I know the idea of robots in space sounds cool but lets think this through.
First of all the robot is fucking huge, “11-foot arms, a shoulder span of nearly 8 feet and a height of 12 feet”. It doesn’t have legs but with arms like that you don’t actually need appendages on the bottom half. Plus when you’re in space legs aren’t especially useful. I hope they programmed “I will crush you pesky human fly” into it’s voice synthesizer.
Second, robots will take over the world. It is just a matter of time. I had come to grips with that. But now we’re handing them space on a silver platter. Brilliant.
Third, they named the thing Dextre and call it Dexter. Dexter, as in the socialized sociopathic serial killer from the book and more recently Showtime. Thats right, they named the ginormous metal machine of death after a serial killer. If you’re going to create a peaceful, human loving robot you name it Buny or Elff or some other cute variation on something “nice”. If you’re going to create robots bent on obliterating humans, a la Dextre, then this might be an acceptable naming convention. Also note that Dexter the serial killer is nice and gets along with people – right up until he kills them. So don’t trust this Dextre lest you fall into a similar trap.
Fourth, last week we, the US, are telling China and the international community as a whole we’re not trying to militarize space. This week we’re launching Terminator’s great grand pappy. Sounds like militarization to me.
Finally, this (selective) quote from astronaut Garrett Reisman troubles me: “we’re worried it’s going to go run amok and take over the space station or turn evil”. If astronauts are worried than I’m worried.
Updated 2008-03-16 to add pictures of our destructor.Spencer Shimko 10 March 2008