Old 20th March 2008, 21:04   #1
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Man, 81, kills himself with shot from 'suicide robot'

An elderly man has killed himself by programming a robot to shoot him in the head after building the machine from plans downloaded from the internet.

Francis Tovey, 81, who lived alone in Burleigh Heads on the Australian Gold Coast, was found dead in his driveway.

According to the Gold Coast Bulletin, he had been unhappy about the demands of relatives living elsewhere in Australia that he should move out of his home and into care.

Notes left by Mr Tovey — who was born in England — revealed that he had scoured the internet for plans before constructing his 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.

At 7am on Tuesday he set the robot up in the driveway of his £450,000 house and activated it.

His notes suggested that Mr Tovey chose to kill himself in the driveway because he knew there were workmen building a new house next door who would find his body.

The scheme worked, as carpenter Daniel Skewes heard gunshots and ran to Mr Tovey's home. "I thought I heard three shots and when we ran next door he was lying on the driveway with gunshot wounds to the head," Mr Skewes told the GCB.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, told the newspaper that Mr Tovey had lived at his home on Gabrielle Grove since 1984. "He was a really marvellous man, an ideal neighbour and I will miss him greatly," she said.

"He was born in England, like I was, and we used to enjoy our tea together. He had visitors from England and family interstate from somewhere far away in Australia.

"There was no inkling of anything amiss, it is just very sad."
Link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle3591734.ece
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Old 23rd March 2008, 21:23   #2
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Sux that he killed himself, but I'd like to see that thingamajig.

I could understand how the reciprocating action of a jigsaw could make a nice rapid-fire trigger puller, but I'd still like to see what it looked like. I'm surprised that after all that work he still only used a little pea shooter .22 to do the job. I would have used something more substantial if I were doing all that work to end my life.

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Old 26th March 2008, 07:43   #3
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Don't see why it was necessary to build a robot to do it, but that's a pretty sweet way to do yourself in.

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