No Cyberdyne among us: The use of the Bomb Disposal robot in Dallas.

There is a hearty discussion going on about the use of the bomb disposal robotic unit to take out Micah Johnson in Dallas. Truthfully, I do not see a problem and I am certain most people complaining about its use are being misguided by the improper use of the term robot.

killer robot

When we hear the word robot, all kinds of imagery associated with science fiction pops to mind and not all very nice. But the truth is that the apparatus used in Dallas is nothing more than an over-engineered remote control car or truck just like you could buy at the local hobby shop.

remotec dallas PD bomb disposal robot

Contrary to the Hollywood device, the bomb disposal robot has not decision-making capability on its own. It was controlled by a human the whole time and delivered its payload to the asshole on command of the human directing it. It is simply a mechanical tool used to maintain distance and thus safety, between the police officers and the dangerous criminal, same as a rifle is used by a police sniper from a secured location.

My issues would be the need to establish the proper protocol to use of explosives in both quantity and narrowly defined event to take out a dangerous individual. C4 is not as “precise” as a .308 bullet and the collateral damage to booth humans and structures are something to be examined with the utmost care. This needs to be studies with care and the individuals within a Police Department who would be in charge of the explosives must be trained to the hilt. “We did not know there was a gas line over there” will not be a valid excuse in court. Specially since there is a police history of f****ing up big time with explosives.



Owner/Operator of this Blog. Pamphleteer De Lux. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.


  1. I have been part of this debate.

    My wife comes down on the side of “no robots for killing people ever.” I covered the issue of taking on a sniper in one of my last posts. My feelings on this issue are this:

    A robot is just a tool. If we can accept the use of a SWAT team or Police Sniper to end an extreme situation (active shooter, terrorist standoff, hostage situation, etc.) quickly with minimal loss of life, what is the difference between shooting the bad guy with a rifle at 300 yards and driving up to him with a robot. You are delivering death to the bad guy from a distance that keeps police safe.

    How many lives would have been saved if the Austin PD could have sent a quad-copter with a gun on it up to the bell tower to stop Charles Whitman? Killing a criminal engaged in a active crime to save innocent life is something we in society accept.

    There is the slippery slope of using armed drones for regular police work just as SWAT use as become more prevalent. That scares me.

    My suggestion is to make bomb-bots or gun-bots only deplorable with a warrant signed by a judge. Then you have have some more accountability over how they are used.

    • My suggestion is to make bomb-bots or gun-bots only deplorable with a warrant signed by a judge.

      I disagree. The opposite is actually what we need: less people screwing around. My number one item in the protocol would be that the tech has absolute power of decision that cannot be overridden by the upper ups.
      What I mean is, once determined we have an event that need ending and the RC bomb buggy is called, the Tech will have the power to say “Yes it can be done safely” or “No, the chance of collateral damage does not justify the use of the device.” Since he alone will bear the responsibility for a screw up, he will do his due diligence in making sure things go as well as they could be. And, of course, an ever improving protocol that needs to be well thought out and followed.

  2. Braden Lynch : July 13, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    The origin of this technique of remote controlled delivery of explosives I believe was first used by the Germans in WWII with the “Goliath” tracked device. it’s pretty cool.

    There is essentially little difference between this bomb disposal unit device and our current drones. They can be used to kill remotely with no risk to the police or military. Their use makes sense in certain circumstances, much like a sniper rifle.

    The BIG issue is their inappropriate use. What is not discussed is that the POTUS used a drone strike to eliminate an annoying islamic SOB who was in Yemen (if my memory serves) while he was still an American citizen. Sure he was a loud mouth recruiting tool for islamic jihad, but he was not an imminent threat and thus the POTUS acted as the judge, jury, and executioner. So, our POS POTUS is guilty of murder, plain and simple.

    He won’t be the last governmental official to be tempted to use remote death from the skies if it suits political purposes.

    NDAA anyone? Bueller…Bueller…

    • Spot on about the NDAA. That’s why it’s so alarming to hear someone like Hillary implying that the NRA are terrorists. Parts of the NDAA allow the government to arrest and detain someone, even an American citizen, without any type of due process or constitutional protections. How long until a leftist starts trying to use this against gun owners and gun rights groups? Probably a lot sooner than we realize.

  3. Yeah, when I read that they’d blown the guy up using a remote-dropped explosive, my first thought was “neat.”

    Remote-controlled devices are tools, just like anything else, and in this case, they were used to keep human lives out of harm’s way. I’m all over that. In my eyes, using a Predator drone to kill a target is no morally different from using a Blackhawk to kill a target, and considerably cheaper.

    It’s not the drone strike that’s the problem, it’s whether the strike was performed in accordance with standard legal procedures with regards to killing or arresting humans.

  4. Here’s the thing: Under the law, deadly force is deadly force. If deadly force is justified, the manner of its delivery is immaterial.
    “They meant to kill him! They had no intention of taking him into custody! They were judge, jury, and executioner!” Yep. Just like a SWAT sniper is.
    (Incidentally, this goes two ways. When I hear people say it’s okay to kill U.S. citizens on foreign soil with drones, I get a little cringe-y, because if it’s legal to kill them with drones, it’s just as legal to walk up to them on the street and shoot them in the back of the head.)

  5. Hear,hear! Miguel, you and old1811 have hit the nails on the heads and then countersunk them!

  6. The part that makes me uncomfortable is a give em an inch they take a mile outlook. Ok so say we are cool with a pound of c4 strapped to an oversized RC car to blow up an entrenched shooter. So what’s the next iteration? How long does the boundary get pushed untik we are at a predator drone shooting a missile or the police immediately resorting to sending in a robot loaded with explosives as a threat or any of the gazillion scenarios I cant think of?

    My other problem with this is the use of a pound of c4 to blow up a guy is a decided lethal solution from an group that should be very rarely deploying a decided lethal solution. In this instance it’s obvious that the guy was 99% not coming out alive and they devised and inventive solution to that problem while keeping people needlessly out of harms way. So I get it. But now we are back at the same problem, the next time do the police see if they can use the same tactical or push it a little further?

    As Miguel wrote, we need well established procedures, checks, and oversight for the use of something like this again. But even then at the end of the day I don’t think that will stops it’s abuse because the government in my eyes generally acts how it wants to regulation be damned and generally acts with impunity. Gee whiz it’s great that the government might be found guilty after the fact but it doesn’t help you because you are already dead/crippled/broke (financially)/maimed/all of the above.

    Tl;dr no matter how justified it is in this case it scare the bejesus out of me and for abuse.

  7. Braden Lynch : July 14, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Matt has some great points. If I could add, we see this creeping abuse with the huge number of no knock raids over trivial situations. When the police start acting like storm troopers all the time, it becomes a habit.

Feel free to express your opinions. Trolling, overly cussing and Internet Commandos will not be tolerated .

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