South Korea has deployed the automatic sentry guns, Samsung SGR-A1 and the Super Aegis 2 in the DMZ. Super Aegis 2 an automated, turret-based weapon platform capable of locking onto a human target three kilometers away. The Samsung SGR-A1 is $200,000, Sentry Guard Robot has IR and visible light cameras and motion sensors to detect and track multiple targets from over two miles (3.2 km). It can give warning and provide suppressive fire against intruders, through a 5.56 mm robotic machine gun under the control of a human operator from a remote location.
The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula that serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea. It is 250 kilometers (160 miles) long and approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) wide, is one of the most heavily militarized border in the world, patrolled all along its length. These robots would allow the ROK to reduce casualties across the border as well allow the ROK to match with massive military force of North Korea in case of flare up.
Super Aegis 2, manufactured by DoDaam of South, Korea, supports a variety of weapons, from a standard machine-gun to a surface-to-air missile. It uses sophisticated thermal imaging software and camera systems to lock onto a human-sized target even in the dead of night. The system requires no human presence., It’s operated remotely from a distant control room.
The SGR-A1 robot is developed jointly by the Korea University and Samsung Techwin Co. It has a CCD and an infra-red camera, allowing it to detect and track targets at ranges of up to 4Km during the day and 2Km during nighttime. The system uses pattern recognition software to distinguish humans from animals or other objects. The robot can verbally command an enemy target to surrender, recognize the surrendering gesture of the soldier’s arms held high and then decide not to fire. If the intruder is unable to provide the necessary access code when at a distance of ten meters, the Samsung SGR-A1 can either sound an alarm, fire rubber bullets or make use of its Daewoo K3 5.56mm machine gun.
There are also moral and ethical issues with these killer robots, they pose a great threat to human rights, and international community need to evolve sufficient controls to govern their use.