Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DARPA robotics challenge




Last week, I did a post about the robot Valkyrie, NASA's entry into the DARPA (Defensive Advanced Research Projects Agency) Robotics Challenge.

Well today I found on AI.com this neat little rundown of the top entries into that competition.  They include:

-Robosimian (pictured above), another entry by NASA.  This one is fittingly ape-like with four general-purpose limbs and hands.

-CHIMP, a robot that keeps with the ape theme.  It hails from Carnegie Mellon University and has a 3D interface.

-DRC-HUBO, another humanoid robot.

-THOR, a bi-pedal but not quite humanoid robot whose name stands for Tactical Hazardous Operations Robot.

And of course both Atlas and Valkyrie are mentioned.  Each robot contestant has its own intro video at the link.  The article even mentions how you can follow the whole competition via the Twitter hashtag #DARPADRC.

This is indeed a process worth following.  Unlike that former glut of television programs we once had of robots built for cage matches and other wanking, this technology will go on to affect society in mostly positive and productive ways.  Of course I'm sure there are Terminator comparisons flying around but such rhetoric does seem unavoidable when technology is discussed.  Sad so many hold such a cathexis to that ideology.

I for one welcome our new cool robots.



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