government has secured a $7.2 million deal with PackBotâ(TM)s creators for 30 of the military bots. The robots will be stationed throughout Brazilâ(TM)s 12 host cities, during the soccer matches to boost security and help examine any suspicious objects.

We know where it has been used in the past:

The sleek PackBot robot system, designed by iRobot, a Bedford, Massachusetts-based company, made its debut in 2002 in Afghanistan, where it helped soldiers clear bunkers, caves, collapsed building and to cross minefields. The versatile machine was used again in 2003 in Iraq in urban warfare situations and to search vehicles. By 2007, more than 800 of these military robots were in use throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and several other countries. The PackBot was also the first remote controlled robot to enter the Fukushima nuclear facility after the East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

We are told how awesome it is:

PackBot is a unique robotic propulsion system that can reach a road speed of up to 9 miles/hour. The botâ(TM)s in-built flippers allow it 360 degrees of rotation, enabling it to negotiate rough terrain and even obstacles like logs, rocks, rubble and stairs. PackBot has the capability to climb up to 60 percent grades and survive submersion in water up to two meters depth.

Its robust body can survive a fall from a two meter height to a concrete surface, being flung through a window and falling downstairs. This bot weight less than 40lbs, and is easily carried in a back pack, ready to be deployed within minutes.

PackBotâ(TM)s other attributes include a state-of-the-art GPS, video image display, system monitoring, electronic compass, temperature sensors. The robot is manipulated with an integrated Pentium-based computer.

But what we are not told is how it will be used. The picture shows an 'eye' and a claw on tank treads. This is one FIFA I won't be attending. Is that their goal?

Someone made alot of money out of this. Somebody (FIFA) paid alot for it. But WTF is it even for?

PR deterrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46293287)

Because of the company involved and its history, they could be using this as a deterrent rather then an actual tool to catch any "suspicious activity".

I didn't read the linked article, but I know the BBC kept talking about the sanctioning body moving the event to another country, because Brazil is to big of a hot zone with the unrest going on and there are fears the unrest will disrupt the event, possible causing harm to the players, spectators, forcing a cancellation of the event.

Having said that, I do not see 7.2 million being for anything close to securing a damn thing. Pretty much seems to be more of a deterrent then an actual tool for preventing or stopping any uncivil rest, or worse.

Re: What is it for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46294495)

-1 reading comprehension.

It's for remote telepresence. Identify and possibly disarm the bomb without sending in a person. Get a visual on a situation without sending in a person. Draw fire without sending in a person. Measure radiation without sending in a person. It even tells you that it is remote controlled. Did you read the things you quoted?

Will they be team branded? (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | about 9 months ago | (#46293159)

Since these bots have been as widely used in combat zones, I'm wondering how many are in the black market, and of that population, how many are already in Brazil, and outside of the control of the local security forces that will be using the ones that are authorized. As a result I wonder if the ones that are being delivered to the security forces are going to be branded in some way to make it difficult for people possessing the black market variety devices (or since there are many pictures and videos of them in action, it's not like someone interested in doing so would have any problem manufacturing counterfeits) setting them up as bombs themselves, hiding them in plain sight within the crowds of spectators.

A couple of possibilities could be to brand the 30 with team colors of all but the Brazil and Spain teams, or team logos. Granted that would require approval of Fifa, but if it is their security teams, I would suspect tha tthey would approve.

Re:Will they be team branded? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#46293347)

why would you need to buy a friggin rc car on steroids from the black market? why not just call them up... they're just going to be possible bomb inspection bots anyhow and not roaming free in terminator mode..

Re:Will they be team branded? (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | about 9 months ago | (#46293527)

The reason to buy (if at all) one on the black market, is for the appearance of authenticity. As far as how one would be used would be to "stage" a bomb incident, with the bot "disarming" the bomb, an "inspection/cleanup" team (in paramilitary gear to mask their identity) "clearing" the area, then as everyone thinks the area is clear, the real bomb, or bombs are triggered in the crowd. Not only do you end up having the effects of the bombing, but you end up discrediting the security forces being used to protect the events.

I would not be surprised if the legitimate bots were used in other situations besides bomb inspection tasks. They are used in other situations already, I would expect that some will be used to inspect sewers and storm drains in the area of the stadium to insure that people are not using those as ways to get past entry gates, getting a better picture of what is happening in hostage situations, and so on. I don't know that a "fake" can't be used in one of these types of situations either as a bomb, or to emplace a bomb of some sort. Or again do other things to leave the legitimate security forces looking bad.

But yes, all of these things could easily be done without going to any effort to make it look "real". The only problem I can see with "calling them up" is that I wouldn't be at all surprised if the devices are going to be considered highly suspect through the legitimate shipping channels. For that matter I would not be surprised if all packages from iRobot over the next several months were "delayed in transit." But well over half of the people here could probably make a believable mock up of one of these things with off the shelf compnents at hardware and electronics stores, even in some of the most tightly controlled areas.

Re:Will they be team branded? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#46293767)

well if you have people appearing in paramilitary gear would they bother with fake bomb bots? kinda unnecessarily complex plot. (south america has plenty of paramilitaries though).

but skipping acquiring some remote control inspection units just because some revolutionaries might have some would be pretty stupid.. and spectators at the games haven't read this pr anyways.

Re:Will they be team branded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46293369)

What's to stop a counterfeiter from having a good look at the branded bots and counterfeit the branding?
Or maybe they could brand them with a holographic seal, look how well that worked for software 15 years ago :)

Re: Will they be team branded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46294059)

Ah yes, the whole "it has a hologram so it must be real". But how did you verify the hologram was real? So many holograms for sale on eBay at that time.

Lisarb: a country in reverse. (1)

motufero (3544965) | about 9 months ago | (#46293343)

The president here in Brazil said recently she would put the army in the cities to "ensure safety" against protests (many here do not agree with this overspending cup). Now this ...

Robot To Serve Security Detail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46293357)

The security detail at the World Cup will be served by robot caterers? Cool.

Oh... (1)

dohzer (867770) | about 9 months ago | (#46293671)

...so the same the "robots" that have been defusing bombs everywhere for about the last ten years?!

Are the games even going to happen here (2)

litehacksaur111 (2895607) | about 9 months ago | (#46295823)

The stadium is like 6 months behind schedule and has suffered from numerous accidents including fire damage. I think this is the least of their troubles at the moment.

Re:Are the games even going to happen here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46302115)

Don't forget to mention all the overcharging abuse of the contractors with friends in high places.

Latest pwn to own competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46296437)

I like this latest installment of pwn to own.

Wrong country to try this... (1)

Luiz de Viveiros (3545527) | about 9 months ago | (#46298031)

They want to have a $100k piece of equipment walking around in Brasil? They are getting stolen before the 20 seconds are up! "Drop your weapons. You have 20 seconds to comply. Do not approach. Do not lift this unit. Do not place unit in van. Help!"
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