cisler on 19 Aug 2000 16:51:39 -0000

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<nettime> New economy jobs

One of the high growth areas for jobs in the new economy is part of the
old economy: security guards. And now we have a new development from
Thailand: armed robot security guards controlled over the Internet! 

Steve Cisler

Armed roboguard world's first

Web-run sentinel not thief-friendly

The world's first armed robot security guard that can open fire on
intruders while controlled through the Internet was unveiled in Bangkok

It is one of five Thai-made hi-tech robots revealed by the Thailand
Research Fund. 

Asst Prof Pitikhet Suraksa, of the King Mongkut Institute of Technology's
Lat Krabang campus, said his roboguard was developed from an unarmed
"telerobot"  built in Australia in 1994. 

"The robot is equipped with a camera and sensors that track movement and
heat.  It is armed with a pistol that can be programmed to shoot
automatically or wait for a fire order delivered with a password from
anywhere through the Internet,"  he said. 

With further development the technology could be applied to building robot
guards for important places, including museums that house precious
artifacts, he said. 

Other machines included a virtual reality system with a robotic arm, a
force sensor and head-mounted display. 

Assoc Prof Chid Laowattana, of the Thon Buri campus, said this could be
developed into a simulator to train people in areas like surgery. 

"It could memorise thousands of operations by veteran surgeons and
simulate them to train new doctors. Patients will no longer be objects of
experimentation for new doctors," he said. "It could also memorise Tiger
Woods' strokes to train golfers."The system was aimed only at teaching
people how to use robots. Thai researchers did not have the funds for a
manufacturing base to compete with countries like the US and Japan.

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