Ok, so the title is a bit of a marketing ploy, but it grabbed your attention didn’t it!
One of the reasons I left my last job was because it was decided that the company was going to refocus on the defense sector. This was not a particularly outlandish decision as this was where most of the teams experience was based, never the less it was not something I wanted to be a part of. I had fears of one day seeing something I had worked on being used to bring pain, suffering and probably death on innocent people, after all, I had no control over who the systems were sold to (I’m not suggesting I should have done). I now feel vindicated and here’s why.
One of the projects I worked on whilst on this job was blighter (I was responsible for the regression testing of the front end software). Blighter is basically superficially a clever e-scan radar system that can be used to track anything from a tank to a sand badger, across all sorts of terrain. One day, I was looking at something one of the guys had worked up, whereby the radar could track a Software Engineer moving across the courtyard (there were no sand badgers available) and focus a camera on that position. I was horrified when I considered the possibility of switching the camera for a weapon of some kind and instantly imagined such devices being used to control borders in North Korea, or other such places.
The blighter system has now been ordered by the MOD and the story was also picked up by The Register. If you look in the comments section, you will see that people are already suggesting adding a .50 Cal to the blighter and creating a “gunbot”. Deathbot more like and soooooo not for me!