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Australian Govt launches killer robot competition

Don't hurt me!
Don't hurt me!

The Australian government has launched a competition to encourage AI and robotics specialists to design military robots to help with the Australian army's "dirty work".

The multi-million dollar competition is being promoted to create "intelligent and fully autonomous" robotic fighting systems that can assist the military in urban combat zones.

The competition has been put together by Australia's Defence Science and Technology Organisation working with the US military.

Military research grants

Australian defence officials told the BBC that "the aim is to reduce casualties in urban areas where fighting is unpredictable and treacherous" with senior officials in Canberra hoping robotic vehicles will help with the army's "dirty work".

The competition is offering robotics and AI experts research grants of $1.6m (£984,000).

Five short-listed candidates will attend the Land Warfare Conference in Brisbane in November 2010, to present their ideas for killer robots and artificial intelligence to find out who wins 'the prize'.