Picture in your mind what the scariest robot in the world would look like. Cinema has been trying to drive it in our heads for decades now. If your idea of sheer metallic terror hearkens back to the shiny-but-deadly killer ‘bots from the Terminiator series, then avert your eyes, as a team from Japan’s Kawaksaki Heavy Industries has created what it calls the world’s first stainless steel robot. Even though it’s only an arm and not a full body, it doesn’t look like it’ll want to hug you any time soon.
If there were a penalty for something being “too sleek,” this robot would constantly be in debt. But oddly enough, aesthetics and the fear factor aren’t this ‘bot’s main purpose. It was designed to use within the company’s pharmaceuticals division, to handle automated experiments that sometimes involve dangerous chemicals. This is a noble cause, sure, but it only reminds us that robots will live through things that damage humans. And since stainless steel doesn’t readily rust or corrode, it will continue to look pristine as it assists Big Pharma in its experiments. I’m starting to believe my own conspiracy theories.
Really, the robot is a key element in these procedures due to the simplicity of sterilizing the equipment with hydrogen peroxide gas. There’s no worry about a lack of cleanliness when there’s no human element bumbling around. The ‘bot has seven degrees of movement that allow a nearly full range of motion, and the fluidity of its movements is downright creepy.
You can see it in action in the above video performing menial duties, but surely it’s just biding its time. Nothing nefarious going on here. Just a robot minding its own business, moving liquid-filled beakers from one area to another. Did you notice when that one guy got too close to the glass and the robot glared at him? You can tell it was totally thinking about throwing acid on the guy. Am I the only one that sees these things?
You might think this ‘bot arm could be used in coordination with DARPA’s terrifying Atlas robot, but I think it would be better off on a show like So You Think You Can Dance, either as a performer or a choreographer. If “Beaker Moving” becomes the next Internet craze, look no further than Kawasaki Heavy Industries to find the cause.
However this shakes out, it won’t happen until at least January next year, when Kawasaki plans to release the robot. I’m not sure where they’re releasing it exactly. I suppose to other pharmaceutical labs and evil billionaire geniuses who need this sort of thing. Or maybe to James Cameron…