04/29/2014 02:54 EDT | Updated 06/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Some facts about autonomous weapons systems, so-called 'killer robots'

OTTAWA - Critics are calling for a pre-emptive strike on so-called "killer robots" — forthcoming autonomous weapons systems that will be able to find, select and fire on a target without the intervention of human beings. Here are three weapons that currently exist that are considered precursors to autonomous systems:

The Samsung SGR-A1 sentry gun. Currently deployed along the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, the SGR-A1 is considered partially autonomous and is capable of tracking multiple moving targets.

The Taranis unmanned combat air vehicle by BAE Systems. Currently only a demonstration model, the Taranis can fly intercontinental missions and is considered autonomous.

The X-47B unmanned air combat vehicle by Northrop Grumman. Currently only a demonstration model, the X-47B can also fly intercontinental missions and is deemed autonomous.

Countries known to be developing and testing autonomous weapons: the United States, Britain, Israel, China, Russia, South Korea.

Some 272 scientists in 37 countries are calling for a ban on the development and deployment of fully autonomous weapons.

Groups and agencies allied against autonomous weapons: Human Rights Watch, Article 36, Association for Aid and Relief Japan, International Committee for Robot Arms Control, Mines Action Canada, Nobel Women’s Initiative, PAX (formerly known as IKV Pax Christi), Pugwash Conferences on Science & World Affairs, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Source: Campaign to Stop Killer Robots