If you are a tech enthusiast, it is near impossible not to like robots. As a kid, I always wanted to meet Honda’s humanoid ASIMO. This bipedal robot was quite impressive for its time. A few years later, I learned about Sony’s robot dog, and since that day the only pet I ever wanted was AIBO. Fast forward to today, and I find Sphero’s Star Wars BB-8 and Anki’s Cozmo quite adorable. However, the scope of robots is way beyond that. Especially, military establishments across the world are funneling millions of dollars into robotics. And their results are nowhere like dazed and amusing machines like ASIMO. These robots mean business and can perform complex tasks. In fact, the latest Russian humanoid can even fire guns. Yes, you read that right! Now that I have your attention, let’s check out some of these robots you should definitely worry about:
Straight from the land of Kalashnikov and Vodka, FEDOR is like ASIMO’s long lost brother that has now turned into a murderer. Russia’s FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) began its life as a humanoid meant for the country’s space mission scheduled for 2021. On Earth, its purpose was limited to rescue operations. Such a noble cause, but recently FEDOR has been spotted firing guns with both hands simultaneously. If that hasn’t freaked you out, FEDOR is also said to be capable driving a car. If you have seen a popular Arnold Schwarzenegger movie about this subject matter, you would know where it is heading. However, Russia’s deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, stated that “We are not creating a Terminator, but artificial intelligence that will be of great practical significance in various fields.” Well, I’m totally convinced by the assurance from a member of one of the most authoritative regimes in the world.
I don’t know what’s more painful. Getting shot by a robot or making peace with the fact that Boston Dynamics’ latest robot is so advanced that it makes your ability to move around look painfully slow and inefficient. Dubbed as Handle, this robot cleverly uses its legs equipped with wheels for nimble movement on variety of surfaces. On flat ground, it scoots over using its wheels. On the other hand, it can march on a rough terrain using bipedal motion. Its movements are controlled by 10 electric and hydraulic actuator joints. It can lift and transport around 45 kg of payload without breaking sweat. This humanoid stands 6.5 feet tall. It can chase you at the speed of 14.5 km/hour. On a single charge, the Handle can travel around 15 kms. And can also jump up to 4 feet vertically, probably just to scare the life out of you.
Scientists at Japanese company HiBot, which is a spin-off of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has created a snake robot called the ACM-R5H. Not only can it slither and slide on various types of terrain, but also maneuver effortlessly in water. The way it emulates motion of the snake is both impressive and eerie. The HiBot ACM-R5H is modular so that you can customize its body length as per the requirement. The company allows you to add various sensors or cameras to the front or rear module. The calculations required to keep the ACM-R5H moving are taken care of by a Cortex-M4 processor based on ARM architecture. I’m not sure if it holds venom, but I guess it looks frightening enough to make you lose the will to live. Seriously, imagine if you are in a swimming pool, and HiBot ACM-R5H shows-up in front of you.