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Suicide by robot.
March 21, 2008 3:01 PM   Subscribe


 
Paging Dr. Susan Calvin...
posted by Asparagirl at 3:07 PM on March 21, 2008


i guess suicide is wrong or something but that's a pretty good idea.
posted by facetious at 3:11 PM on March 21, 2008


Asimov's first law of robotics has already been broken and we haven't even made them intelligent yet. The future is a scary place.
posted by mikesch at 3:11 PM on March 21, 2008


Wonder why the relatives were pressuring him to enter a home. From that short report, he sounds pretty competent to me.
posted by Leon at 3:17 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I guess he got the top end model. I had an aunt who bought the baseline deathbot, it took two and a half hours to push that foutain pen though her temple.

Deathbots are a lot like plastic surgery, not something you should bargin hunt on.
posted by The Power Nap at 3:18 PM on March 21, 2008 [8 favorites]


Not a robot.
posted by DU at 3:18 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm impressed that he did the best he could to take charge of the situation.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 3:19 PM on March 21, 2008


What part of the internet is rife with all the robotic killing machines?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:20 PM on March 21, 2008




I'm really going to try not to juxtapose this robot story with the other one I saw today/
posted by the jam at 3:22 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


The future is a scary place.

Damn right it is, especially since Asimov's First law was already violated in 1981.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:23 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


If he was competent enough to build a machine to shoot him in the head, why couldn't he just shoot himself in the head?
posted by Democritus at 3:32 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:34 PM on March 21, 2008


The concept is very intriguing. I hadn't thought about using a machine for that purpose.

The next step would be a Rube Goldberg device with hundreds of steps before ending with the shooting of a gun. In fact, it could continue after that, using the body as the next step of the chain.
posted by Memo at 3:35 PM on March 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


If he was competent enough to build a machine to shoot him in the head, why couldn't he just shoot himself in the head?
Because you can only shoot yourself once. The machine did it multiple times, I guess, decreasing the risk of surviving with brain damage.
posted by Memo at 3:37 PM on March 21, 2008


If he was competent enough to build a machine to shoot him in the head, why couldn't he just shoot himself in the head?

To me it's kind of a giant FU if you will. They were trying to force him into a home. He demonstrated that at his advanced age he was still capable using the internet to construct a machine that would liberate him from his family's control.

That being said, if I was to commit suicide, all that anyone would find would be my dessicated corpse nailed to the blade of an old dutch style windmill. Figure that one out CSI!
posted by The Power Nap at 3:40 PM on March 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


I don't understand why people make suicide so complicated. You don't need a gun, pills, poison, or a robot. Just tie a garbage bag around your head and lie down. It's easy, painless, cheap, and as long as you're alone for 20 minutes, pretty much guaranteed not to maim instead of killing.

Stop looking at me like that.
posted by modernerd at 3:45 PM on March 21, 2008


Not a robot.

While hard to define precisely, a robot usually requires automatically performing a task usually done by a living thing. It did fire more than once, so maybe taking those additional shots just barely squeaks by, as more than just a timed trigger extension. Maybe.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:06 PM on March 21, 2008


In the day I researched robot plans
On the internet, avoiding memes

At night I built it in all its glory
My suicide machine!

Sprung from living this one more day
Australian old guy builds a robot to help him on his way

oohh!

Baby this part shoots a gun at your back
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out, we're not young
Just me and my friend, a robot with a gun

posted by wemayfreeze at 4:15 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


If he was competent enough to build a machine to shoot him in the head, why couldn't he just shoot himself in the head?

To be sure, I guess. From the article "It was able to fire multiple shots into the man's head after he activated it." The last thing you'd want is to paralyze/otherwise maim yourself and not die, right? And I'm just guessing, but a DIY approach probably makes it kind of hard to get that second shot off.
posted by juv3nal at 4:32 PM on March 21, 2008


I got a huge kick out of the first to comments in boingboing's post about this the other day:

"i always assumed we'd have personal jetpacks before suicide robots. technology never works out the way you want it to."

"Damn - not only have the robots started shooting people, but they're smart enough to make it look like a suicide as well. We're really in trouble now."
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 4:40 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm really going to try not to juxtapose this robot story with the other one I saw today/

Holy crap, it sounds like a giant fly and it... kinda looks like one too. That is the uncanniest thing I've ever seen. I hope they aren't giving them guns yet.
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:43 PM on March 21, 2008


"after downloading the plans from the internet." Link please?

Also, @griphus, a YouTube video of a camcorder video of another internet video? I'm not judging you, I'm just a bit aghast at the a-hole who posted that to YouTube.
posted by revgeorge at 4:50 PM on March 21, 2008


revgeorge- I was honestly surprised there wasn't any giggling in the background. I guess after figuring out how to train the camcorder on the feed and make it look decent, the clip stops being funny.
posted by griphus at 4:53 PM on March 21, 2008


Giving guns to robots is a bad idea. Then again ... maybe not.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:14 PM on March 21, 2008


it did fire more than once, so maybe taking those additional shots just barely squeaks by, as more than just a timed trigger extension. Maybe.

