Robot Warriors Kick Human A*s

This is one incredible parody video of what robotic warriors of the future will be able to do. 



The robot takes an incredible beating and never misses a shot!



They even hit him numerous times with a battering ram for Pete’s sake. 



Also, amazed that none of the actors in this video ended up taking a bullet or two. 



Wow, the future is going to be amazing. 😉



(Thank you to my wonderful son-in-law for sending this to me)

Robots Are Not Just For Fighting

“The AlphaDog Proto is a lab prototype for the Legged Squad Support System [LS3], a robot being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA and the US Marine Corps. When fully developed the system will carry 400 lbs of payload on 20-mile missions in rough terrain. The first version of the complete robot will be completed in 2012.”
According to Boston Dynamics, AlphaDog will follow a leader with computer vision or travel via GPS to designated locations. 
The video shows a truly amazing display of the robot galloping, traversing obstacles, recovering from being pushed, and even rolling over and getting up from a supine position. 
 AlphaDog is designed as a true workhorse and resembles something more out of a Mad Max movie than what you would think of as supporting our next generation war fighters. Note: I’ll take a flying hovercraft with pinpoint fire laser ray beams over a 4-legged robot workhorse any day!  🙂
But with the array of sensors and weapons supported by drones flying overhead and robotics sentries on the ground, and 4-legged robots ferrying supplies to the front lines, the battlefield is quickly changing to man and machine fighting side by side, and maybe one day machines fighting in lieu of people. 
While MIT Technology Review states “This is just what soldiers need,” I’m interested in seeing future applications of these robots not just for the military, but also in terms of how they will change areas such as law enforcement, fire and rescue, construction, assembly-line production, transportation, medicine, service industries, and more.  
Robots are not just for fighting, although it looks like AlphaDog could give anyone a good kick in the teeth and keep on lugging its load. 

>Meet ATLAS

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Atlas

This is amazing (watch the whole thing)!

Meet the latest and greatest military humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics–Atlas (aka PETMAN).

(Boston Dynamics is the same company that makes BigDog, the 4 legged, ground transport robot, that looks like a mule–called the Legged Squad Support System, LS3)

Watch the movement of the Atlas robot–it is JUST like a person: heel to toe walking.

See what happens when you push it–Atlas reacts/recovers like a human would.

The built up version has hands that help it balance and squeeze through tight spaces.

BusinessWeek (March 7-13, 2011) explains that this robot will be used initially for surveillance and emergency rescue missions.
I’m thinking Atlas should be pronounced like “at last” to recognize the amazing leap forward in robotics.

This is great stuff–and it demonstrates our growing understanding of not only computers and robotics, but also of the physical and behavioral sciences.

>The Robots Are Coming

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Forget waiters and waitresses, the new Japanese Hajime Robot restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand invested almost $1 million on 4 robotic waitstaff.

You order your food by touch screen computer, and there is a countdown on the screen for when the food is ready and the robot brings it out to you.

While the samurai clad robots are not the best looking—their huge eyes are a little cartoonish—they are certainly quite dexterous and able as they nimbly serve the food in this restaurant and dance for the customers in between courses without missing a beat.

Initially automation affected the jobs of blue-collar workers in manufacturing and mechanical work as robots displaced people on the “assembly line.” Now we see the trend continuing and expanding with automation entering the service industry and jobs involving customer interaction, entertainment, and retail being affected. This is happening not only in restaurants, but also elder care (like robot uBot5 being developed out of University of Massachusetts), and in major retail establishments such as in warehouse automation with Kiva Systems robots being employed by major companies like Gap, Staples, and Zappos.

Further, the expansion of robots into traditional human work is also happening in our military—think Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or Drones) like the Predators and Reapers, the robotics pack animals that can carry hundreds of pounds of gear (like Big Dog) and various bomb disposal robots. This is just the beginning.

We are witnessing the transformation of our workforce from traditional blue- and now even white-collar jobs to those with an emphasis on knowledge management (think engineers and technology professionals working at companies like iRobot, Intel, and Apple). This has obvious implications for selection of education pursuits and availability of professional opportunities in the future for our children and grandchildren.

The robots are coming. The robots ARE coming!