Robot with no off switch

Movies like Terminator characterize advanced robots that can hijack vehicles and punch through cement walls. In reality a bigger issue that we really have to look out for is more along the lines of when a robot that decides to run away from home. When working with programming robots that can navigate autonomously a few problems can arrive. One of these problems is the fact that a few lines of code containing less that ten characters in total can make the difference between a robot speeding away from you down the hall or safely making its way into the kitchen to get you a drink. Despite what popular culture might lead one to believe it is actually more realistic that a programming error would simply cause a robot to cease to be able to move rather than turning on its human creators in a destructive rampage. The reason behind this is because computers only do what we tell them to so next time your robot programmer tells you that the robot has malfunctioned and as a result has become inherently evil you should simply fire him because he has programmed the robot to do so.

What i'm leading into is my latest improvement on Salvius. Yes that's right; I have installed an ON switch! OK, I get the fact that it's no big deal because pretty much everything that uses electricity has one but for my robot I want to change the way we think about electronics. As you can see in the picture bellow, Salvius has a button and a switch mounted in the recessed space on the left side of the head. The switch is used to set the robot's heat sensitive motion sensor that will "wake up" the robot if someone enters the room. The button however, turns the robot on immediately. Neither one of these controls turns the robot off.

Salvius is designed to be able to interact with humans and thus why this robot is built to look at least somewhat human. A human-like appearance makes interaction easier as well as allowing Salvius to take the place of any person and use tools designed for people. There is in fact no off switch physically on the robot anywhere that is accessible while the robot is turned on. Because many of the instructions that Salvius can understand are given in computer code directly to the robot's main computer; the only way to deactivate the robot is by sending a "sudo shutdown -h now" command to the robots computer while connected to it using SSH. This is actually more convenient than it may sound because you can turn off the robot if it is in another room without even having to be present. It also helps if the robot decides to drive full speed away from where you are standing because running after a robot to try to switch it off can be pretty difficult!