The dangers of humans hacking your home robots

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With new technology can come new problems. For hackers, new technology can be a new opportunity. Now, two Argentinian security researchers are showing how hackers can cause domestic robots to rise up against their masters. 

We’re not talking about Amazon’s Alexa going on a shopping spree. This is about turning adorable humanoid robots into violent psychopaths. 

As reported by Popular Mechanics, Lucas Apa and Cesar Cerrudo are using the Hack in a Box security conference in Singapore to demonstrate the hacks on UBTech’s Alpha 2 robot and Softbank’s NAO robot. They also plan on showing how the robots can be turned into mobile spies by exploiting their fancy cameras and microphones.

Both UBTech and Softbank downplayed the findings and have told Wired that their robots are safe, but Apa and Cerrudo say the safety concerns haven’t been addressed. 

Cerrudo told Wired, "In a couple of years, these robots will be very tied into family life and business. When they get hacked, there will be serious consequences."

Apa and Cerrudo also plan on hacking the industrial-focused robotic arm sold by Universal Robots.  The "collaborative" robots can lift 22 pounds and work alongside their human counterparts. 

A live video of their hack showed Apa and Cerrudo were able to overwrite the limits on speed and the force it applies, along with how it reacts when it detects someone nearby.  

Maybe science fiction had it wrong. Instead of Skynet becoming self-aware and starting a robotic rebellion --  it might be other humans that finally turn the robots against us. 

 

Watch the video to see how the humans hacked the bots. 

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