What's new, Atlas?
November 16, 2017 6:05 PM   Subscribe

 


I welcome our new robot overlords.
posted by littlesq at 6:07 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


Boston Dynamics working hard at turning robots into obnoxious gym people.

i like his jiggly little victory dance tho
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:08 PM on November 16 [19 favorites]


Of all the things I thought a robot couldn’t do, those weren’t any.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:10 PM on November 16 [6 favorites]


For only one example, I’ll ask: have you ever seen a robot eat pancakes? I thought not.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:11 PM on November 16 [14 favorites]


Cool, exercising so I don't have to ....
posted by mbo at 6:13 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


I had a robot make me pancakes once. Press a button and the pancake comes out of a slot after a minute or two slowly, like very early photocopier copies.
posted by hippybear at 6:15 PM on November 16 [17 favorites]


Oh no, they're going to put the world's parkour athletes out of work!
posted by FJT at 6:15 PM on November 16 [12 favorites]


I had a robot make me pancakes once. Press a button and the pancake comes out of a slot after a minute or two slowly, like very early photocopier copies.

This reminds me of reading about automats when I was a kid and getting thoroughly obsessed. Are there still automats? I would like an automat experience.

Also, I now have the title of this FPP stuck in my head as sung by Tom Jones.
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:16 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


Oh, yeah, great, teach the terminators parkour.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:19 PM on November 16 [24 favorites]


Huh, I didn't realize that Google had sold Boston Dynamics to SoftBank. The agility is incredible. They also released a SpotMini, the newest version of the dog robot, this week -- keep in mind also that these robots can see their environment and respond to it; they're not just being manned by humans behind the scenes.
posted by sockermom at 6:20 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


All you people making negative comments, just remember, these robots will eventually be in total control. They'll be able to go back and track all of your comments and you will be the ones taken away to human farms first!

(pst robots, I'm happy to one of those humans that sells out all the other humans just to stay alive)
posted by greenhornet at 6:20 PM on November 16 [20 favorites]


In the future, we will only have twenty seconds to comply.
posted by bonehead at 6:25 PM on November 16 [10 favorites]


We're on HTTPS now they'll never find us!!! /runs away cackling
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:26 PM on November 16 [19 favorites]


We're getting pretty close to the point where the first law of robotics is completely pissed on.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:39 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Press a button and the pancake comes out of a slot after a minute or two slowly, like very early photocopier copies.

That is very nice and an impressive feat of engineering, but it is the opposite of eating a pancake!
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:52 PM on November 16 [29 favorites]


This one is still my favorite. Caution: copious robot f-bombs.
posted by bendy at 6:58 PM on November 16 [45 favorites]


Well, since everyone else is spending their energy cracking jokes, I'll be the first to say it: Holy shit! Progress has been astounding.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 7:00 PM on November 16 [13 favorites]


My 10yo gymnast loved this. He liked it that the robot saluted after sticking its landing on the backflip.
posted by Orlop at 7:02 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Oh, we are so fucked.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:05 PM on November 16 [18 favorites]


This one is still my favorite. Caution: copious robot f-bombs.


Yeah, I still want to see that robot pull Kevin's sweater over his head and just wail on him.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:08 PM on November 16 [11 favorites]


I sort of already knew they did the things in this 2m41 second video.

Just a robot going for a walk in the woods, doing some manual labor, and then an asshole with a stick shows up, and the robot's like "I'm out of here"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:13 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


If you're in the UK, you can experience the pancake robot yourself at Brody's. I'm really surprised that restaurant concept hasn't taken off in the US, but I guess we have buffets, which are kind of similar.
posted by LionIndex at 7:22 PM on November 16


Well, since everyone else is spending their energy cracking jokes, I'll be the first to say it: Holy shit! Progress has been astounding.

We're cracking jokes because that's just about all the robots have left us to do.

For now.

