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Prance-y Dance-y Fancy Death Machine
October 6, 2013 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Boston Dynamics ( Previously, previously, previously) recently released video of its brand new 4-legged running robot - Introducing The WildCat
posted by The Whelk (43 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
i hate it so much
posted by Lord Force Crater at 10:45 AM on October 6, 2013


It looks like it's going backwards, to me.

Less terrifying than bigdog, for some reason, but perhaps it's the wHIRRRRRRR.
posted by Mizu at 10:46 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


That skid-stop/stumble at 1:17 was amazing.
posted by thecjm at 10:48 AM on October 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I really wish the video kept going with further feats such as BEGGING and PLAY DEAD and EXTERMINATE
posted by theodolite at 10:54 AM on October 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


Go ahead and laugh. It wants you to not take it seriously. It feeds off of your mockery.
posted by naju at 10:55 AM on October 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


"...but perhaps it's the wHIRRRRRRR."

That gas powered engine is what's keeping robots from showing up everywhere. While not exactly solved problems, it seems that navigation and mobility are solveable. But the power sources are still not much better than what you'd find in a twentieth century leaf blower.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:58 AM on October 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


This free running war robot is not designed to harm humans...
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:58 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesus.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:01 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's putting on a threat display. First, it snorts at you to warn you, then it rears up to show its size, and then it runs away backwards. Then it turns round, displays its buttocks (?) and gallops towards you.

It looks like it's going backwards because of its knees. Flamingoes look the same when they walk.
posted by Solomon at 11:01 AM on October 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, it constantly blows a gigantic raspberry at you.
posted by Solomon at 11:03 AM on October 6, 2013


I love how there are people who are perfectly willing to create destructive machines for the coming dystopia, and probably enjoying their work a great deal.
posted by jayder at 11:03 AM on October 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Slamhound has arrived.
They set a Slamhound on Turner's trail in New Delhi, slotted it to his pheromones and the color of his hair. It caught up with him on a street called Chandni Chauk and came scrambling for his rented BMW through a forest of bare brown legs and pedicab tires. Its core was a kilogram of recrystallized hexogene and flaked TNT.

He didn't see it coming. The last he saw of India was the pink stucco fa├žade of a place called the Khush-Oil Hotel.
— the opening of William Gibson's Count Zero
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:07 AM on October 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


I need to get my "I'm siding with the Robots" t-shirt out of the closet.
posted by Grimgrin at 11:09 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not a Boston Dynamics hideous robot video until a guy boots it sideways really hard. I could be the guy on their team who does that job.
posted by colie at 11:21 AM on October 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'm only half-joking when I say it's time to get those Asimov Robot Laws on the books ASAP.
posted by gwint at 11:23 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


See also: Robots for killing jellyfish
posted by gwint at 11:42 AM on October 6, 2013


That gas powered engine is what's keeping robots from showing up everywhere. While not exactly solved problems, it seems that navigation and mobility are solveable. But the power sources are still not much better than what you'd find in a twentieth century leaf blower.


The military seems to be able to kill people effectively employing weapons with chemical energy sources - guns, tanks, planes, drones etc.
posted by 445supermag at 11:55 AM on October 6, 2013


Holy hell, that's pretty terrifying. What gwint says about Asimov's laws. Yikes.
posted by octothorpe at 11:55 AM on October 6, 2013


Well folks it was a good run while it lasted. I would appreciate it if someone would just point out which Body Warmth Energy Reclamation Pod is mine. Good night!
posted by PenDevil at 11:55 AM on October 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


That gas powered engine is what's keeping robots from showing up everywhere. While not exactly solved problems, it seems that navigation and mobility are solveable. But the power sources are still not much better than what you'd find in a twentieth century leaf blower.

New idea for right-wing sci-fi novel: everyone blames the robopocolypse on Al Gore. "We were fine until they made us put solar panels on the robots."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:58 AM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Perhaps it's the small logging town I grew up in affecting my perceptions, but, it sounds like a chainsaw, even in the pattern of it's revving. That or a small dirt bike, which is generating no small cognitive dissonance for me.

Creepy.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:21 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it being developed for covert ops against deaf communities?
posted by MuffinMan at 12:23 PM on October 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


I so want this to need starting via an old style lawnmower or chainsaw pull cord.
posted by thelonius at 12:25 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


When it first starts up it looks like a creature from.....Half-Life? I think? I can't place it but it's bugging the crap out of me.

