The Latest in Illegal Immigrants' Woes: People-Sniffing Robots

By Melissa Lafsky | July 21, 2008 1:02 pm

robotThe U.K. Telegraph reports on a new tech trend in border security: U.K. officials are using robots to search cars, buses, and other vehicles for illegal immigrants attempting to smuggle themselves into the country.

The robot in question, described as being “the size of a briefcase,” has searchlights, high-resolution video cameras, four-wheel-drive, and can also be fitted with heartbeat detectors and sensors to identify smuggled chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials. Border officials have been dispatching it to search the undersides of vehicles and other closed spaces and sniff out anyone hiding inside.

Estimates place the number of illegal immigrants in the U.K. as around 500,000, and the Home Office has devised all manner of methods to discourage illegal immigration, including sending menacing text messages to visitors when their visas are about to expire. According to a Border Agency spokesman, last year officials nabbed 18,000 people on their way in. Still, somehow we doubt that robots were what U.K. and Wales Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor had in mind when he called for government amnesty for migrants.

Image: iStockPhoto

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Science Goes to Washington

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    This is just pure creepy. Am i the only person who thinks contrary or robotic use? Eventually, just like the movies, they will take over and become part of the norm. I, however, think they are a perfect example of the laziness in humanity. Of course, it is a substitute for ordinary jobs and thus give more space and time for advancement in technology, but where will that get us? More creepy robots?
    The future is going to be a sad sight.

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