Five Robots Imitating Animals (And How They'll Kill You)

Senior Contributor
11.02.12 2 Comments

We’ve been warning you, for years, about the impending robot attack. But robots are a lot more creative than just running around in bipedal forms. In fact, making a robot walk is really hard, so actually Terminators are somewhat unrealistic.
But don’t worry! Robots will have plenty of ways to get around, most of which will be bad for your immediate health!

Fleas can leap up to 100 times their length by, essentially, storing energy in an elastic protein creatively named “resilin” and then latching their leg. Once it lets go, they can soar through the air.
Korean researchers have managed to achieve getting a robot to leap up to 30 times its own length using nitinol, a shape-memory alloy that can switch between two states using heat.
So, scale that up to Big Dog, the horse-robot that weighs 240 pounds and is three feet long, and you potentially have a robot that can drop the equivalent of a professional wrestler on your neck from thirty yards away.

Robofish seems fairly harmless, because what’s he going to do, leap out of the water and eat your face?
Well, probably, but it’s better to be concerned about the food supply. See, robofish, like this, can perfectly imitate the leader of a pack of fish, leading the fish around by the wake. So pretty much a fair chunk of the world’s food may be dependent on a robot that can lead it into, say, an underwater turbine.

Hey, you know what sounds really awesome? Giving a robot the same tools as a razor clam, which can dig into pretty much anything.
You know, like your flesh!
Cyberplasm is a tiny little robot, actually technically a cyborg, built with a mix of mammalian cells and robot parts. It would be about a centimeter long, and swim around inside you, collecting data. It’s based on the lamprey.
If that doesn’t skeeve you out enough… meet the lamprey! It’s awful!

Do you really want me to explain how this thing will kill you? Because I want to sleep at night, actually.
Because sometimes you have to go with the classics, courtesy of robotics company/nightmare fuel exporter Boston Dynamics:

It’s not as fast as an actual cheetah, of course! That’d be ridiculous!
It’s just faster than even the quickest human being currently recorded! Also, it never gets tired! It can run at nearly 30 miles an hour until its batteries run out!
Or it stabs you, you know, whichever comes first.
But if you’re a traditionalist, don’t worry, they’re still developing a Terminator.

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