Updates Fridays

Robots Are Cool

I know this is all over the internet this week, so you’ve all probably seen it already, but it is just SO COOL that I can’t help myself. I’ve got to share it again.

Ladies and Gentlemen….the new Atlas

Oh man, I have never been so grateful to have a spine. Seriously, if I were more flexible I’d give it a kiss right now.

Okay, so, what is there to say about this that hasn’t been said? I think everyone on the internet pretty much agrees that the guy with the hockey stick is going to be the first one up against the wall when the robot revolution comes. And people whose job is pretty much just moving boxes in warehouses all day should be thinking about updating their resume. Other then that….

Well, I do think it’s interesting that, for me at least, it really looks male. It has no face and no genitals, and yes it does have a flat chest, but I think it’s actually the wide shoulders and narrow hips that seem so masculine. I can’t help wondering if that was a subconscious influence of the robot having a male name, or if it was an accidental byproduct of the locomotion design. Or maybe it was done on purpose, I don’t know.

And why doesn’t it have a face? Were they worried that if they made it any more human-looking that the researchers would feel too bad about shoving it and knocking stuff out of its hands? Were they trying to keep people from becoming attached? Or was there really never even a moment when someone in the lab thought, “hmmm, maybe I should give it a face?” Without a face, how is he going to express how mad he is at hockey-stick-guy?

It’s really interesting to me just how challenging making a humanoid robot is. That says something about the impracticality, or possibly the brilliance, of our own design. Again, spines man, just…just wow. Spines.

I mean, when this poor guy is slipping in the snow, all his recovery is coming from hips and knees and ankles. He doesn’t have the core muscles and upper body flexibility to we use to get the bulk of our weight back over our feet when something starts to go wrong. Watching him walk makes my ankles hurt.

Still, he manages impressively. According to the Boston Dynamics website he’s capable of going to all fours and crawling if the terrain gets really difficult. That’s pretty cool, and I’d like to see a video of that.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this cute little (5’ 9” and 180 lb) guy with all of you, just in case any of you hadn’t seen him yet.

Robots are cool.