The narrative of robots becoming so smart that they’ll eventually rise up and overthrow the human race has long been present in almost all forms of fiction and despite these warning signs people still seem to want to develop robots that can definitely hunt and kill us and eventually rule over us.
The latest in a long line of developments that are probably only going to be listed as mistakes if we’re even allowed to have history textbooks by our robot overlords in the future is this Cheetah robot, developed by a guy called Sangbae Kim from the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. Remember that name because he’s gonna be responsible for the downfall of the human race.
Anyway, the Cheetah III can climb staircases, leap across obstacles and recover its balance when suddenly yanked or shoved. It can also operate in the dark and is able to sneak through your window too, as well as being able to jump as high as a table, run at 7mph and walk on three legs if one of them gets damaged. Don’t wanna make it too easy to immobilise if it ever attacks humans do we? I mean obviously it’s not designed to hunt humans, but it sounds like it would be pretty good at it, don’t you think?
Kim had this to say about his robot:
Cheetah 3 is designed to do versatile tasks such as power plant inspection, which involves various terrain conditions including stairs, curbs, and obstacles on the ground.
I think there are countless occasions where we [would] want to send robots to do simple tasks instead of humans. Dangerous, dirty, and difficult work can be done much more safely through remotely controlled robots.
here are many unexpected behaviors the robot should be able to handle without relying too much on vision.
Vision can be noisy, slightly inaccurate, and sometimes not available, and if you rely too much on vision, your robot has to be very accurate in position and eventually will be slow. So we want the robot to rely more on tactile information.
That way, it can handle unexpected obstacles while moving fast.
I mean it sounds like he’s building it for the right reasons, but goddammit has he never seen Terminator or The Matrix or anything? I hope he knows what he’s doing otherwise our days are numbered.
For more of the same, check out this story about a robot who was gifted with intelligence then immediately decided to commit suicide. Sensible.