A study conducted at the University of Washington has found that home robots may be a security and privacy leak for their owners. The authors of the study point out that it is not the case where intelligent robots will throw off their shackles and attack their owners. It&aposs a situation that some robots on the market can be hacked through the home&aposs wireless network or the robot&aposs wireless connection.
One specific problem pointed out in the press release for the study was the interception of a robot&aposs video and audio streams. If an attacker could also move the robot, I can well imagine compromising photos being shot and posted on the web or the robot could "case the joint" and discover what valuables are in the house and how the home security system might be overcome.
Depending on the model and features, it would seem conceivable to have the robot actually harm a person within the home. This could be the basis for a "locked room" murder mystery plot. The robot is controlled by an external agent to kill, clean up after itself, and then return to a resting state to await the arrival of the baffled detectives.
One would hope that such studies will alert consumers to be more cautious or mindful of the electronics that will be brought into their private lives. Simple things like changing the default passwords and encrypting home wireless networks will go a long way to give the consumer more security and privacy.