Robotics is advancing at a staggering pace. Even without Boston Dynamics’ rising robot army, NASA is still turning out lots of robots. The latest is RoboSimian, from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and who is misleadingly named because that’s a freaking spider robot!
Don’t believe us? Here’s RoboSimian competing at the DARPA robotics challenge held recently. Ask yourself if this is more ape like or more “scary spider with wheels.”
Joking about it being a terrifying robot spider aside, RoboSimian is actually fairly impressive as robots go. The highly articulated limbs really let it climb over debris with surprising efficiency, and it’s capable of stunts most robots can only dream of. Like waggling its butt at you!
RoboSimian was largely designed with search and rescue in mind; hence why it moves slowly and deliberately, since it’s pretty easy in, say, a building collapse to trigger another building collapse and make the problems about a thousand times worse. And it still has a weakness, as it needs that cable to receive orders and to be fully powered.
That said, if the Jet Propulsion Laboratory suddenly explodes with swarms of robotic spiders, we reserve the right to say “we told you so.” If we survive.