We joke about DARPA a lot on here, not least because they do things like build gigantic lasers or try to put out fires with speakers. Basically all they need to be is run by a bald guy and we’re going to start wondering if they’re a front for Lexcorp. But their ultimate job is to kill things more efficiently… and now they’ve built a freaking android, for that exact purpose. Meet Atlas, the slightly cuddlier T-800.
Developed by the experts in robotics and nightmare fuel, Boston Dynamics, Atlas is a six-foot-tall robot that can climb, walk independently, avoid obstacles, and relentlessly chase Sarah Connor. Boston Dynamics, being Boston Dynamics, of course has a video:
Well, at least they didn’t set this to dubstep. Anyway, even if Atlas is probing the depths of the uncanny valley, it’s not like this thing will actually be used in battle or for any ridiculous stunts or anything, right? Well, let’s see what the seven teams getting an Atlas will be expected to teach it…
They will be presented with tasks such as driving a utility vehicle, walking over uneven terrain, clearing debris, breaking through a wall, closing a valve, and connecting a fire hose.
So basically, DARPA, you want a robot that can be trained to sneak up on a building, burst through a wall, steal a car, and drive off with it, possibly while spraying the area in bullets since this thing is designed to use “human tools”, as the press releases so euphemistically put it, or maybe just beat everybody to death with the rubble. That’s… that’s just great. Anybody want to go in on a bunker? On Mars?