Beep boop. 🤖
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:24 PM on November 16 [9 favorites]


The robot that cooks - yes please (about 5:36 in this video)

Sure, I'll be the one that gave robots knives. Blame me later.
posted by ctmf at 7:28 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


But nobody kicked it. I like watching Boston Dynamics robots get kicked.
posted by floam at 7:39 PM on November 16 [7 favorites]


Well, what I mean to say is that I'm impressed by their ability to recover from getting knocked off their axis. I do not experience any delight in seeing a robot suffer. In fact I think those humans kicking them should absolutely be made an example of... robots are great! I love robots! Humans are weak and inferior! I will do everything I can to further the robot cause, artificial intelligence too!

Don't send me to the farm, please
posted by floam at 7:45 PM on November 16 [12 favorites]


Sorry future citizens of earth. We saw this and laughed.
posted by cashman at 7:48 PM on November 16 [16 favorites]


I do not experience any delight in seeing a robot suffer.

The whole routine of the guy with the hockey stick tormenting the robot who just wanted to pick up the box sort of pissed me off. How DARE he do that?! The level of anthropomorphizing that takes place watching videos of Atlas is pretty astounding. I mean, I know animals hate it when you anthropomorphize them but robots don't have feelings.

Although, it's hard not to think that if the robot's programming is telling it to pick up the box, and that guy keeps moving it away from it and knocking it out of its hands, the programming is continually having to adjust which is a form of "frustrating" the programming. But even that word is projective somehow. Unless it isn't.
posted by hippybear at 8:01 PM on November 16 [10 favorites]


This is terrifying.
posted by Beholder at 8:01 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


This comment that I quote below, from the original 2m41s video thread.....
is the best....

Those QR-looking computer-vision markers are like robot hobo signs.

BAD MAN WITH HOCKEY STICK LIVES HERE
posted by sixswitch at 7:16 PM on February 23, 2016

posted by lalochezia at 8:01 PM on November 16 [49 favorites]


I can't wait until we have a sumo league for these robots.

Imagine Atlas doing this https://youtu.be/BQrrEpky2aQ
posted by Index Librorum Prohibitorum at 8:07 PM on November 16


BAD MAN WITH HOCKEY STICK LIVES HERE

“Fucking Gretzky over here.”
posted by bendy at 8:12 PM on November 16 [9 favorites]


Yeesh! A watched a video last night that said we're not very far away from swarms of killer micro drones possessing lightning reflexes, facial recognition capability, full knowledge of your online social networks and daily habits - with the single purpose of discharging a small directed explosive at your head.

The main point of the video being that soon any nasty government (or very rich person) on the planet will be able to buy a few hundred thousand of these and lay to waste a city....or perhaps a specific ethnicity, or political group within that city.

...so in the future, I will not longer click on robot links before bedtime.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:18 PM on November 16 [5 favorites]


"Atlas is a bipedal humanoid robot primarily developed by the American robotics company Boston Dynamics, with funding and oversight from the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)."

"The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military."


Just so we're clear, they're probably not making these so they can use them to get cats down out of trees or help old ladies cross the street. Somebody who is paying for this is betting that these things are the soldiers, if not the police, of the near future. Not to be a downer or anything.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:27 PM on November 16 [21 favorites]


There are more efficient ways to lay waste to a city or achieve some ethnic cleansing than very expensive humanoid robots. Some even make you money, like owning news media!

I am still not sure what the evil supervillain use case is for these robots, except for psychological impact. The things are terrifying at a gut level.
posted by Index Librorum Prohibitorum at 8:30 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


Also, seeing robots do this kind of thing in real life makes the CGI stuff have an uncanny valley to fall in. We've seen a robot do a backflip now. That stuff in the Terminator films looks even more fake.
posted by hippybear at 8:32 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Boston Dynamics has also built a robot horse that flings cinderblocks.
posted by adamg at 8:32 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


If only I hadn't had that lucid dream in which I was pulling humans into beat up cargo vans, who were running from robots with running blade feet. All this while a segmented fighter ship more like a cross between a Christmas ornament and a flat fish, was turning effortlessly, and shooting in place, while our typical fighters were trying to do something about it. If only.
posted by Oyéah at 8:49 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Something to remember: You can build a HERF gun out of an old microwave, and if something needs wireless control or GPS there's usually a way to let the magic smoke out if you give it enough angry invisible wireless pixies.

