China has just unveiled its newest heavy-duty military robot. Per the Chinese-government run Global Times, this new electric quadruped is the largest and heaviest of its type yet developed. And what is that type? Well, it is so far indicated that the robot is intended to be used for logistics delivery and reconnaissance missions. That seems both very specific and quite vague, but the as of yet unnamed robot appears to be primarily intended for use in complex tasks in areas too dangerous for humans.
Of course, even the Global Times concedes that some of those tasks too dangerous for humans could be making areas too dangerous for humans. An anonymous Chinese expert stated that the military robot could be equipped with weapons and essentially used for ground-based drone warfare. “If needed,” as the expert specifically says. Check it out here:
While this particular military robot is not unique, it is the largest of its kind that China has thus far designed and domestically built. A similar robot named Geda was remarkably similar, described as a kind of bionic mechanical dog. However, while Geda can carry about 88 lbs and is roughly the size of a traditional flesh and blood dog, this new robot is described more in terms of being a complex metal yak. It reportedly can carry over 350 lbs and is roughly six feet long. The robot has complex articulate limbs and can run, turn, jump and move at approximately seven miles per hour. It also has adaptive technology and can move quickly and easily over varied terrains like muddy roads, snow, cliffs and presumably, near-future dystopian wastelands where robots rule the Earth.
Robot technology has long been a fascination of many cultures. The first modern robots were developed in the 1950s, and were called by the ominous name of Unimate. By the early 1960s, large corporations like General Motors were experimenting with using industrial robots for automated tasks. Concepts of steam-powered automatons and even more ancient mechanical beings have been part of history for millenia. However, in the last several decades, the development of military robots and other similar devices has sped up. Similar robots to China’s YakBot have been around since at least 2012, and doubtlessly many technological think tanks are working around the clock to realize the dreams of Cyberdyne Systems.
Beyond military robots, it is likely that more domestic applications of robotics will become commonplace in the coming years. CEO/SNL host/emerald mine scion Elon Musk has announced that Tesla is currently developing a humanoid robot. It is described as the most important product that the tech company is developing this year (even more than fully automating car accidents), and Tesla is often on the cutting edge of new technologies. There certainly have been enormous developments in building autonomous robots for purposes like surgery. While the necessity (or even point) of building humanoid robots is still a debated topic, it certainly is not slowing down nations from developing robot technology. Just check out the yak.