Shooting Robot Smog

Cyrus Farivar wrote a story last week for Ars Technica about the newest trope in look what 3D printing can do: a 3d-printed lower body for an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. While the idea that 3d printing is changing the future of gun ownership is overly sensational – guns are so cheap in our country that there is really no need to print them when you can buy them so easily – we will see this story come back again and again as a variety of boundaries are crossed, bringing devices that do harm, or break laws, into the comfortable zone of home production. Robot Smog is not just about annoying machines messing up our green parks; each time a new homespun robot class is born, we will see fresh collisions between the excitement of a new level of empowerment for the creator and a new form of nightmare for the unintended victims.

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