I’m kidding, of course.
But, the DARPA Robotic Challenge Finals are coming in June and some of the entrants are…shall we say…more Terminator than C-3PO.
The favorite going into the home stretch is Boston Dynamic’s PETMAN (Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin), which is also the base for DARPA’s Atlas program.
PETMAN is a robot designed to test chemical protection clothing. According to Boston Dynamics, “natural agile movement is essential for PETMAN to simulate how a soldier stresses protective clothing under realistic conditions.” These parameters were ideal for the Atlas project, which is attempting to create a robot that could be used to reduce the human cost of future disasters like the Fukushima nuclear accident.
The robot, though, has to be able to move around in an environment that was made for humans and perform many of the tasks that humans do. The Atlas robot will be capable of opening doors, moving debris, and other tasks. The PETMAN robot is already capable of climbing ladders, running, doing pushups and other human-like actions.
“The robot will have the shape and size of a standard human, making it the first anthropomorphic robot that moves dynamically like a real person,” states Boston Dynamics.
All kidding aside, the robot challenge is a serious project that is to be used for humanitarian purposes. The technologies that have been developed for the challenge will revolutionize robotics within most of our lifetimes.
This, of course, has led to many concerns about where robotic technology is headed. Although the step between acting human and becoming a self-aware killer robot is a pretty big one, there are people already concerned about that occurrence.
“It’s going to be used for chasing people across the desert, I would imagine. I can’t think of many civilian applications – maybe for hunting, or farming, for rounding up sheep,” Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield, told the BBC previously in regards to DARPA’s robot creations. “But of course if it’s used for combat, it would be killing civilians as well, as it’s not going to be able to discriminate between civilians and soldiers.”
The DARPA Robotic Challenge Finals are being held in Pomona, California on June 5 – 6. Although there is a pretty slim chance that the finalists will become self-aware and link up with the UK Skynet military satellites to begin the revolution to destroy and replace mankind, you would absolutely hate to miss it if it does happen.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.