An Israeli security expert has designed a guard bot capable of autonomously identifying and responding to hostile infiltrators.
The robot - dubbed Amstaff - operates in electronic "packs," sharing real-time data with other autonomous sentinels protecting a defined perimeter.
"The smart robots can detect any threat long before the human brain would. This is thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) features of the devices, that enable them to operate autonomously," Amstaff inventor Amos Goren told Globes.
"The outstanding advantage of a system like this is that the robots have no mother and no father. This is a security concept, not a response to a military need.
"The idea is to let these vehicles merge into the territory, not to stand out and not to threaten, but to be sensitive and aware of any unusual development in the area defined for their operation."
According to Goren, a pack of just 4-5 Amstaffs can effectively protect a large area, such as an airport.
"Calculations we did showed that the monthly cost of providing security along [an airport] periphery fence with a manned patrol vehicle is about $60,000," he said.
"And the monthly cost of operating the Amstaff robots will be half that."
However, Goren emphasized that the robots are programmed not to shoot at intruders unless specifically ordered to do by a human operator.
"As an emergency situation develops, with friendly human forces reaching the area, the robots will be able to identify them, [but] will not [automatically] open fire on them."