Speed Reads

The police state

A terrible idea for police reform from 1924: Robots who battle protesters

Robocop isn't just a campy gore-fest from the 1980s — it's also a horrifying and apparently serious proposal from Science and Invention magazine in May 1924:

The "Radio Police Automaton," which features tear gas dispensers, caterpillar treads, and glowing eyes, was envisioned as a new way to keep a rowdy populace in check, as the caption explains:

Such a machine would seem to be exceedingly valuable to disperse mobs, or for war purposes and even for industrial purposes... The arms are provided with rotating discs which carry lead balls on flexible leads. These act as police clubs in action... Bullets do not affect them and if equipped with a twenty to forty H.P. engine, they will be well nigh irresistible. [Reason]

Just don't let the Pentagon see these plans or the 1033 program may suddenly offer a terrifying new product.