Samsung Techwin’s SGR-A1 robot sentry video

By | November 14, 2006

Last September, we mentioned South Korea’s plans to install several sentry robots along its border with North Korea due to the diminishing numbers of troops available to patrol the DMZ. The SGR-A1 robot is developed jointly by the Korea University and Samsung Techwin Co. The latter has released a promotional video showcasing the robot’s capabilities. The video shows how the robot tracks its target during the day and night and its ability to shoot at targets that do not respond to an initial verbal warning. I don’t speak Korean so I don’t understand what it is said in the video; however, it would appear that the robot can verbally command an enemy target to surrender which is indicated by the soldier’s arms held high. The robot can recognize this gesture and not fire. If the person does not comply then, as shown in the video, the SGR-A1 can be very effective in eliminating the target. I find the application of current tracking and gesture recognition technologies for military applications such as the SGR-A1 very disturbing. I think the possibility of misrecognition by the robot can have unfortunate consequences. I hope that there is a remote operator who is alarmed when the robot detects enemy movement and that it can be instructed not to fire unless the operator can verify the situation. That said, you can watch the video and draw your own conclusions.

10 thoughts on “Samsung Techwin’s SGR-A1 robot sentry video

  1. Anonymous

    I’ve read about this machine, and while I can’t provide a citiation, I can tell you that when the US and some other countries raised your concerns the South Koreans changed the technology so that a human operator had to confirm lethal force.

    That said, I wouldn’t be suprized if the thing had an “invasion mode” that would set it looking over the DMZ and shooting anything that moves.

  2. Anonymous

    Hmm. It’s essentially a minefield with AI. Don’t go in a minefield, don’t go near this thing. The difference is that this thing is A)more effective and B)potentially backed up by a guard somewhere. I can see the benefit in having thousands of these, then you can watch thousands of miles of border and only worry about places where there’s movement, and know that you’ve got armaments to defend said border.

    Keep in mind, anywhere you’d find these things, you’ll find signs that these things are there.

  3. Anonymous

    set it up in the woods and come and collect the animals for the BBQ the next day…

    For border protection… There are signs that say "armed guards, do not proceed" you'd be stupid to proceed…

  4. Anonymous

    Reminds me of "Robocop".

    These machines are spine-chilling.

  5. Me

    Terminator era has begun!! Hide, run, they com for you, they are gonna rule this world, machines rule!!

  6. Bear Bryant

    I see the “Half-Life” and “Terminator” connections, but it REALLY reminds me of the sentry guns in the Directors Cut of “Aliens”.

    I’d put a taser in it (to disable “friendlies” who aren’t getting the operator’s instrucctions) and a charge of C4 that would blow if it was A) destroyed or B) stolen. Can’t have the enemy getting that technology…

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