Soldiers become emotional about their bots


The Washington Post has an interesting article on the emotional attachment soldiers have with their robots. We are glad this new technology is keeping more soldiers safe. It would make sense that such machines would become endearing to the very people they help protect.

“Sometimes they get a little emotional over it,” Bogosh says. “Like having a pet dog. It attacks the IEDs, comes back, and attacks again. It becomes part of the team, gets a name. They get upset when anything happens to one of the team. They identify with the little robot quickly. They count on it a lot in a mission.”

The bots even show elements of “personality,” Bogosh says. “Every robot has its own little quirks. You sort of get used to them. Sometimes you get a robot that comes in and it does a little dance, or a karate chop, instead of doing what it’s supposed to do.” The operators “talk about them a lot, about the robot doing its mission and getting everything accomplished.” He remembers the time “one of the robots happened to get its tracks destroyed while doing a mission.” The operators “duct-taped them back on, finished the mission and then brought the robot back” to a hero’s welcome.

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3 Responses to “Soldiers become emotional about their bots”

  1. Bob Mottram says:

    This isn’t surprising, and I expect that people will become just as attached to their robots as they do to their pets. Even today people get similarly attached to their computers. When I was doing general IT support I saw people going into panic when their computer wouldn’t turn on or receive emails, almost like a drug addict suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

  2. Alex says:

    Yes, it’s definitely quite strange how attached people are to their computers (myself included, ha!). Now that you mention it… as scary as it sounds, it does closely resemble withdrawals from a drug addiction.

    Great! With the crazys in the world and their obsession to diagnosis something that isn’t anything more than a lack of self-discipline, we’re all going to be labeled as Technologiholics and told that we have to start attending TA (Technologiholics Anonymous) meetings.

  3. matt says:

    I personified my Roomba almost immediately. I would yell at it all the time for returning to the same corner over and over. LOL.

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