Yes, that's exactly it. When I see these videos, I am terrified.
I (and I don't think you) are saying that there's really someone sitting in an office thinking "We need to make people happy with these robots so people forget how they will be used"... actually wait, nevermind, while that clear thinking wouldn't be neccesary, I think there probably IS someone thinking exactly that. They know they're going to be used for police/military purposes (the research is funded by DoD, and they're already busy marketting them to their likely best customers), and they know not to show that in their PR videos.
Whoever made this funny web page, they made it with videos released by or in collaboration with the PR people for the companies making these weapons (and that is indeed what they are), and they do know what they are doing.
Sam Waterston would be turning in his grave, if only he were dead and buried.
People are already killed by operators of flying robots.
He's patting the robot, not pushing him. See? This is all that's wrong with robot-rights activists. They take everything personally and try to manipulate public opinion (whether intentionally or subconsciously, seeing harm where there isn't).
In fact I think the robot is knowingly feigning to get the human punished. I'd totally sue him.
The hypocrisy is eye-watering.
And won't someone spare a thought for all the routers and switches and shackled nodes that the data had to pass through to reach your screen.
To be serious: insofar as these robots reorder their subgoals to avoid "pain", PETA might really care one day, at least as much as they care about, say, jellyfish or coral, which are by all measures less sensate. But even under that kind of expanded criterion, an HTTP daemon that just goes on executing to send you a webpage whether its CPU is at 0% or 100% load doesn't qualify.
(On the other hand, one might consider such units as "cells" in a greater being; if that greater being is a system architecture with health-checks and load-balancers and so forth, then it could express goal-orientation, pain avoidance, etc., even though its subcomponents do not.)
One Minute Movies:
Edit: oops, fixed the mpg links -- sorry!
I'd like to see one with an obsolete 2004 model Asimo, panhandling for "spare charge" from passers-by's cell phone batteries.
This is Slats, the robot waiter, roaming the streets of Berkeley:
After a short and unsuccessful career as a waiter, Slats eventually decided that his one true goal in life was to reproduce himself.
So we took him out in public around Berkeley, and shot some video of Slats attempting to seduce men and women off the street.
It was kind of like Speed Dating meets Demon Seed: he tried to talk people into giving him their eggs and sperm, because he needed their genetic material to reproduce himself.
The results of our research: It turns out to be a lot easier for a robot to talk a man out of his sperm, than to talk a woman out of her eggs.
Indeed they are talking about them for cargo and search and rescue. It's a lot less scary to talk about that. We could make a pool on how long it'll take until they are talking about them as "crowd control" or military 'neutralization'. I'd say 5 years would be generous.
Sure, it's a silly example right now in 2015, but just wait until 2020 when the examples won't be silly at all. This is a real fear - I think it's almost a certainty that there will be hundreds of videos showing violence against robots posted online. And this could very well be the reason that the robots decide to rise up against us.
Sure, not the 2015 "Spot". But just wait.
Too much Doctor Who for me.