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This Boston Dynamics Designed Robot Is One Step Closer To Learning Karate

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In science fiction it’s a rather well established fact that robots and artificial intelligence are going to take over the world and either wipe us off the face of the Earth or enslave us and use us for some nefarious purposes. Those evil bastards. And now, as you can see in this video, they can do karate, or at least a damn fine impression of the crane technique from Karate Kid. The balance is impressive. And terrifying. But no robot will ever replace Ralph Macchio.

Just a heads up, there’s a super shrill, obnoxious mechanical whine in the background of this footage, so you might want to watch it with the sound off, or at least pre-turn it down. This guy is not particularly stealthy, at least not yet, and isn’t going to be sneaking up on anyone anytime soon.

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DARPA’s Robotics Challenge Narrows The Field To Eight Finalists

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SCHAFT robotDARPA’s Robotics Challenge, where teams compete to design and develop disaster response robots,
kicked off in June, with the software-based Virtual Robotics Challenge. For this first phase, teams create software and ran it on a robotic simulation. The challenge has now moved from virtual to physical, and the trials have just wrapped up, leaving a field of eight finalists that will compete in the Grand Challenge next year. In case you were wondering, the winner walks away with $2 million in prize money.

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Google Buys Boston Dynamics And Gets One Step Closer To World Domination

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Wild CatGoogle keeps up their steady march toward becoming an empire. Sure, there’s the search engine, gmail, Google Street View, and Google Glass, but I’m not even talking about that stuff. I’m talking about the fact that the monolithic company uses deep learning, is developing AI, wants to cure death, and hired futurist and singularity guru Ray Kurzweil as their director of engineering. