They’re Putting Guns On Robot Dogs

They’re putting guns on robot dogs
And teaching them to dance
They kick their heels and bounce around
Like playful ponies prance
They’ve got a sharp-eyed spotting scope
To fix you in their glance
They’re putting guns on robot dogs…
You wouldn’t stand a chance

They’re putting guns on robot dogs
And teaching them to run
The videos are well-produced
And make it look like fun
They’re faster than most people, and
If not, well, there’s the gun
They’re putting guns on robot dogs…
And calling it step one

They’re putting guns on robot dogs
And teaching them to chase
To run, perhaps, a marathon,
At one unflagging pace
And only when the job is done
Come back, at last, to base
They’re putting guns on robot dogs
God save the human race

They’re putting guns on robot dogs
And teaching them to think
It’s not quite perfect, yet, they say
But very near the brink
No faulty human biases
Just silicon and zinc
They’re putting guns on robot dogs…
I think I need a drink

Via @drskyskull on Twitter, a story about those adorable robot dogs we’ve all seen dancing, climbing, scampering around, and now, apparently, hunting and chasing.
Because that was always going to be the end product. There are, basically, two drivers of innovation, and one is war (or various other ways of hurting or killing). The other is porn, and we’ve already written about robots there.


Yeah, this is the first verse in nearly a year. As some of you know, it was not for lack of trying. It just wasn’t there. But “They’re putting guns on robot dogs” is so metrically vivid, it is the headline equivalent of starter fluid. No guarantees the engine will keep going, but this one took just over 20 minutes, which is how they used to arrive. So who knows?


  1. Cuttlefish says

    I thank you, but as I have repeatedly said, sometimes it seems less like a talent and more like a symptom. Some of my most productive times are my most stressful.

  2. jenorafeuer says

    You’re right, that line is basically iambic tetrameter with no fuss required. It just kind of bounces off the tongue.

  3. StevoR says

    PS. That ‘War of the Worlds’ has been atmospheric, very dark and rather problematic series that so far has raised a lot more questions than answers especially good answers. Apparently there’s going tobe a third season? One more clip :

    Great to have you blogging and writing aagin.. :-D

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    Way back circa 1970, I saw a Walter Cronkite “special report” on the then state of robotics. Mostly assembly-line automation with multi-purpose machinery, etc.

    Per Cronkite, most of these systems had safety routines that would basically freeze everything if they detected any unexpected object in the work area. Only one of the reported devices had programming to specifically distinguish a “human” from everything else.

    That unit was (large-) dog-sized, but with wheels. The US Army had it in development for sentry purposes, and it had a built-in rifle. “So much,” said I to myself, “for Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics,” which I had still naïvely taken for a possibility.

    Not sure why we never got to see and salute any of those wheeled wonders in the last half-century, but it looks like, at last, we will get to applaud them in police/military parades within a decade or so. The dancing will surely make it worth the wait.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    There are, basically, two drivers of innovation, and one is war … The other is porn…

    R.A. Lafferty won a Hugo in 1972 for suggesting a third, which he plausibly proposed came first: see “Eurema’s Dam”.

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