CHRONICLING THE ROBOT INDUSTRY

Watch Out Granny! Robot Pat Downs Are Next…

I have traveled many times and wondered, is there an IQ test to become a TSA agent.  It appears from today’s latest headline, “TSA Agent Makes 95 Year-old Woman Remove Adult Diaper,” that a Robot might have better judgement.  Yes, Depends needs to re-design for enhanced pat downs.  I am clearly not the first to ask this question…

According to the Consumer Traveler Magazine, “Robots will eliminate the violation of dignity when passengers are stripped naked by whole-body scanners and replace a ‘human element; with a dispassionate machine to screen for weapons and explosives…  In fact, Robin Kane, Assistant Administrator, Operational Process and Technology, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spoke directly to his organization’s exploration of more “auto-detection capabilities. In other words, TSA is looking at robots to replace officers during the screening process.”

While many seasoned travellers might applaud this move, one needs to wonder is it really necessary.  If Robots become the access point to our ports that leaves hackers as the key to taking over our transportation system.   I know Grandma  probably did not need her enhanced soiled pat-down, but maybe the answer is to be less robotic and more human.  I have travelled extensively to Israel, whose airport security is world famous.  The key to their success is not the hands of the scanner but his or her eyes. Rather than looking at my license and the bulge in my pocket, the Israeli agent looks directly in my eyes as they ask probing questions.  At the end of the day a Robot is only as good as the intelligence of its programmer.