Rob Beschizza at 6:01 am Fri, Mar 1, 2013
Dynamic Robot Manipulation [Boston Dynamics]
Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Email is dead, but you can try your luck at besc...@gmail.com
MORE: bigdog • boston dynamics
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Absolute worst weaponization of a robot, ever.
Altering the environment and getting through obstructions merely makes their other weapons that much more formidable!
But I do see a future in a new Olympic sport.
Competitive Robot Fleeing?
I only have to outrun you.
That is, if it only has one cinderblock. [flees]
Boston Dynamics is starting with a rock throwing robot, and on the planning board it will soon be followed by a club wielding robot, then a spear throwing robot, a sword swinging robot, an arrow shooting robot, then an armored horse riding javelin holding robot, then a gun shooting robot, a jet-fighter pilot robot, and finally a tank robot. These things must follow a natural progression.
Cool! Like Civilization IV! Can they build the Great Lighthouse too?
I think the final robot will build a four-legged robot with a throwing arm.
And eventually a robot that will sit in meetings consuming coffee and donuts. Then the circle shall be complete.
One day in the far future: Robots sitting around a board room discussing a chart propped up on the table end:
C5P9: “And you see, gentlebots, this new model is able to carry supplies and manipulate weapons.”
R10D10: “Amazing. And what about cost? Is it expensive?”
C5P9: “That is the beauty of it. It is self-replicating. Just put two of them together in the proper configurations and they will generate a new one. No factory, no assembly. They just keep making new ones in the field.”
R10D10: “But what about power? Something like that must require tremendous batteries or fuel cells, right?”
C5P9: “Nope. No batteries at all. It can convert organics into fuel on demand in the field!”
R10D10: “This will revolutionize warfare! What are we calling it?”
C5P9: “We call it BigApe”
I, for one, welcome our new ballistic construction material wielding overlords.
Someone had to say it.
I’ve seen it all before… first come the “oohs!” and the “ahs!”, and later comes the screaming and the running…
Inevitably, it will all end in tears.
But I needed that brick!
That’s going to put a lot of brick hurlers out of their jobs.
THEY TOOKER JERBS
Why do these designs always remember me of HalfLife creatures?
It’s just practicing for its chance for revenge against the guy who kicked it in an earlier video:
… so solving all those “there’s no brick throwing robots” problems we used to have to live with.
You call that building a wall? Bad robot! No biscuit. err no oil change?
HOLY SHIT, DID THAT ROBOT JUST THROW A BRICK AT ME?!
No, no. That would be ridiculous!
Those were clearly cinder blocks.
That’s awesome. I wonder how precise its aim is. It’s a prototype, it’s not for use in the field yet – it’s just showing that they have the ability to build a robot that can maintain balance all throughout the many changes to its center of gravity from the movement of that heavy thing.
Have you seen the pole throwing quadcopters? These things will be very precise at some point
Sure, I suppose it COULD be used to clear debris and rubble in a search and rescue environment, but if that were the case, would it need to actually throw the bricks, or just pick them up and put them down somewhere else? This is a weapon. A crappy one, but a weapon.
its an arm.
a good one, but an arm
The robot is armed.
There, now you’re both right.
I’d be impressed if there were another one catching them.
Well, this looks useful.
Definitely useful for clearing obstructions for a squad or for rescuing a trapped soldier.
Or at least throwing bricks at a trapped soldier.
Throwing soldiers at other soldiers would definitely influence morale.
Now that would be the pinnacle of The Art of War.
It´s practising for the Future Robot Intifadah!
Robomules will down drones hurling stones!
That is actually a very good idea.
It can hurl bricks and Riverdance at the same time. Take that, Michael Flatley!
The ‘monster’ looks more like a pack mule, which I think is the army’s official mascot.
Teaching it to play the penny whistle will be trivial.
Finally, we’ve wedded the stubbornness of mules with the strength of elephants. What could possibly go wrong?
I’d like to see a video where this robot teams up with that panda that throws everything off the office desk.
Now link it to a rat brain and we’re off!
Hmmm… so they’ve invented a catapult. I’m sure the Romans would have been quite impressed.
…I kid, of course. To all those who were thinking along the same sarcastic lines I was (i.e. all the comments above), what’s key here is that this is a quadruped robot that can lift up a large heavy weight, swing that weight around, and release it, all while maintaining its balance. Yes, a tractor can do that as well, after a fashion, but a tractor weighs many times more than this. If the robot weren’t dynamically adapting its stance constantly, it would tip over.
This is more a test of the stabilization and versatility of the robot than a move towards replacing armies with brick throwers.
Ignatz? Is that you?
Back in the 1990s, Survival Research Labs made a wonderful machine that launches six-foot-long 2″ x 4″s up to 800 feet. It is officially called the Pitching Machine but nicknamed the Lumbershooter:
My good buddy works at BD as an EE. He’s totally cool about building skynet.
I think youtube videos like this are some of the most effective recruitment videos I’ve seen. Who wouldn’t want to work on things like that?
Great, a robot that can chase you down and use a terrifying metal claw to rip your nuts off.
It’s about one-millionth as dangerous as those remote-controlled military robots that have treads and guns attached, but somehow this one just seems creepier.
Are we really going to stand here and watch it get better?
Yesssss…. Throwing the dead bodies of the enemy out of the way so we can proceed with the death march. Conan’s statement about what is best in life needs a slight modification:
Crush your enemies
Have them THROWN around you
And to hear the lamentation of their women
Wow. for once nobody wants to have sex with it.
Anybody else worried that this beasty is throwing concrete blocks OVER ITS SHOULDER – at who? US, the good guys following it.
It’s a veritable over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.
A brick throwing robot and an oreo de-icing gizmo.
A great week for machinery.
It’s like they want us all to die horribly.
Judging from how their earlier robots were self-balancing, I’m sure this one would be independently figuring out how to fling any weight and shape object without flipping itself over in the process.
Oh man, if they ever reboot Robot Wars, it is going to be AWESOME!
Go home scientists, you are drunk.*
(*drunkenness implied from both being in Boston, and the belligerent brick wielding robot)
Now they just need to build smaller and more deadly robots for this one to throw… Fastball Special!!!
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