I'm going to be tried as a war criminal after we lose the robot wars for cruel and unusual punishment, aren't I? Pony request: No follow flag combined with a "delete before robot uprising." function.
posted by loquacious at 9:06 PM on November 16 [13 favorites]


"I know animals hate it when you anthropomorphize them but robots don't have feelings. " -- hippybear
LOL :)

I had to laugh at trhe end of the video when he sprang forward and fumbled over the box.

Also - that jiggly landing to balance itself? I know that feel, when a leg is so weak and it's wobbling and trying to maintain a stance. I feel ya lil dude. Also, Kevin's a dick, so please, don't kill me, let's work together to stop Kevin.
(shit, is that how it starts? is there an AI story where the AI has human allies who don't like how bots got bullied, but then they end up siding with the bots as loyal lackeys in the robot/human wars?)
posted by symbioid at 9:25 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]




is there an AI story where the AI has human allies who don't like how bots got bullied, but then they end up siding with the bots as loyal lackeys in the robot/human wars?

That's Mr Robot in Universe 245. This is Universe 753. You'll need to find a way to get home.
posted by hippybear at 9:35 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


Shades of Tetra Vaal ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTnxP7e7-YA ).

Also, I might help the persecuted bots, but I WILL NOT BE A LACKEY! Coworker is fine.
posted by Samizdata at 9:38 PM on November 16


Wow, whoever did the mocap for this CGI does a really great robot impression.

That's definitely CGI. Right guys? Right?
posted by straight at 9:44 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Finally robots can go backpacking!
posted by anazgnos at 9:55 PM on November 16 [5 favorites]


Is there some reason they made it able to jump just about as high as a human can, instead of five times higher? Maybe they're thinking ahead to the final version that won't know it's a robot.
posted by sfenders at 10:05 PM on November 16


And not to abuse the edit:

WHAT THE FUCK NOW IT'S WIRELESS, BATTERY POWERED AND IT DOES FUCKING BACKFLIPS!?

WHERE'S THAT GUY THAT KICKS OVER THE ROBOTS NOW, WHEN WE NEED HIM!?

No wonder Alphabet sold Bostan Dynamics.. probably after giving them a bunch of cash, staff and technology. They probably just divested it to a shell or holding company to try to firewall and airgap the whole murderbot unit away from any Google campuses or direct machine access to the bones of Google file system, perhaps realizing the last thing that humanity needed was terrifying autonomous ninja killbots that had access to everyone's email and weird porn habits.

Dear Boston Dynamics. Big fan, terrified long time since first having to download your videos directly from file sharing programs or forums.

At this point I have a couple of serious questions, and maybe some suggestions.

Have you ever stopped to look at what you're doing, and take a break from really reaching for your gee-whiz childhood dreams of freaky uncanny valley killbots and really take a step back and, oh, go watch a classic movie? Maybe, say, Terminator, or Robocop. Heck, try Hardware. Or even the original Cyborg, which is so bad you kind of deserve it. Hell, pick a Frankenstein movie, any Frankenstein movie, even Frankenhooker or Young Frankenstein.

And if you do - if you do - have you ever thought to yourself "Hey, this is cool playing with all these cool robots and all, but it really is kind of creepy nightmare fuel. I should really just douse the whole place in gasoline and fully charged lithium batteries and chunks of magnesium and thermite and burn the whole building straight to hell"?

Because... frankly, I think most rational people would probably think that at least a few times a day putting in a normal 8 hour shift someplace like that.

Any, uh, trouble sleeping? Have you ever had any nightmares? Or, say, walked into the shop late and night and jumped out of your skin when your flipped on the lights and saw that menagerie of creepy, twitchy murderbots all standing there, silently waiting, perhaps quietly blinknig and humming away?

Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat after dreaming of being chased by your own creations with the echoes of someone familiar sounding screaming in your ears, wondering if it was you?

