Fly-sized robots can now be powered by a laser and tiny solar photovoltaic cell: a new first in robotics

University of Washington researcher Sawyer Fuller frees the mini-robot of power wires by using a laser to power a solar cell. Currently the laser has to be less than 7 feet from the device. But this will no doubt be refined, and future uses can include surveillance, track down pollutant leaks, and perform search and rescue missions in small, confined spaces, the Wired article says.

What is not mentioned is the potential role that experts like MIT physics professor Max Tegmark fear: weapons of assassination. As he sees it, “we’re on the verge of starting an out-of-control arms race in AI-controlled weapons, which can weaken today’s powerful nations by making cheap and convenient assassination machines available to everybody with a full wallet and an axe to grind.”

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