Coming to a Forest Near You – Invading Robots?

Robot03Say it isn’t so! Cryptozoology lovers will have yet another creature to contend with when out hunting for Bigfoot. This time it’s manmade and yes, it’s Google’s Atlas robot. What does this new technology mean for the hunt for Bigfoot? CryptoVille ponders the big question!

 

Take a look at this video, 34 seconds long, and watch as this robot navigates a wooded glade for the first time.

 

 

My first inclination is to run out there and assist it. The poor thing looks a bit forlorn and is struggling so much, it breaks my heart. However, this marvel of creation was entered into a contest called the Pentagon’s Darpa Robotics Challenge. The robots had to navigate rough terrain and the one who did it the best would win. In this case it was a robot from South Korea.

The makers of Atlas, Boston Dynamics, are still proud of their result and I guess they should be. Previous robots had multiple legs which helped them navigate rough terrain more easily. Atlas is bipedal, standing 6 ft 2 in tall, and had to navigate with a power tether hanging off its back. It has to be noted – Atlas remained upright even though it was moving across very uneven and overgrown terrain.

Boston Dynamic’s founder, Marc Raibert, said, “Our focus is on balance and dynamics – working a little bit the way people and animals do, where you move quickly in order to keep yourself stabilized. Out in the world is just a totally different challenge than in the lab. You can’t predict what it’s going to be like.”

Isn’t that just like life?

Raibert added, “We’re working on a version that doesn’t have that [power tether] and we’re making pretty good progress on making it so it has mobility that’s within shooting range of [a human’s].”

Robot01Speaking of Shooting Range

I’m not a big fan of robots (despite all the cute vintage robot pictures courtesy of Pinterest!!), but so many people are just enthralled with them, so I guess they’re here to stay. I can see this type of model being useful in search and rescue operations, fighting wild fires, probably in military applications, things like that.

However, for the people out hunting and fishing in America’s wilderness (the vast majority of whom will likely never see this article) – what will they make of this “creature” stumbling through the woods coming towards them?

Depending on how and where they see it, plus the time of day, season, and location they may think it’s some kind of alien, perhaps wounded and staggering through the woods. Or if they see movement in an overgrown glade they may think it’s Bigfoot on the move.

Robot02Will these things ultimately lead to bogus reports of UFOs and Bigfoot? And who knows what else? Do we not have enough bogus reports already, without the robots?!

By the way, what happens if people shoot at them because they’re scared of the “creatures” coming towards them?

Drones

It reminds me when drones were new to the world at large. I wondered if we were going to have another 10,000 UFO sightings that were bogus. From what I’ve read over the last couple years, people seem to have quickly learned what these things are. And interestingly, they don’t seem to like them. People are shooting them out of the sky, one was involved in a mishap at a wild fire that could have put firefighters’ lives at risk, and some states are considering making it illegal to fly drones over other peoples’ property.

So I suppose if these robots start taking over the American wilderness, people will quickly learn to distinguish them from flesh and blood creatures or whatever aliens really look like.

Robot04Finding Bigfoot

I wonder if we could rent a few to go out and hunt for Bigfoot! They could attach cameras to all sides of the robot. Hmmmm. I wonder how much one of these things costs!

What do you think about all this robot gadgetry?

 

 

 

 

   

References

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-33978559

http://www.theroboticschallenge.org/

 

Leave a Reply