back to article Special Ops robots now do psychological warfare

US arms globocorp Boeing has announced yet another military robot demonstration - but this time, one with a difference. Rather than spying on meatsacks or mowing them down with the traditional array of automated weaponry, the war-bots in this trial sought to win over their fleshy opponents using psychological warfare. The demo …


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  1. Chris Seiter

    Dynamic Propaganda

    But are they pre-made leaflets or does the mini-chopper have an onboard printer?

    The meatbag gets his picture taken, facial recognition software scours Facebook and finds his marital status link active, goes to the spouse's Facebook site and doctors the image of her and a friend in her list and prints a personalized message: "American soldiers caught your wife with" so and so. Fleshbag kills wife, hunts down pseudo-lover and kills him, the in grief/embarrassment kills himself. Three meatbags dead, ad infinitum.....

  2. JaitcH

    The U.S. DOD is nuts!

    I guess the DoD (Department of Defense) has not learned that the U.S. is broke, as in no money.

    This is the way the U.S. government props up Boeing so it can undercut competitors pricing.

  3. Mr Pedantic
    Paris Hilton

    Robot fleshy slaves?

    I'm sure there's a robot fetish / fleshy slave angle there somewhere. Can you guys do a playmobil reconstruction to provide some inspiration?

    Paris, because she'd make the ideal robotic fleshy slave.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Isn't the normal response to psyops, to move targeting onto the softest targets possible? That way the enemy becomes dehumanised, the value systems shift, and the psyops becomes obviously disingenuous and therefore ineffective. Might not be the best move.

    If they want to avoid arm conflict, the only real way is to buy their way out. That method tends to work, belief systems in wars are too fragile to mess with much, and the propensity for backfire is huge, but give someone something tangible and they move to defend that, give them a message well it is only going to affect a very few, and probably incite the majority.

  5. frank ly


    They may be efficient and effective, but would you believe a leaflet given to you by a robot?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Telling it like IT is ...... Fire in the Hole!

      "They may be efficient and effective, but would you believe a leaflet given to you by a robot?" .... frank ly Posted Friday 18th December 2009 23:52 GMT

      What do you think a man is, frank ly, other than a stupid and/or sophisticated programmable robot/drone worker toiling for the benefit of currency, an artificially created Executive Slave Control Device. Do you believe what you perceive/preceive on Media as being Reality, or is the audio visual feed a Entertainment/NEUKlearer Edutainment Programming for BioSphere Units..... Humanised Assets?

      Change the Script and Build New Sets with nothing more Complicated than the Distribution of Printed Paper Promisory Notes*, and you Easily Create a New World Order Control of Global See with HyperRadioProActive IT Vision for 21st Century Networks InterNetworking JOINT Application Protocols .... [ Joint Operations for IntelAIgent Networks Transmission ….. [Classified Stuff which you may or may not be appraised of and which may even be vehemently denied as Active and Embedded and being any Part of your own Government's National Defence Policy .... Virtual Terrain Team Strategy]

      * Nowadays though, NeuReal and SurReal Enabling Wealth is always just a Mouse Click away ..... for Immediate Electronic Credit Transfer of Instantly Created and Creative Quantitatively Eased Funds is a Globally Available Function ...... Jealously and Zealously Guarded and/or Selfishly Maintained by an Elite Robot Control Group.

      Or do you wish to disagree?

      1. frank ly


        "Or do you wish to disagree?"

        I wish for a quiet life. I don't think I'll get one.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think I understood him!

        Amanfrommars is right there is not much difference between a leaflet given by a robot and the message churned out by the synchronized medias. both are credible only to a limited extend

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Plan B

    So this system was pulled together in 45 days, sounds like a Plan B to me, in order to meet mission goals after the well publicized failure of Plan A. Moral of the story being, Don't train Psychologists to use weapons!

    Ok, ok! I'm going!

  7. Robert E A Harvey


    One of Terry Pratchett's characters described psychological warfare as keeping the enemy asleep all night chanting "We're going to cut yer tonkers off"

  8. Eugene Goodrich
    Paris Hilton

    The big picture is scarier

    No one design will win out; our new pitiless robotic overlords will use many of these designs for synergistic purpose: while sniper-copters are fine for gunning down fleshies wherever they may run and hide, and rubble-recovery tractors can drag the corpses out for later consumption (or alternative "processing"), one can see that as soon as the lot have developed a taste for fresher meat - and especially for _live_ humans for some purposes - they're going to find benefit in convincing (or tricking) the weakest-willed into entering a "Mono Tiltrotor"* for a quick trip back to robotic dark mass, fleshie-sushi honorable dinner, or to be plopped into the pen in the center of the "choose your own fleshie" robo-restaurant.

    They have learned much from us, and part of what they've learned is that the wild ones have the best color, flavor, and energy-producing reagents.

    (* see other Reg article.)

    (P.S. Paris, because she's free-range. Killbots take note!)

  9. Emilio Desalvo


    ... the Starship Troopers way.

    Nobody has yet produced the PsyOps grenade used in the starting chapter of Starship Troopers?

    The one announcing itself in the language of the new owner: "I am a grenade! I will explode in ten seconds! Nine! ..."

    That would be fun...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    Does that remind anyone of INGSOC?

    Makes you wonder what messages the device will be bringing to the attention of the meatbags on the ground below. I expect something along the lines of: 'Oceania will be victorious, Oceania has always been victorious.'

  11. Frank Bitterlich


    .. so bolting a pair of speakers to a remote-contolled children's toy counts as "developing a Special-Ops Robot"?

    "... hardware and software from five different contractors" - so let me guess.

    1. Sony (an old Walkman)

    2. Playmobil (the vehicle)

    3. Varta (5 x AA batteries - not included!)

    4. Lego (the leaflet dropper system)

    5. some hi-tech consultant who scribbled down the "blueprints" on a napkin some night veeeery late in the pub....

    Go cyber army!

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