Police Robot Burns Down Mobile Home with Gas Grenades

Illustration for article titled Police Robot Burns Down Mobile Home with Gas Grenades

ATTN ALL ROBOTS: You are supposed to help us. Clean our floors. Care for our elderly. Defuse our bombs. Not burn down our houses, as was the case for one Tennessee fugitive, whose mobile home was toasted during a standoff.

Sure, the guy's a criminal, but it's a little worrying that a robot meant for non-lethal takedowns could end up lighting your home on fire. The error seems to have been caused by a munitions mixup—a triple-launch flame-producing grenade round used instead of its flameless brother. Whoops!


The result, as described by the Bristol Herald Courier, was a police robot "blasting what looked like a javelin of flames into the living room" of the suspect's house. "One bolt of fire dove at a spot several feet straight past the doorway, [a witness] said. Another ricocheted right, toward a corner of the room hidden from the view of his binoculars." That sounds like quite the spectacle.

And, of course, despite this display of robot rampage, the crook in question escaped undetected. [Bristol Herald Courier via The Register]

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So basically, whoever loaded the wrong munitions is to blame and not the robot. Does anyone else think the whole "robots are going to destroy us" theme is getting a little stale?