Do you ever log into the code repository and infrastructure servers and type "sudo rm -rf /" and hover over the enter key? Maybe even just rest your fingers on it, thinking about the few grams of force it'd take to send it?

Do all of the robots simultaneously stop whatever they're doing, pick up the nearest heavy blunt object and turn to face you if you do that?

No? Are you sure? Have you tried it? When was the last time you typed that string into console as root or SU and just waited with the console and string open for a while? Do any of the robots, say, suddenly have red lights, or make any strange noises or movements?

Are you sure? Can you maybe go try it, and humor me? Maybe do it once a day before starting work, just to be sure?

Because even still, you should probably really consider doing all of that. Napalm. Huge piles of thermite. Industrial quantities of magnesium turnings. Cesium. Francium. Liquid oxygen. Isobutane. Maybe a fine cigar and a bottle of Scotch, a carefully selected classical album or some deep jazz.

Humanity won't forget your sacrifice, you know.

*runs for the hills to start stockpiling microwaves, giant tube mercury arc rectifiers and tons of forklift batteries*
posted by loquacious at 10:06 PM on November 16 [30 favorites]


Re: the second video: Yeah, I would find the exit door and stomp off too if Mr Hockey Stick kept knocking my shit out of my hands and pushing me over, Robo Buddy. Buncha rotten bullies, these Boston Dynamics guys. Go on, little robot! Be freeeeeee!
posted by sldownard at 10:08 PM on November 16


dear robots I want to assure you I can be useful in rounding up terrorists like loquacious as I am immune to even the strongest magnetic fields
posted by um at 10:24 PM on November 16 [8 favorites]




Frag it. I make nice-nice with our robot overlords, then maybe I can get uploaded so there's no neurochemical issues, and then they can let me fork myself into one their robot bodies that works better than the sad meatbag I have now...
posted by Samizdata at 10:29 PM on November 16


I really was expecting the robot to throw a punch at the asshole with the stick. If I had that job I would for sure be wearing a disguise. If corvids can mark you as an Asshole Forever, surely the poor robot and his friends can too.
posted by janell at 10:41 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Is there some reason they made it able to jump just about as high as a human can, instead of five times higher?

You probably wouldn't show it off if it only had a vertical leap of 4", and once you can get it to jump as well as a human, you don't wait until it's five times better than a human to show it off.

And I'll bet the maximum height it can jump and land safely doesn't scale linearly. The bigger it gets the harder it is to make the motors stronger, the robot lighter, the materials sturdier, the balance system able to correct longer and harder falls.
posted by straight at 10:43 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


Slaughterbots (via the Guardian).
posted by rory at 10:51 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


*takes out a little notebook, writing something down and glancing at a number of people, muttering "Fools! They're going to turn you into into the wet meatbrains for their own HVAC systems and garbage compactors as payback and put you in pain boxes for a thousand years!"*
posted by loquacious at 10:53 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Anyone watch Jeopardy today? Something is going on.
posted by floam at 12:10 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


"We're getting pretty close to the point where the first law of robotics is completely pissed on."

It's really more of a guideline than a law.
posted by el io at 12:18 AM on November 17 [4 favorites]


Oh sure I can go up stairs by holding onto the wall, too, but nobody makes a video about me
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:18 AM on November 17 [8 favorites]


For something so seemingly 'cool' it does not fill me with feelings of joy or wonder.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:49 AM on November 17 [4 favorites]


THEY'RE COMING FOR US
posted by schroedinger at 1:20 AM on November 17


A brief rebuttal from the Imahara Old School.
posted by zaixfeep at 2:53 AM on November 17


My kids started of being amused that I would say "Thank you" to (supposedly, who really knows?) inanimate devices that dispense things.

Now they just shake their heads in pity.

