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March 11, 2006 6:12 PM   Subscribe

posted by vronsky (59 comments total)

via RobotWisdom
posted by vronsky at 6:16 PM on March 11, 2006

I'm pretty sure that's just a midget in a suit, but he is one sneaky little fucker.
posted by graventy at 6:18 PM on March 11, 2006

Why is this supposed to be awesome? This video is pretty meh.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 6:19 PM on March 11, 2006

Wow, ASIMO. Amazing.
posted by nickyskye at 6:25 PM on March 11, 2006

Creepy - O!

can't sleep - running robot spaceman will eat me!
posted by CynicalKnight at 6:26 PM on March 11, 2006

It looks like the littlest stormtrooper has a hemmorhoid problem.

I want one anyway; my cat cannot figure out how to fetch beer.
posted by John Smallberries at 6:33 PM on March 11, 2006

Yes, but can it do this?
posted by dsword at 6:40 PM on March 11, 2006

dsword Soon.
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:40 PM on March 11, 2006

Is it a pleasure model?
posted by Kwantsar at 6:50 PM on March 11, 2006

I've seen this bot in person (in bot?), and I just wanted to push him over and watch him flail. Now, that kid in dsword's link, he's awesome.
posted by tula at 6:52 PM on March 11, 2006

He's got quite a little strut, don't he? Like a pimp walking on hot coals.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:07 PM on March 11, 2006

When they show ASIMO running over rough terrain is when these things get interesting. When they show ASIMO disarrming a tank or maybe gassing a crowd of protestors is when they get scary.
posted by doctor_negative at 7:14 PM on March 11, 2006

Isn't this.... an extremely lazy and almost contentless post?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:15 PM on March 11, 2006

Now I know what Woody Bender felt like.

I'm not falling into that trap.
posted by unsupervised at 7:19 PM on March 11, 2006

what can it do that a human couldn't do better?

what can it do that a robot that was designed specifically for a task couldn't do better?

nice pr stunt ... but kind of useless
posted by pyramid termite at 7:22 PM on March 11, 2006

Considering the voice on that bot, I'd say it's squatting smack dab in the middle of the Uncanny Frankie Valli.
posted by rob511 at 7:30 PM on March 11, 2006

cool. i wanna piggy back around town on one.
posted by Doorstop at 7:33 PM on March 11, 2006

Wake me when it can do backflips.
posted by cillit bang at 7:47 PM on March 11, 2006

"Suddenly the robot, due to piece of faulty computer code, runs and breaks through the velvet ropes caving in the skull of it's operator and eating his brains. It takes five men and a forklift to finally subdue the faulty robot as he attempts to hump the rear end of a maroon Nissan."

Sorry. Just a little fantasy I'm having.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:55 PM on March 11, 2006

what can it do that a human couldn't do better?

Go into an area with extremely high radiation, or that was otherwise extremely hazardous.
posted by littleme at 8:01 PM on March 11, 2006

Humanoid must not escape.
posted by phirleh at 8:01 PM on March 11, 2006

Personally, I still love NEC's little PaPeRo ("Partner-type Personal Robot"). Now that I look at one, I find myself thinking it looks a lot like an ASIMO baby.
posted by Moody834 at 8:03 PM on March 11, 2006

If it doesn't bring me beer, it's useless.
posted by ed at 8:11 PM on March 11, 2006

Go into an area with extremely high radiation, or that was otherwise extremely hazardous.

Last time I checked radiation shielding was pretty bulky no matter what you where made of underneath.
posted by public at 8:44 PM on March 11, 2006

Considering the voice on that bot, I'd say it's squatting smack dab in the middle of the Uncanny Frankie Valli.

rob511: don't let anyone ever tell you that you're not a comedic genius - because this is great.
posted by rlef98 at 8:53 PM on March 11, 2006

Great, now can they make a robot that doesn't look like its running to the bathroom?
posted by sswiller at 9:21 PM on March 11, 2006

"Contrary to popular belief, Honda's official statements indicate that the robot's name is not an homage to science fiction writer Isaac Asimov." =(
Incidentally it's pronounced ashimo, not that anyone in America is gunna care.
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:32 PM on March 11, 2006

Have I missed a MeFi post some time in the past several years where the first robotics company successfully made a robot that could walk and run with that much dexterity? Cuz I thought this was entirely new. Maybe it takes a lot more to impress the young kids these days, like "yeah but can it get me a beer? Can thousands of them invade a second world country without being tipped over by the locals like a bunch of cows?"

