In the spirit of doing more with a cell phone, Afghan inventor Hanif Molavizadeh developed for his workshop a burglar alarm rigged to his mobile and an AK-47 assault rifle.
Here’s how it works: When motion detectors outside of his workshop sense intruder activity, the system calls Molavizadeh’s cell phone and an automated voice warns him of the situation. Molavizadeh can, if he chooses, talk to the intruder via an integrated intercom system or he can remotely fire the assault rifle and pretty much ventilate the would-be burglar.
In March, Molavizadeh forgot to unload the weapon while testing his system and sent a bullet through his neighbor’s window and off his wall. The neighbor, a police officer, was less than pleased, but another neighbor asked Molavizadeh to create for him a similar, if less-lethal, home security system.
Editor's Note: This story was originally reported by NPR.
If, however, you prefer an automated home service (i.e., slave) robot, Paris-based Aldebaran Robotics is developing an automaton for its Project Nao initiative.
Though still a few years away from public delivery, the robot features speech recognition, speech synthesis, and a face that mimics human emotions ("Dave, are you trying to shut me down? Dave?")
Aldebaran uses Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio software, which is available as a free download. As of press time, 200,000 copies had already been downloaded, according to Microsoft.
Developers are continuously working on the design; Microsoft is still working to leverage vision, navigation, speech, and sound technologies into the software. Fortunately, self-destruct capabilities are not in the blueprints.