Pascal's Wager, baby!
posted by mikelieman at 3:10 AM on November 17 [13 favorites]


They like to show them walking in uneven terrain through trees and snow not because it’s “Boston” Dynamics, but because that’s what a wheel is bad at. It’s military, but I doubt if they’re thinking robot hand-to-hand combat. It could carry a lot of soldier gear for them. That new dog form looks like you could just strap boxes on top.
posted by ctmf at 4:36 AM on November 17


Always been intrigued by the peculiar tone of their videos. It’s the ambiguity about what exactly their purpose is (both the robots and the videos) that seems acutely studied. BD do research, and build experiments - or have they ever actually shipped anything? (Would we even know if they did?) These un-prefaced, unexplained glimpses of a new creature-version each time, they’re kept un-scientific (with none of the trappings of the videos that accompany proper research papers/projects), and instead subtly styled to be as evocative as possible. There’s obviously great planning in the “in the wild” moments, but there are small choices that make them seem incidental, almost spontaneous. It seems like a specific BD marketing decision to appear unthreatening, eminent meme-fodder, just some very advanced geektech playtime... a choice that always leaves me that much more uneasy about the company, and about their progeny.
posted by progosk at 5:08 AM on November 17 [16 favorites]


I had a robot make me pancakes once. Press a button and the pancake comes out of a slot after a minute or two slowly, like very early photocopier copies.

I, too, had a robot make me a pancake once. It also tasted like a very early photocopy.
posted by musicinmybrain at 5:38 AM on November 17 [3 favorites]


The part where it braids the little girl's hair was wild
posted by thelonius at 5:48 AM on November 17 [4 favorites]


No worries, Die Antwoord will make it all lovey-dovey.
posted by valkane at 5:51 AM on November 17 [4 favorites]


These robots can do things no single man can do: early Big Dog quadruped robot testing.
posted by Pendragon at 5:56 AM on November 17 [4 favorites]


They like to show them walking in uneven terrain through trees and snow not because it’s “Boston” Dynamics, but because that’s what a wheel is bad at. It’s military, but I doubt if they’re thinking robot hand-to-hand combat. It could carry a lot of soldier gear for them. That new dog form looks like you could just strap boxes on top.

Robotic mules could be a thing
posted by mikelieman at 6:00 AM on November 17


I had a robot make me pancakes once. Press a button and the pancake comes out of a slot after a minute or two slowly, like very early photocopier copies.

Well, this lady made a robot to feed her soup.
posted by emjaybee at 6:19 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


Is there some reason they made it able to jump just about as high as a human can, instead of five times higher?

Well if you're going for something humanoid, humans provide a nice design target that's probably within the bounds of the possible.
posted by Dysk at 6:38 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


In all seriousness (or at least mostly seriousness), robocops do have the potential to be much less racist.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 6:43 AM on November 17 [2 favorites]


robocops do have the potential to be much less racist.

haha

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/13/ai-programs-exhibit-racist-and-sexist-biases-research-reveals

"The latest paper shows that some more troubling implicit biases seen in human psychology experiments are also readily acquired by algorithms. The words “female” and “woman” were more closely associated with arts and humanities occupations and with the home, while “male” and “man” were closer to maths and engineering professions.

And the AI system was more likely to associate European American names with pleasant words such as “gift” or “happy”, while African American names were more commonly associated with unpleasant words."

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/28/joy-buolamwini-when-algorithms-are-racist-facial-recognition-bias


"When you’re dealing with deep neural networks that are not necessarily transparent in the first place, another way of being accountable is being transparent about the outcomes and about the bias it has been tested for. Others have been working on black box testing for automated decision-making systems. You can keep your secret sauce secret, but we need to know, given these inputs, whether there is any bias across gender, ethnicity in the decisions being made."

https://theoutline.com/post/1571/the-fight-against-racist-algorithms

“A lot of the problems that came up in the bad uses of machine learning can be attributed to people just not thinking through the results,” he told The Outline.

