DIY Russian war robot plays nanny to inventor's kid

Eructate! Eructate!

Today's dodgy robot story comes from Russia, where reports have it that a powerful wardroid under development has been given unusual duties. The deadly combat machine, doubtless more accustomed to mowing helpless fleshies like grass, has been reassigned in a cheesy sitcom-style twist as a robo-nanny in charge of looking after the inventor's baby son.

RIA Novosti reports that Russian engineer Vladimir Metlushko initially assembled his machine - which he has rather uninspiringly dubbed "Alien" - for military purposes.

"But when I started a family, the device's purpose changed," he told the news agency.

"It became both a nanny and a toy for our ten-month-old son."

In fact the war robot wasn't exactly in the class of Mechagodzilla, the Daleks or Hammerstein of the ABC Warriors (insert your favourite fictional wardroid here). RIA Novosti reports that the deadly machine was assembled by Metlushko in his kitchen from everyday odds and ends of the type many of us might find in the kitchen drawer: "A webcam, a motherboard, a laser range-finder, rechargeable batteries, a wi-fi transmitter and a bicycle brake."

Had the machine warrior's military career not been cut short by unexpected baby-minding duty, it might have struggled to get through robot boot camp by the sound of it. Even its designer didn't really think it suitable for more aggressive stuff than "scouting or minesweeping".

Given the fearful casualty rate among rather more badass US warbots in Iraq - and these are sometimes formidable machines, weighing up to five tons and bristling with a fearful panoply of weapons - "Alien" may have had a lucky escape.

Read even less about it from RIA Novosti here. ®

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