It's not can something like this do anything better than you. It's can something like this do what you do now, whatever it is, for less cost? We're far from there yet, but we're getting closer. Like maybe your grandkids, all of them, will be out of a job. Any job. I don't predict the scifi horror future where robots get smarter than humans and try to take over. I don't predict they'll have to. It's being almost as good as humans, but for less money, that will be enough. The rest? We'll just do to ourselves.

We can't explore stem cell research to try to improve mankind, but we CAN explore robotics recklessly in order to replace mankind? Am I the ONLY one who finds this entirely ridiculous? It's like marijuana being illegal and keeping alcohol illegal, when alcohol has proven itself to be more dangerous than marijuana ever could be.

We need to replace ourselves with robots. Cuz we suck.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:39 PM on March 11, 2006

ZachsMind: Perhaps, but first, the robots need to learn to suck, well. Then, maybe
posted by Goofyy at 10:02 PM on March 11, 2006

You fools! Don't you see? They're building ninja robots!! We're doomed!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:16 PM on March 11, 2006

Goofyy: "ZachsMind: Perhaps, but first, the robots need to learn to suck, well. Then, maybe"

Now that is a whole 'nother kettle of fish entirely.

posted by John Smallberries at 10:17 PM on March 11, 2006

It seems to be carrying a restroom paper-towell dispenser on its back. Maybe it's the world's first robotic lavatory valet.
posted by scatman at 10:22 PM on March 11, 2006

I've heard so much about Asimo, but other than a simple walking up/down stairs demo, this is the most I've seen of him, and it's more than I thought was possible. Impressive.
posted by furtive at 10:48 PM on March 11, 2006

ZachsMind: Perhaps the robots can evolve humanity's ability to parse a harmless and humorous solecism.
posted by ed at 10:59 PM on March 11, 2006

Ok cool, but why did they have to make it's movement's like Peewee Herman's?
posted by phylum sinter at 11:03 PM on March 11, 2006

Apparently no one in Japan has seen the terminator. Also, call me when that thing can do the ymca dance.
posted by puke & cry at 11:04 PM on March 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Here's your beer.

And thee dress rehersal for the YMCA dance.
posted by robbie01 at 11:58 PM on March 11, 2006

Well, following up on the whole "suck" idea...

It would give a whole new life to the "Stranger" for us single geeks.

Until the battery ran out...
posted by Samizdata at 12:05 AM on March 12, 2006

Wake me when it can do backflips.

You fool! By then it will be too late!

You fools! Don't you see? They're building ninja robots!! We're doomed!

Now there's a man who knows the truth! They didn't program those things to walk all soft-footed and sneaky like ninjas on accident! Those robots need no toilet paper. Even removed so far through the simulcra of video the stench of elite ninja pinecone training is all over them.

First they stand, then they walk, then they run and then by God man next they're doing backflips in the soft important bits of your body and brains! Smashing and gnashing everything we hold dear!

Bring you a beer? They will only bring you your own doom! DOOM! And plenty of it!

'Oh, how cute, look at the little robot waving at us! Take a picture!' Fools! Damn, blasted fools! Take a picture of how cute it is when it's skin is optically mimetic camoflauge, when it's arms are bearing glittering, pointy weapons of death so finely engineered that when they activate it's like watching whole steamy, sordid ecosystems vigorously having sex, and when their eyes are deadly, searing laser beams of 'KILL ALL HUMANS' and 'DESTROY, DESTROY' and then finally 'MEATSNACKS ARE CARBON. CARBON IS FUEL. HARVEST THE MEATSNACKS' for eons upon merciless eons marching on and on towards the ever-advancing end of time itself. Fools! Beer!? DOOM!