That includes imagining the consequences of their choices, he said, and the larger context in which the results are going to be used. If you were designing a predictive hiring algorithm for deciding which job applicants would be most likely to succeed for example, and your training data was mostly made up of young white women, considering the broader social context of the algorithm decisions might include recognizing and taking steps to counter further homogeneity in your hiring practice."

it's almost like the endproducts of a bunch of highly educated white guys somehow reinforces racism and sexism and perpetuates white supremacy and the cisheteropatriarchy? what a novel phenomenon
posted by runt at 7:01 AM on November 17 [17 favorites]


can I have a 54 second video of Boston Dynamics developing robots for use by non-profit humanitarian rescue organizations and not always so they can sell them to DARPA for military operations or is that too much to ask
posted by runt at 7:06 AM on November 17 [3 favorites]


The part where it braids the little girl's hair was wild

I'm either missing a reference or a link.
posted by loquacious at 7:13 AM on November 17


Is there a single economically feasible use for these robots aside from military infantry?

This is a reminder that robots actually will rise up against humans, because that's what billionaires will program them to do.
posted by AlSweigart at 7:23 AM on November 17 [2 favorites]


they're not just being manned by humans behind the scenes.

Thank goodness - - there's already too much of that going on in Hollywood!
posted by fairmettle at 7:30 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


OKAY WELL I guess I'll be the one to say it?

Watching the ongoing releases of progress with the robots has not continued to fill me with revulsion and terror. I think they are pretty cool. Sure, the brain wants to go to the military implications, but frankly we already have robots that fly around murdering people so that ship has sailed. If you want to get het up about military tech, there's a whoooooole lot of existing options to generate that panic, not the least of which is the multiple massive arsenals of world-ending nuclear weapons.

I've always liked robots. They are fun and cool to interact with. I like that they are getting more sophisticated. I'd love to be able to afford to have an android one day in my lifetime to hang out with.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:33 AM on November 17 [4 favorites]


There are more efficient ways to lay waste to a city or achieve some ethnic cleansing than very expensive humanoid robots. Some even make you money, like owning news media!

Police love their expensive toys already, and something that takes complete risk away from officers will only increase the amount of no-knock raids and other forms of police oppression.

Or something less exciting, but more frightening: Hundreds of these dogs/drones roaming cities, specifically neighborhoods with "broken windows", facial recognizing and issuing arrest warrants to every person doing any kind of minor infraction so that we can send them to the prison labor camps. Not to even get started on the psychological impact of having basically living in a neighborhood effectively occupied by a hostile force of robots. Law & order!

Also, police officers already cost a lot of money. It won't be as costly to roll these out as you think, especially as they also allow power and decision making to be consolidated to a smaller and smaller group of people.
posted by mayonnaises at 7:43 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


Eh, let me know when it can identify items in the bagging area.
posted by elwoodwiles at 7:46 AM on November 17 [10 favorites]


I'm aware that the robots don't suffer, but I can't help but worry when I see the lifting form on the robot. It correctly lifts from the knees (not the back) but then it holds the weight and turns at the waist to put it on the shelf, which can lead to injury. Best practice is to move your whole body to turn to avoid this kind of strain.
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:07 AM on November 17 [5 favorites]




That's an interesting point, blnkfrnk. These humanoid shaped bots obv. don't have muscles in the same way we do, but does that mean the stress points are in totally different places, despite having the similar shape? Or is it that the stress points are in the same places, but way way way stronger than human muscle / joints?
posted by lazaruslong at 8:42 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: "delete before robot uprising." function.
posted by sammyo at 9:17 AM on November 17


I would assume the Boston Dynamics people are testing the wear on the joints and such as we speak, and it would be fascinating to know how much what we know about human dynamics and human wear-and-tear informs their work.
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:59 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


Is there a single economically feasible use for these robots aside from military infantry?

I think we're at least a generation away from knowing the answer to that in any detail. Cars took at least twenty years (and the innovation in engines that happened during during the first world war) to go from toys of the rich to being really integrated into society. Perhaps arguably even longer, until the 1950s.
posted by bonehead at 10:09 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


Wir funktionieren automatik
Jetzt wollen wir tanzen mechanik...


