Welcome to our continuing series featuring videos of robots that will, when they become autonomous, hunt us down and force us to work in the graphene factories of Mars. Below we see Wild Cat, a fully untethered remote control quadrupedal robot made by Boston Dynamics, creators of the famous Big Dog. This quadruped can run up to 16 miles an hour and features a scary-sound internal gas engine that can power it across rough terrain. Wild Cat was funded by the DARPA’s M3 program aimed at introducing flexible, usable robots into natural environments AKA introducing robotic pack animals for ground troops and build flocking, heavily armed robots that can wipe out a battlefield without putting humans in jeopardy.
Next up we have ATLAS, another Boston Dynamics bot that can walk upright on rocks. Sadly ATLAS is tethered to a power source but he has perfect balance and can survive side and front hits from heavy weights – a plus if you’re built to be the shock troops of a new droid army. ATLAS can even balance on one foot while being smacked with wrecking balls, something the average human can’t do without suffering internal damage. I can’t wait for him to be able to throw cinder blocks!
Finally we present these charming self-assembling robots from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory which we covered earlier today. The robots exert an internal force to spin and then connect with each other using magnets, allowing them to fly into the air for a second and then fall down next to their brothers and sisters in exactly the right spot. This allows these completely featureless squares to form any shape they want and, like autonomous LEGOs, they can build complex devices out of a few simple shapes.
“There’s a point in time when the cube is essentially flying through the air,” said researcher Kyle Gilpin. “And you are depending on the magnets to bring it into alignment when it lands. That’s something that’s totally unique to this system.”
They may look innocuous but imagine these things self-assembling into, say, a wall, a door, or even a plate of explosives. They could sneak through pipes into your home and create a robotic assassin to destroy you in the sleep, thereby freeing up your “Schlafplatz” for other humans who have been reduced to sleeping out of doors after the robots took over most habitable locations for the storage of fermenting human slurry. Stay frosty, humans!