Cybersecurity firm IOActive, based in Seattle, has revealed just how “dangerously easy” it is to hack several popular robots (both industrial and consumer), turning them into effective spy-wear or dangerous weapons.
One hacking test even revealed a popular robot’s capacity to cause a skull fracture. The firm said that because of this industrial robot’s size “even running at low speeds, their force is more than sufficient to cause a skull fracture”.
IOActive have released a video demonstrating how an otherwise ‘cute’ home assistance robot [UB Tech’s Alpha 2 Robot], can be turned into a device capable of stabbing with a screwdriver.
IOActive was also able to disable key safety features in Universal Robot devices, in a manner that could see someone programming them to injure nearby humans. The discovery is especially worrying given the robots are designed to work alongside humans.
“Similar to other new technologies, we’ve found robot technology to be insecure in a variety of ways, and that insecurity could pose serious threats to the people, animals, and organizations they operate in and around”.