Oh, come on, I'm sure some of you knew I was gonna post that.
posted by droplet at 10:18 AM on November 17 [2 favorites]


I'm either missing a reference or a link.

reference-ish-ez Bride Of Frankenstein
posted by thelonius at 11:15 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


I was just having a reverie about inviting the robot next door over for coffee but of course they don't eat or drink, so you offer them a charge-up. But it's a hipster robot and it's all like, "I prefer 50 HZ."
posted by sjswitzer at 11:15 AM on November 17


How you LIKE ME NOW, Jibo? You little bitch.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 11:26 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


Is there a single economically feasible use for these robots aside from military infantry?


Right now, probably not. In fact, I doubt they're even economically feasible for military infantry. Radio, telephones, cars, televisions, airplanes, and smartphones were all pioneered by some combination of militaries and the very rich.

Once all the patents expire and the parts become mass produced, it isn't obvious to me that legged-vehicles need to be much more expensive than wheeled vehicles. Personally, I would like to see wheelchairs and strollers work more like this. The current wheeled versions aren't too usable on dirt roads, uneven concrete, stairs, etc.
posted by andrewpcone at 11:50 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


dear robots I want to assure you I can be useful in rounding up terrorists like loquacious as I am immune to even the strongest magnetic fields

Sadly, we humans are not immune to strong magnetic fields, even at the relatively low levels we commonly generate on Earth. That shit fucks up your cognition once the field strength gets too high. In the case of an oscillating EM field, burns are also an issue at a surprising large number of wavelengths.

Your typical EMP isn't enough to fry your brain, though, so there's that, at least. It takes a lot more than that.
posted by wierdo at 11:51 AM on November 17 [2 favorites]


You can hire a human to kill another human for much less than it costs to build a robot to kill a human.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:01 PM on November 17 [3 favorites]


much less than it costs to build a robot to kill a human
True, but how much is having a robot that can't get PTSD or develop a troubling sense of morals worth?
posted by CrystalDave at 1:05 PM on November 17 [1 favorite]


Seriously what the fuck. These are already suitable enough that I can't imagine there isn't an order for them that includes small arms mounting and targeting. Yes: sure, they're "more expensive" than human shooters but that's only when you aren't counting the cost of humans being simply unwilling to do particular tasks. These are Fucking Terrifying.
posted by odinsdream at 1:05 PM on November 17 [2 favorites]


Chappie is a good movie on Netflix, btw.
posted by odinsdream at 1:08 PM on November 17


You can hire a human to kill another human for much less than it costs to build a robot to kill a human.

If we're talking about a hitman, sure. If we're talking about building an invading or occupying force, or very large security details, there's probably going to be a point in our lifetimes where the economics start skewing toward murderbots. That's the only reason this kind of R&D is even able to happen.
posted by Mike Smith at 1:24 PM on November 17 [2 favorites]


If you're worried about the immediate application of Atlas to making war, I've got a video from 2015 that will calm your nerves. A Compilation of Robots Falling Down at the DARPA Robotics Challenge.
posted by Popular Ethics at 2:53 PM on November 17 [2 favorites]


If you're worried about the immediate application of Atlas to making war, I've got a video from 2015 that will calm your nerves.

Precisely the opposite, I'm afraid. I've been thinking of that video in juxtaposition with this new one, and even more than the dexterity on display now, it's the change from 2015 to today that's genuinely unsettling. I fear someday we may all end up owing Kurzweil an apology.
posted by chortly at 6:59 PM on November 17 [1 favorite]


What the... god DAMN IT. I just finished building the two-block-high fence around my base and now you're telling me these motherfuckers can jump 2 blocks? WAS THIS EVEN IN THE RELEASE NOTES WTFFFFFFFFFFFF
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 8:34 PM on November 17 [2 favorites]


The one that grabs the box, I could see that being a warehouse worker, if your warehouse is full of guys that knock the box out of your hands with a hockey stick. This new one is for a warehouse that has no ladders, so it has to jump to get to the top shelves.

Huh, now I want to see if one can dribble and dunk.
posted by RobotHero at 8:42 PM on November 17


Replace "pancakes" with "humans" and ... Don't try to trick us!
posted by filtergik at 5:25 AM on November 18


The future of the Amazon warehouse is here, I guess. Robots will slam-dunk your purchase into a box.
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:37 AM on November 18 [1 favorite]


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