DIY Robotic Suicide Booth Used In Australia

An 81 year-old Australian man used a DIY robotic suicide booth to kill himself yesterday.

He investigated the requirements for the device online; he was apparently able to download the basic plans for a device. After constructing a device that would fire a .22 semi-automatic pistol, he positioned himself in front of the device, and set it into motion. The man, whose name has not been released, despaired upon learning that he would no longer be able to live independently.


(Suicide booth from Futurama)

Science fiction fans may recall the Suicide Booths from the Futurama series; for only twenty-five cents, people (or robots) could enter the booth and be killed by robotically operated knives, saws and other implements of destruction. General Motors aired an ad about a robot thinking about suicide.

In the classic Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon, two warring planetary societies used what amounted to a computer game to wage war on each other without all that messy bombing and destruction of property. The "score" was settled by the end of every day, as people lined up dutifully at suicide booths.

Kurt Vonnegut used a similar idea in his very early stories like Welcome to the Monkey House; the Ethical Suicide Parlors were staffed by human beings.

Perhaps the earliest reference to this idea is the government lethal chamber from the 1895 story The Repairer of Reputations.

As I recall, John Varley used the idea of a computer-based interactive suicide note in his award-winning 1984 story Press Enter.

Via Man shot by killer robot; thanks to Moira for pointing out this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/21/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Sex In Driverless Cars? Updated With Video!
'...admirable for petting.' - David H. Keller, 1935.

Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.' - William Gibson, 1996.

Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...' - Philip K. Dick, 1964.

Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...' - William Gibson, 1996.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
'...the valuable shards of what had once been satellites.'

Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...

Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...'

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Printing out chicken nuggets.

MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.