All robots are awesome in their own way, but does this really deserve coverage from CNN and the AP? It’s basically a Roomba with a water pistol and a loudspeaker attached.

At first, he walked around, indoors and out, with an assault rifle on his shoulder to scare away vagrants, but police told him to put away the gun. Then he used a spotlight. But the bar was still being vandalized, and guns were stuck in his face several times…

An environmental engineer by day, Terrill gathered the makings of his vigilante for three months. A three-wheel scooter gives the Bum Bot mobility. A home-alarm loudspeaker attached to a walkie-talkie gives it a voice. Its head is a former home meat-smoker. The red lights are from a 1997 Chevrolet, and it’s powered by four car batteries…

Bulky as it is, the Bum Bot is surprisingly quiet. Terrill always stands about 10 feet behind it and follows a routine. First he turns on the red eyes, then the spotlight. Then he has the Bum Bot warn that it’s videotaping the scene. Sometimes he has to call the police; usually people move on.

“I cleared out when I saw it,” says Matthew Williams, a 23-year-old who lives in a nearby shelter. “People are starting to get used to it. People leave right when they see it.”

Homeless advocates are naturally filled with heart-ache. Question: People were sticking guns in Terrill’s face before but now they flee in terror from a super soaker hooked up to a car battery? What am I missing here? Unless they think he’s a got a 12 gauge hidden in the belly of that thing that’s ready to pop out 007-style if anyone gets froggy…