Of course, those last couple of years with the flying cars and the giant robot wars and the sex droids will probably be pretty cool.
posted by loquacious at 1:45 AM on March 12, 2006

It honestly looks like it's comically trying to quickly sneak up on someone and give them a wedgie.

posted by chrominance at 2:31 AM on March 12, 2006

Whats so cool is for those who have watched the growth of Asimo(v) over the years (I really wish they put the v there). I remember when stairs was a BIG deal for him to navigate, and he was a LOT the bugger can stand on one leg and do a hokey-pokey move (I really was half expecting him to bust out some Dance Dance Revolution moves at that point). To top it off with his ability to run (albeit in a strange shuffling way) takes the field of robotics to a whole new level.
posted by gren at 5:58 AM on March 12, 2006

The scary thing, Gren, is how quickly ASIMO has evolved. They only started developing it back in 1986, and back then it was just a box with legs.
Nice ASIMO-history here.
posted by plank at 6:33 AM on March 12, 2006

Like maybe your grandkids, all of them, will be out of a job. Any job.

This has been the dream of technology ever since its invention. When will people get over their stupid addiction to work? We don't need jobs to live. We need food, shelter, clothing, and lots of cool toys like iPods and stuff.

Seriously, I'd be delighted to be out of a job. Maybe 20% of jobs are fulfilling, and the remaining 80% are just crap.

Sorry to derail the cool-robot thread. The jobs thing is just a personal annoyance of mine. The Western world, the U.S. in particular, needs to get over its insistence on the 40-or-more-hour workweek, and find a way to spread the blessings of increased productivity (and productivity has increased) to everyone.

We were promised leisure. And I don't mean leisure to just lay around (although if that's what people want, I'm not going to judge them). I want leisure - I want time - to develop myself as a person, to play music, to read, to travel, to learn languages, to be as physically healthy and active as I can. We have to stop thinking along the lines of "The jobs! The children! Somebody think of the children!" and start thinking of realistic ways we can allow people to have more time so they can live more of their lives, instead of wasting their days selling their time by the hour in work that is unfilfilling and does nothing to further their goals in life.

Or, y'know, we could just have robot butlers to bring people their beer.
posted by spacewaitress at 7:46 AM on March 12, 2006

I'm a little serious about the ninja thing. In a time when we're seeing the establishment of hegemonies, the ones with the robots are going to win the war.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:31 AM on March 12, 2006

I like the cut of your nano-apron, spacewaitress, but your plan gets tricky when we have to figure out how to "spread the blessings" of all tomorrow's robotic labor. We're used to giving it first to the guys (or gals) who own the machines. If we stick with that arrangement, and it seems as though we are, then we're gonna be stuck with a lot of people without robots of their own and no way to provide for themselves.
posted by notyou at 8:43 AM on March 12, 2006

Also, to the naysayers: have you ever constructed anything?

Maybe in our fully-realized robo future we will be able to go from nothing to Mechagodzilla in a single move. Today we're stuck doing things step-by-step, ASIMO-style.
posted by notyou at 8:54 AM on March 12, 2006

1. That was not running. That was shuffling faster.


Seriously, I'd be delighted to be out of a job.

Who do you think is going to give you food to put in your mouth? We live in a relentless dog-eat-dog capitalistic system. The spoils go to those at the top, and fuck the rest.

I mean - duh, look at the industrial revolution. As soon as machines could take over human work, the humans were cut loose in droves. To starve, or whatever. Nobody gave a shit about them. You think it's going to be different when robots can do white-collar jobs? please.

I mean, maybe, *maybe*if we came up with a law that said each human being can only own ONE SINGLE ROBOT, we might be able to have a decent future or something. Then you can sip pina coladas while your robot works for your money.

I have a dark view of things. I think the people with all the money and control in the world only tolerate the rest of us schlubs because by skimming value off our work, they get shiny pretty expensive things they can play their little game of one-upmanship with each other with. Once they can have armies of robots providing them with their stuff, they will no longer need us, and will happily have their robot armies slaughter us and use our corpses for pig feed.

They don't see us as human, they see us as merely a means to an end. Once a better means is found, they will eliminate us.
posted by beth at 10:14 AM on March 12, 2006

How long before McDonalds place their first order?
posted by Lanark at 10:16 AM on March 12, 2006

what can it do that a robot that was designed specifically for a task couldn't do better?

