And So It Begins...
What begins, you ask?
Good question. The time when we humans inadvertently create robots that eventually turn against us and eradicate our species.
Exhibit A: BigDog, a product of Boston Dynamics and DARPA. This is a picture of BigDog right here, a robot that looks to be, at this point, a transport device.
Here's how they describe it on the website:
BigDog is the alpha male of the Boston Dynamics family of robots. It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads. BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system. BigDog's legs are articulated like an animal’s, and have compliant elements that absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.
In separate trials, BigDog runs at 4 mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, and carries a 340 lb load.
The key here is the video on the site - be sure to stick around for the part when the BigDog slips on an ice patch. It's both amazing and eerie and certainly one of the creepier things I've seen in awhile.
And clearly, this is the primordial ape to the artificial intelligence that, once again, will be the death of the human race.
Anyhoo, it's unclear why, but there doesn't appear to be a way to embed that video even though it's readily available on the site here.
Before you hit that link, be advised that BigDog clearly has one major flaw -- it sounds like a swarm of the angriest flies you've ever heard. It may be advisable to turn the volume down.