back to article Motorised meat-smoker droid vigilante patrols Atlanta

A former US Marine bar owner has built a home-made robot which patrols the streets of Atlanta rousting winos and vagrants. The so-called "Bum Bot" is equipped with a panoply of glaring lights, an infrared camera, and a water cannon in a "spinning turret". AP reports that the 300lb motorised vigilante droid is the brainchild of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    are the photos???

  2. Anonymous Coward

    If it breaks down...

    He could always ask Two Jags to stand in.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Bums should build one

    Then we could have real life robot wars on the streets. make good vids for one of those "caught on tape" reality shows too.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    The problem with yanks

    is that they make the titles of some articles rather different to what appears to be written when we read it on this side of the pond.

    Bill, because I'm sure he knows where his bum goes.

  5. LeBeourfCurtaine

    Pray for lube

    The 'Bum Bot' has a rather more sinister - nay terrifying - meaning over here in Blighty! Unless, perhaps, you have a Judy Garland fixation...

    Mine's the engraving of a Bum Bot mechanic (Men at Work).

  6. Fashtas

    Couple of videos available


    Even a radio interview on YouTube

  7. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    So , he won't mind if someone in a garbage dump truck inadvertently backs over it and flattens it like a pancake or has a slight accident with the lift controls whilst moving the bins then ?

    Harassment be thy middle name for this thick plank of a yank !

  8. Tony

    Rufus Terrill

    Rufus Terrill for PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Herby

    Saw this on the news last night.

    The guy DOES have some ingenuity. While having the AK-47, or similar is more "to the point", the box does get results. The "bums" (we use this word here to mean malcontents, hobos, abode challenged, etc...) just don't like getting squirted with the deadly DHMO!

    Well, it worked on the wicked witch of the west! ("I'm melting...")

  10. Niall

    Hi Tech Vigilantism...

    While I'm not a fan of vigilatism (that's not perpetrated by Batman), I have to say I'm impressed at the fact that this works. And if the heaviest armament the bot has is a water cannon, then that's a remarkably restrained response from an ex-Marine with a penchant for assault rifles.

    That said, the "housing-disadvantaged" have a tough enough time as it is, and if this guy wants to be mayor, I hope he has a plan for solving this problem beyond hosing the poor sods down...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Self appointed enema bag

    This country is lousy with these idiots you can have them all if you want them. You must pay for shipment.Now my scythe wielding cobalt60 coated deathbot will do more than frighten homeless men if you know what I mean.

  12. Anonymous Bastard

    ED 209 ain't.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the new tv series

    i bet you dollars to donuts that some holly(crap)wood twit has a script ready for the tv rights, t shirts comics mugs ETC...

  14. Alex
    Thumb Up

    It was on the Colbert Report last night

    The 'water canon' is closer to a super soaker than anything else The guy is a hilarious crackpot, though.

  15. Norman Christian Hoffmann

    Bum Bot

    Bum Bots? What the Hell is a bum bot for when we are supposed to have police in uniforms arresting people for vagrancy, being drunk in public and smoking crack.

    Your bum bot sounds like a piece of shit to me and nothing a phone call to the local police department can't solve.

    And, if you ain't enlisted nor own a badge then put that fucking iron away and join the NRA. Your bum bot is just a stupid fucking excuse for people who forget we already have all the laws we need to deal with this. All we gotta do is call the cops every time we see a bum littering our alleys or streets so the badges can have the numbers they need to justify the number of jail cells they need in order to come and fix this when you call.

    So fuck off bum bot and call the cops you fucking asshole before I come down and twist your little fucking head off and show you just what an asshole you really are.

    Fuck You,

    The Pigs.

  16. Mister Cheese

    @N C Hoffman

    How about a nice relaxing cup of tea?

  17. Eric Werme

    Confused about bodily functions?

    "By Norman Christian Hoffmann" says "Your bum bot sounds like a piece of shit to me...."

    It shoots water, it doesn't hurl excrement with a fan. That will come with number 2. :-)

    "and nothing a phone call to the local police department can't solve."

    My guess is that he made several calls before going on the offensive.

  18. Misha Gale


    Nice to see that being poor and destitute is still a serious crime requiring armed response and imprisonment. Maybe we should just stick them all in a workhouse, so we won't have to see them dying of disease and malnutrition. Or just borrow a couple of Reaper HK bots from the pentagon, and really put an end to homelessness, eh?

  19. D
    Paris Hilton

    anyone like me who wondered how Bush got two terms in office

    need only glance at this thread to see living proof of the level of stupidity required. Paris, because she would know what to do with a bum bot.

  20. ratfox

    @N C Hoffman

    The cops already know there are dug dealers in your neighborhood, since they're here every night. It's perfectly useless to call them.

    Jokes aside, I wonder about the legality of all this. I'm sure people are allowed to wander in the streets without being soaked in water... And as far as I know, it's not illegal to be a bum.

  21. Chris C

    Bad guys?

