Making a statement, or, “E for Effort”


Well, here’s something you don’t see every day:

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.