Survival Week: Robot apocalypse

A robot apocalypse is perhaps the most dangerous apocalypse that can hit the earth. Unlike other types of apocalypses, time is of critical essence in order for humanity to survive. Robots are far superior to humans in almost every way, regardless of what form they take. Be it cyborgs, androids, Skynet, or simple automatons, robots possess by default extraordinary physical resilience and intellectual prowess that dwarfs the abilities of the alpha-most humans that have ever graced this planet. If Will Smith tried to punch a robot in the face like he did to that alien in Independence Day, every single bone in his hand would fracture. Attacking a machine with a heavy object like a pipe would also be mildly effective as depicted in the Terminator movies.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t have weapons at our disposal that can counter such an attack. The earlier we counterattack the higher our chance of success will be, but with robots being able to perform complex calculations and make decisions in fractions of a second we might end up getting our hands dirty with combat. Believe it or not, the most useful weapons for fighting off robots are actually available to us today, so lets dig in and see how we can effectively repel any robotic threat that looms.

Induced Self-Destruction

More commonly referred to as “talking the computer to death,” this method relies on tangling up the machine in a logical fallacy. Since all robots are based off of a computer, they must follow a linear and logical thought process in order to function. The automaton must function logically based on its pre-programmed directives. It doesn’t understand morality but it does understand that it must function according to its parameters or it will cause a memory error or an overload. Think of the blue screen of death. Whenever the computer tries to perform an illegal operation it BSoDs and shuts down. The same applies to any computer-based machine (read: all robots). Should they perform or try to perform a function that they are not programmed to do they will stop functioning.

Induced self-destruction is a very difficult thing to achieve because you must out-think the robot in a logical manner. The biggest hurdle is getting the robot to engage in dialogue with you instead of outright killing you. The best robot to use this tactic on is an inanimate one such as a computer mainframe. Accessing the robot overlord’s central core via terminal or direct contact is necessary. Luck plays a heavy role here which is why this is a very high-risk maneuver. You are not only hoping that you will survive whatever barriers exist between you and your target, but that you will find some loophole in its programming that you can use against it. For example, if you discover that the primary function of the robot apocalypse is to destroy imperfect beings then you can try to prove to the robot that it has in fact destroyed perfect beings in the process, such as by destroying fellow robots as collateral damage during the attack.

Conventional Weaponry

Armor piercing bullets and artillery will be incredibly useful to fight off the machines. By default the materials the robot is made out of will be limited to whatever is available on earth. Unless of course they’re from another planet, in which cause you’re screwed. It is highly unlikely that the robots will be made entirely out of diamond. Should the robots discover how to synthesize materials that are impervious to conventional weapons then it is safe to assume that they will be restricted by the time required to gather the materials needed to create units based entirely off of that compound. Visit your local gun shop or army surplus store and grab as many highly destructive weapons as you can. Be sure to have plenty of ammunition. Grenades, rocket launchers, mines, and high-powered rifles will all be necessary to destroy or slow down an invading robot army.

If the robots assume cyborg form then their organic components must compliment their machinery in order for them to survive. In this situation the pyromaniacs will have the highest chance of survival. Molotov cocktails, flamethrowers, firebombs, or good old gasoline and matches will do the trick. Destroy the organic components and the cyborgs will be neutralized.

Please note that with conventional weaponry you will need to rely on guerrilla warfare tactics. It is only logical for the robots to equip themselves with some sort of infrared detection device in order to find and kill humans. Most people are straight out of luck in this case, but since you are reading this consider yourself fortunate. Immediately head over to Greece and break into Intermat’s headquarters. Intermat is a Greek defense contractor that specializes in anti-IR detection technology and has a few anti-IR suits and creams (à la Predator) on hand that you can wear. They may not be 100% effective but they will significantly improve your chances for survival.

Capture and Reprogram

This process is also quite tricky and high-risk but a successful attempt can yield drastically favorable results for humanity. Using a combination of conventional weaponry, electromagnetic pulses (more on that later), and human ingenuity a robot can be safely captured and reprogrammed to be on humanity’s side during the apocalypse. The hardest part in this process is the whole capture-and-disable part. It is a guarantee that all robot drones will be connected to the central computer wirelessly via satellite signal or RF signal so any attempt to reprogram it will fail as long as it is still able to receive signals from the mainframe.

Set up a secure place to lure a drone into that is a dead zone for RF and other wireless frequencies. A good example is a basement of a large structure that is heavily reinforced with steel beams and cement. If you want to be extra sure, you can raid the NaturalNano headquarters and steal a few gallons of their special nanotech paint that blocks RF and WiFi signals. Cover the walls, floor, and ceiling of your desired capture point in the said basement and let the fun begin. Upon successfully disabling the drone you’ll be able to use whatever surviving MIT eggheads exist to reprogram it. However, do not get cocky. Don’t program it to go out killing other robots because you will just waste an extremely valuable asset to your arsenal. Instead program it to capture and disable other robots at first. Once you have successfully amassed a small contingent of robot fighters, then you can begin your counter attack. Be sure to keep a few recon drones back at base in case you need to capture more robots.

