Headline, October 06 2021/ ''' '' ROBOTS FEARS ROUSES '' '''


 ROUSES '' '''

WHAT IF THAT ROBOT CAME AFTER THE STUDENTS? Watching the video, you can imagine what it might be like to confront the robots' physical prowess in person.

Boston Dynamics has uploaded videos like this for more than a decade, cataloguing the progress of its creations as they grow more lifelike, and more unsettling. One of its models is a robotic dog called Spot, with four legs and, sometimes, a ''neck'' topped with a camera ''head'' - an android's best friend.

In a vast warehouse-style room, two humanoid robots are taking on an obstacle course. Their barrel -shaped torsos, stuffed with processors and batteries, make it look as if they've been going to the gym a lot but have neglected leg day.

They run and jump, traipsing on and off blocks and angled steps not unlike those in the qualifying round of the obstacle-course show ''American Ninja Warrior.''

One runs along a beam and then, later, vaults over it. For the finale, they position themselves on opposite corners of a table and do two synchronised back flips. Feet firmly on the ground, they celebrate : One brushes off its shoulders, the other raises its arms in triumph. Neither, obviously, has broken a sweat.

This is a parkour showcase by the robotics company Boston Dynamics, demonstrating the capabilities of its Atlas Model. Like a gymnastics routine, the sequence of moves here is entirely choreographed, programmed by a team of engineers.

The smoothness of the movements makes it look as if the robots are digital animations, like something out of a movie: What we are watching is a simulation of human movement, modeled and designed on computers.

It's just that, instead of C.G.I. cartoon characters fooling our brains by moving 24 frames per second, these robots are tumbling through physical reality.

The Atlas was built to be humanoid, a machine that can perform a variety of tasks in a variety of environments. [Is it our species' position as an adaptable apex predator or simply our narcissism that made the shape so obvious?].

The software contains only templates of the physical actions the model can perform; the robot itself must calculate how much force to exert through each of its 28 hydraulic joints to make a given jump. Watching it work wows me. It's that one robot's hips swivel unnaturally as it works to keep its feet beneath its center of gravity on that beam, but otherwise the routine feels superhuman.

I personally could do the initial jumps between angled platforms, but I have never been able to execute a back flip, held back by the human fear of landing on my neck.

Watching the video, you can imagine what it might be like to confront the robots' physical prowess in person. Each is only a few inches shorter than I, but they weigh about a third more.

They can run at a decent clip, slightly lower than 5.6 m.p.h. As a runner, I know I could outpace one easily, at least for its current battery life. But I wonder if I would be able to overpower it. In the minute or so it takes to watch the video, my brain has already switched from marvelling at the cool robot to wondering : Could this thing hunt me for sport?

Although Boston Dynamics maintains that its creations are research projects, it does sell Spot and has leased one to the New York City Police Department It could have been used to accomplish tasks too risky for a living being, such as delivering food in a hostage situation or checking areas with high amount of radiation.

But its appearance accompanying police officers during an arrest in public housing brought enough backlash for its trial to be prematurely terminated.

People found the robodog both wasteful and chilling, especially in the possession of the institution most likely to use force against them.

It surely didn't help that the robodog looked quite similar to the horrific killer machines in an episode of the show ''Black Mirror'' called ''Metalhead'' - probably because the show's creator Charlie Brooker, who wrote the episode, was inspired by the previous Boston Dynamics videos.

Demonstrations of agility by nonhuman gymnasts raises some very, very serious unsettling thoughts.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Robotics, State-of-the-World and Future, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Brian NG.

With respectful dedication to the Scientists, Innovators, Research Scientists, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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