    So the vagrants, who are allegedly begging people (and worse) for money are the "bad guys", but threatening someone with an assault rifle makes you the good guy? Assault, threat of assault, and harassment (whether direct or through a third party) are all illegal. So why is this guy not in jail? Don't get me wrong. I'd love to clean up the streets of our various cities, but that's not the way to do it.

  22. Dave Bell

    America is different...

    This guy was chasing a Democratic Party nomination, and they're supposed to be the liberal side of US politics.

  23. RW


    "as far as I know, it's not illegal to be a bum."

    But it used to be. Vagrancy laws, the crime of being "without a visible means of support", laws against panhandling & begging.

    I predict those will come back. Here in Canada, the human rights guarantees of our constitution prevents this, but sooner or later some Cdn government is going to invoke the "notwithstanding" clause and pass them.

    The problem will be to then house all the new criminals.

    None of which remarks come any where near proposing a sensible solution to the problems of homelessness, drug addictions, and downtowns turned into no-go zones thanks to the lowlifes prowling around.

  24. Francis Boyle

    I vote

    we kidnap Jamie Hyneman and dump him on the streets of Atlanta with nothing but one of his robots for company.

    He'd make short work of this nutter.

  25. Lukin Brewer

    Having looked at the footage... seems that anyone would be able to tip Bumbot over by pushing the turret. Unless the turret isn't that firmly attached, in which case they could just rip it off. They could tip it over with levers, trap it with open manholes or drains, puncture the tyres, set light to it (see picture), etc, etc.

    Another thing that struck me was that the suspension was bit soft - each change in velocity would make it wobble and sway, again not helped by the high centre of gravity from the turret. Something any mechanic would have spotted immediately.

    As for the bums themselves, they provide a public service, warning to all citizens about the consequences of dropping out. "Grovel to your swinish employer and hang on to your terrible job, or this is where you'll end up!"

    Finally, a quote from "The Devil's Dictionary".

    BEG, v.

    To ask for something with an earnestness proportioned to the belief that it will not be given.

    Who is that, father?

    A mendicant, child,

    Haggard, morose, and unaffable -- wild!

    See how he glares through the bars of his cell!

    With Citizen Mendicant all is not well.

    Why did they put him there, father?


    Obeying his belly he struck at the laws.

    His belly?

    Oh, well, he was starving, my boy --

    A state in which, doubtless, there's little of joy.

    No bite had he eaten for days, and his cry

    Was "Bread!" ever "Bread!"

    What's the matter with pie?

    With little to wear, he had nothing to sell;

    To beg was unlawful -- improper as well.

    Why didn't he work?

    He would even have done that,

    But men said: "Get out!" and the State remarked: "Scat!"

    I mention these incidents merely to show

    That the vengeance he took was uncommonly low.

    Revenge, at the best, is the act of a Siou,

    But for trifles --

    Pray what did bad Mendicant do?

    Stole two loaves of bread to replenish his lack

    And tuck out the belly that clung to his back.

    Is that all father dear?

    There's little to tell:

    They sent him to jail, and they'll send him to -- well,

    The company's better than here we can boast,

    And there's --

    Bread for the needy, dear father?

    Um -- toast.

    Atka Mip

  26. Anteaus

    Warhead needed

    I'm sure Ian Lewis would oblige if the homeless asked for a loan of his pride and joy.

    .. then, I can imagine the guy's face when he sees the remains of his bumbot strewn all over the pavement... He then gets given a plastic bag, and told, "You know the rules, clean up your wreckage."

  27. Andrew Farnsworth

    Remote control and trespassing

    First of all, this is a Remote Control device like the robots in Robot Wars, not an autonomous robot like the Terminator. It is operated by the owner via a standard RC car / plane transmitter.

    Second, he is chasing people off his own property, not public property. It is not illegal to be homeless, however, it is illegal to trespass. The police would come by, chase people off and leave... 5 minutes later, everyone was back. The BumBot provides a way for him to keep people away himself by asking them to leave and only escalating to the siren, lights, and water cannon (super soaker) if they won't. In fact, most of the "regulars" no recognize the device and will leave as soon as they see it. While theoretically, shooting someone with water could be construed as assault, I doubt any judge would convict him and certainly no jury would.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Isn't he just picking on down-and-outs for entertainment purposes, apparently there's live cam footage at his bar....

    He'll end up harassing some old codger who just had to have a sit down on the way home.

  29. Tom

    Vagrents are scared?????

    I'm shitting myself, a bum-bot!?!?! A rampaging rectum rogering automaton under Yank command? Brings a whole new meaning to friendly fire

  30. TeeCee Gold badge

    Tomorrows headline:

    "Bum bot stolen. Arse bandits believed responsible."

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Democats in the south

    "This guy was chasing a Democratic Party nomination, and they're supposed to be the liberal side of US politics"

    In all fairness, he came in dead last. There are crazies who run for nominations on both parties. And which is more liberal depends on where you are. There are Republicans in areas of the country (in New England, for example) who are more moderate than many white southern Democrats.

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