This article mentions a "jig-saw" was part of the machine. I assume they mean some sort of reciprocating saw, which moves back and forth. Mount the saw and gun to something sturdy, interconnect the motor and trigger, and add a switch. Quick and dirty suicide machine. Not bad work for an 81 year old man.

But I have to agree with DU, hardly a robot. The media really likes to overuse the term robot. I guess it's all futuristic and stuff...

So, how long until we hear about someone using a similar setup as an anti-burglar device?
posted by PhillC at 5:38 PM on March 21, 2008


I have no idea why his family wanted him in a home, but I guess he told them off.
posted by dabitch at 6:51 PM on March 21, 2008


The last 4 paragraphs didn't fit in at all.

"Lady also wanted to die sick dog took some pills now at peace says husband the end."
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:23 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just when you think you've seen everything on the internet, you learn that it's possible to download plans for a suicide machine. I gotta see this.
posted by puke & cry at 7:24 PM on March 21, 2008






modernerd - Just tie a garbage bag around your head and lie down. It's easy, painless, cheap...

Have you ever experienced suffocation? Not fun.

Even if you form a tight and irreversible seal around your neck, it takes a shitton of willpower not the rip a hole in the bag once you blood CO2 concentration starts rising.

Bullets - sure, there's the shock of pain, but it'll probably be a lot faster and un-reversible.

It's a shame, though, that this person had to choose between suicide and dealing with relatives wanting to put him in a home.

For me, though, some kind of depressant overdose would probably fit the low-pain/high-chance-of-"success" ratio. I'd hate to fall/jump to my death - too much time for regret. Either that, or strap a large shaped charge to my chest, facing my heart.

/has self-imposed rule against firearms ownership for precicely this reason
posted by porpoise at 7:36 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seconding "death by asphyxiation is not a pleasant process to endure".

Bullets - sure, there's the shock of pain, but it'll probably be a lot faster and un-reversible.

I imagine that if you die instantly via gunshot, you don't feel it at all. Just an assumption, obviously, though.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:39 PM on March 21, 2008


I imagine that if you die instantly via gunshot, you don't feel it at all. Just an assumption, obviously, though.

Can you really die instantly, though?

It takes a minute or two for the brain to die of oxygen deprivation. Do we really know what part of the brain you have to wipe out in order to immediately remove consciousness?
posted by b1tr0t at 8:06 PM on March 21, 2008


Do we really know what part of the brain you have to wipe out in order to immediately remove consciousness?

I do.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:09 PM on March 21, 2008


It's a no-brainer.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:10 PM on March 21, 2008


So, how long until we hear about someone using a similar setup as an anti-burglar device?


-37 years.
posted by applemeat at 8:26 PM on March 21, 2008


Just tie a garbage bag around your head and lie down. It's easy...

Sure, it's easy to tie it on, but it's a bit less easy to keep it on. If you don't believe me, try it yourself. Don't worry--you won't die.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 11:19 PM on March 21, 2008


I didn't do it!
posted by sexyrobot at 1:21 AM on March 22, 2008


also...
resume'

razors pain you
and rivers are damp
acids stain you
and drugs cause cramp

guns aren't lawful
nooses give
gas smells awful
you might as well live

(dorothy parker)
posted by sexyrobot at 1:24 AM on March 22, 2008


Just tie a garbage bag around your head and lie down. It's easy...

It's probably safest to combine this method with a lot of sleeping pills, so you won't attempt to remove the bag in a panic over your suffocation.

Yes, I read alt.suicide.holiday a lot as a teenager.
posted by cmonkey at 1:34 AM on March 22, 2008


"At the age of eighty-nine Sophocles was brought before a court of law by his son, who, suspecting that the playwright intended to cut him out of his will, wished to have him certified as suffering from senility. Sophocles said simply, ‘If I am Sophocles, I am not out of my mind; if I am out of mind, I am not Sophocles.’ He then proceeded to read to the court passages from the Oedipus at Colonus, which he had lately written but not yet staged. The judges dismissed the case."

Pfft. We here in the twentieth century may not have tragedic masterworks, but we have PistolBot 9000.

Suck it, Sophocles.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:30 AM on March 22, 2008


I'm really going to try not to juxtapose this robot story with the other one I saw today/

Jesus christ...
posted by odinsdream at 7:50 AM on March 22, 2008


If I did this, I would have tried to figure out a way for the robot to shoot itself afterwards. Not only would it give it a bizarre murder-suicide feel, but it would ensure that the robot wouldn't go through the rest of it's existence with my death on it's artificial conscience.
posted by quin at 10:30 AM on March 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


better than a roomba. (i guess)
posted by fuzzypantalones at 1:46 PM on March 22, 2008


It takes a minute or two for the brain to die of oxygen deprivation. Do we really know what part of the brain you have to wipe out in order to immediately remove consciousness?
posted by b1tr0t at 8:06 PM on March 21 [+] [!]

I do.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:09 PM on March 21 [+] [!]


eponysterical?
posted by liza at 7:48 PM on March 22, 2008


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