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News – Robot used to commit suicide

May 2008

Robot used to commit suicide

 

An elderly Englishman living in Australia’s Gold Coast killed himself by programming a robot to shoot him in the head. He built the machine from plans downloaded from the internet. Francis Tovey, who was 81, lived alone and was found dead in his driveway.

     Notes left by Mr Tovey revealed that he had scoured the internet for plans before constructing a complex machine, which involved a jigsaw power tool and was connected to a .22 semi-automatic pistol loaded with four bullets. It could fire multiple shots once triggered remotely.

     Mr Tovey set up the robot in the driveway of his house before activating it at 7.00 in the morning. A suicide note suggested that he chose to kill himself in the driveway because he knew there were workmen building a new house next door who would find his body.

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