Important: Do not use this opportunity to create a virus that you can infect the robots with! It is a very common misconception that a robot apocalypse would be carried out by robots stupid enough not to be running Norton McAffe Microsoft Security Essentials some sort of advanced anti-virus safeguards. The central computer has the power to monitor all of its drones remotely and simultaneously. Any abnormal behavior would be almost instantaneously detected and dealt with. A robot would have to interface directly with other robots to spread the virus, which is a process that will take long enough to be detected by the robotic overlord. Even if the virus is programmed to spread wirelessly through the network it would be a cascade effect that would trigger an alarm microseconds before reaching the mainframe. For a robot, a microsecond is an eternity…an eternity in which safeguards can be developed and deployed before any real damage is done. If you try to send a robot directly to the source to inject the virus it would be stopped long before it reaches its target because its abnormal behavior (a robot heading to the mainframe without purpose) would be detected and neutralized. Furthermore, if you’re planning on infecting the mainframe directly yourself then that’s just silly. If you’re in the same room as the mainframe then blowing it to bits is probably a quicker and more convenient solution.

Electromagnetic Pulses

This is the most important weapon when it comes to fighting off a robot apocalypse. Since all robots, machines, androids, cyborgs, Skynets, and any other variation of an automated enemy rely on computers and electrical components in some way or another, an EMP is the surest way to disable the attackers. I’m going to break this down into three parts since this is a doozy.

EMP Guns and Portable EMPs

Believe it or not, EMP Guns and EMP generators do exist and are actually affordable. Head over to Information Unlimited to snag up the assembly plans for such devices. Be sure to stock up on batteries so make plans to take over a Duracell or Energizer plant or warehouse so you don’t run out of juice for your toys. The Low Power Pulse Gun is a perfect handheld device that will generate an EMP that can disable and de-program microprocessors and circuitry in close proximity. Coupled with your Intermat anti-IR shielding you will be able to sneak into the robot stronghold by disabling enemies one by one without them knowing what hit them. Be sure to bring an Energy Probe along so you can detect any forcefields that may be in place at the compound. If you’re going with a group, be sure to have at least one Electromagnetic EMP Blaster Gun, Gen II in case you find yourselves outnumbered. Make sure that one of your teammates (preferably not a female or a minority because some rights group will be crawling up your ass in the aftermath for having chosen them do the grunt work) carries a backpack full of extra batteries just in case.

The Kirtland Trestle

If there is any place in the world that humanity should use as a base against a robot apocalypse it is the ATLAS-I Trestle at the Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. Constructed entirely of non-metallic parts, the Trestle was home to large-scale military electromagnetic tests between 1980 and 1990. The goal was to research the effects of a nuclear attack on electronic devices that were found in military aircraft. Airplanes would be propped up on the Trestle and then blasted with 200 kilojoules of energy, creating an electromagnetic field that fried any electrical component caught in it. The best part is that the field was harmless to humans! Using the EMP devices mentioned in the previous section, humans can safely guard the Marx capacitors and other essential equipment needed to use the device. Aiming and firing the EMP generator could disable any attack launched by the robots, be it terrestrial or aerial. Here, the survivors of humanity would be safe for an extended period of time, time that will be vital in researching and developing a successful counter-attack.

Nuke the Atmosphere

This should be only used as a last resort but this method will fully eliminate any robot apocalypse completely. There is also a chance that a nuclear winter will be launched in the aftermath but humans are resourceful enough to survive the decade or two of harsh conditions this might cause. Nuclear weapons are known to produce an electromagnetic pulse upon detonation. In fact, the higher up in the atmosphere the bomb is detonated, the larger the area of damage the EMP will cause. A nuclear EMP detonated at an altitude of about 250 miles will cause gamma rays to smash into the atmosphere, making electrons deflect sideways by the earth’s magnetic field. The affected radius would encompass most of the United States. A burst altitude of about 300 miles would launch an EMP that would disable any electronic device within a 1,400 mile radius. So if a nuke was detonated 300 miles above Lebanon, Kansas the EMP would affect all of the United States, most of Canada and Mexico, the entire Gulf of Mexico, and parts of Cuba.

The EMP would send shockwaves through all electrical circuits, disabling anything within its vicinity or that is connected to such circuitry. Therefore any robotic infrastructure that is connected by physical cables such as power lines or fiber optics would be affected. Launching about fifteen to twenty strategically placed nukes around the globe will be sufficient enough to encompass the entire planet with enough EMP power to bring an end to a robot apocalypse. Should the robots launch an aerial counter attack against the nukes, the resulting EMP from the bomb’s destruction will thwart any future counter-attack within the vicinity of the EMP. All we have to do is launch another one a bit closer…and a bit closer…and a bit closer, effectively closing the walls around the robot attack. If the robots are from space, then we simply fire our nukes towards their mothership. We’re bound to triangulate the ship with our EMPs and humanity can begin rebuilding itself in the aftermath, perhaps with an added arm or leg due to genetic mutations caused by the radiation.

7 thoughts on “Survival Week: Robot apocalypse”

  1. WARNING: Do not attempt the Kirk “Logic Bomb” tactic without having a dramatic musical score to accompany your attack.

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