All in all, weird looking and creepy. Asimov's laws indeed. Like open the govt, Asimov's laws.
posted by nevercalm at 12:30 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ron Arkin is a roboticist who writes about the real-world equivalent of Asimov's laws. One point he makes is that military robots could potentially act more ethically than humans, because they don't feel emotional stress.

Interview. His book Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots
posted by jjwiseman at 12:42 PM on October 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


WHAT TEAM
posted by elizardbits at 1:06 PM on October 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why does its gait vary so much? In the slo-mo at 1:05 you can see it has a 4 beat gallop with some similarities to a horse's gallop (it's right rear foot looks off). But later on, it seems to run in that two beat "flying gallop" found in 18th century paintings.
posted by maudlin at 1:32 PM on October 6, 2013


See also: Robots for killing jellyfish

I don't know what jellyfish eat but I don't see them being opposed to chowing down on the shredded bits of their fallen brothers.

When it first starts up it looks like a creature from.....Half-Life? I think? I can't place it but it's bugging the crap out of me.

One of these perhaps?
posted by edeezy at 1:32 PM on October 6, 2013


I wonder if the creators had to resist the urge to add a tail and whiskers.
posted by cazoo at 1:47 PM on October 6, 2013


I wanna ride it.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:54 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like this cute little guy.
posted by eye of newt at 4:41 PM on October 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh god that cute little guy freaks me out in a way the others don't. It just. keeps. coming.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:45 PM on October 6, 2013


That's why the bot from the first previously link is scariest to me. You think you're safe on top of a building...
posted by edeezy at 6:44 PM on October 6, 2013


WHO'S A GOOD WIDDEW WOBOT! WHO WANTSA RECHARGE! IS IT YOU? IS IT? YES IT IS! YESSS! IT'S YOU WOBOT YEEEES!
posted by not_on_display at 6:57 PM on October 6, 2013


Looks cute now but I just know it's going to end up going 80 MPH and spitting bullets.
posted by Mister_A at 7:22 PM on October 6, 2013


I just feel like Gaius Baltar is watching and smirking while humming All Along The Watchtower.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:20 PM on October 6, 2013


I'm always amazed that these robots are gasoline powered. I get why they are, it just seems so strange.

Apart from that, I'm surprised how well it works for how little seems to be going on with its legs. It has knees, but they move very little and quite stiffly, and there's no foot at all (well, no foot with any movement or adjustment or anything).

Are they actually going to manage to get this to run in terrain without much more flexible joints and feet that adjust to grip and compensate for different surfaces? Intuitively I'd say no, but then again, I wouldn't think this would work as well as it does on asphalt either, so who knows.

At least it's not going to sneak up on you.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:57 AM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The military will not allow Asimov's laws to be legally mandated.
posted by Drexen at 10:21 AM on October 7, 2013


> But the power sources are still not much better than what you'd find in a twentieth century leaf blower.

You mean great? Something light enough to wear on your back that can blow 100+ MPH and when the tank's empty it takes < 1 minute to refuel?

RC airplanes went electric because of the noise. You can charge a few battery packs and swap them out as they're depleted. You could build a battle robot prototype with Li-Ion batteries for testing, but for deploying them you need something that can go for miles, then refill without leaving empties (depleted batteries) needing a charge.
posted by morganw at 12:14 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is it wrong that I want to put a saddle on that fucker and gallop down Lamar waving my ten-gallon hat?
posted by restless_nomad at 2:20 PM on October 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


> Is it wrong that I want to put a saddle on that fucker and gallop down Lamar waving my ten-gallon hat?

If that's wrong, boy howdy, I don't want to be right.
posted by Runcible! at 3:56 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


"...You could build a battle robot prototype with Li-Ion batteries for testing, but for deploying them you need something that can go for miles, then refill without leaving empties (depleted batteries) needing a charge."

Exactly. And you could connect your robot to a power cord, as many of the Boston Dynamics videos show, athough that limits you to household current. No jaegers allowed until somebody starts building those portable nuclear reactors.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:23 PM on October 7, 2013


I'm guessing it sounds like a chainsaw because it also uses a two stroke engine. They produce a lot more power for the weight, at the expense of pollution. My guess is that pollution is not the primary concern of these designers...
posted by meinvt at 9:14 PM on October 7, 2013


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