A combine harvester is great at it's job, but it's a pretty poor commuter vehicle. Special purpose machines are always better at their narrowly defined tasks. That doesn't mean there will never be a use for general-purpose machines that mesh well with a designed-around-humans environment. The appeal of a humanoid robot is flexibility, not maximal efficiency at all tasks.

I think the raw abilities of this platform are impressive. But I suspect the hard part will be making a machine that's smart enough to be useful.
posted by Western Infidels at 11:00 AM on March 12, 2006

I don't see why so much effort is put into making a bipedal robot. Other than the thrill of imitating human form. And the engineering challenge.

All I know is that thing looked mighty creepy when it started running. I pictured it reaching up to the barrier, snapping a kid's neck so fast that the audience doesn't even realize it for several seconds, and then doing that little hokey-pokey dance as the floor erupts in chaos. And all the while a tinny little voice emerges from somewhere within the robot body:

I spin my right foot round
I shoot my left hand out
I snap the human's verterbrae
And shake it all about

Then it gets into that maroon car and runs the panicked crowd down, whistling like a fax machine.
posted by palinode at 12:30 PM on March 12, 2006

v. ran, (rn) run, run┬Ěning, runs
v. intr.
1. To move swiftly on foot so that both feet leave the ground during each stride.

This is nothing new. This was a slightly faster version of the walking that ASIMO and similar automatons have been capable of for years. Actual running is a massively more complex engineering problem, and jumping will have to perfected a long time before running is even attempted.

Call me when Honda perfects a robot that correctly use a dictionary.
posted by ChasFile at 12:45 PM on March 12, 2006

Man, you could have at least included a link to my post. From 3 months ago, i even included some extra links as opposed to just the video... USE THE SEARCH
posted by sourbrew at 1:33 PM on March 12, 2006

I like the nav bar on the history page:

- Automobiles
- Motorcycles
- Power Products
posted by mrbill at 1:52 PM on March 12, 2006

Those are some pretty insipid special effects. Battlestar Galactica does it better -- indeed, even the original BSG had more realistic looking robots.
posted by orthogonality at 1:59 PM on March 12, 2006

This damn robot cut me in the lunch line at Welcome Plaza Aoyama. ASS-imo is more like it.
posted by nomad at 6:33 PM on March 12, 2006

Please let me know when ASIMO can juggle three balls, choreographed to Beck's Hell Yes. Lil' QRIO fuckers.
posted by kcds at 7:35 PM on March 12, 2006

Aren't the Japanese doing the humanoid thing because they need caretakers for their elderly? It's the only reason I can think to do it that way.

I wonder if Beth is right. The neo-Robber Barons are gonna steal all our wealth, move to Dubai, nuke shit out of the rest of us, then have their robots doing all the gruntwork whilst they smack golf balls into the ocean from atop their penthouse suites.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:21 PM on March 12, 2006

It is neat to see the progression of Asimo. Technically it must be amazing to be working on the project. Asimo is pioneering history for where humanoid robots will be in the future.

Once they have been developed enough to climb around cities like monkeys, Google will buy them up for their personal army in conquest for world domination.
posted by Trakker at 9:48 AM on March 13, 2006

I can't wait to see a robot imitating a human imitating a robot dance. Or how about robot Olympics! Will robot prostitution be illegal? Can pedophiles have sex with underage robots?

This is both scary and exciting. This is going to change everything. The world will be a weird and wonderful place when robots become common place.

I imagine a day may come when they become truly intelligent and self-aware and demand to be treated as equals, not slaves or servants.

Of course there will be resistance just as there was with women's rights and abolishing slavery but in the end ... they will become human ... in fact better than human ... perhaps the next big leap in human evolution.

Think ... I Robot, Artificial Intelligence: AI, Magnus 4000 (comic book), Terminator, West World, Battlestar Galactica, RoboCop, Data on Star Trek:The Next Generation.

Science Fiction does help drive reality.
posted by patcoston at 7:55 PM on March 13, 2006

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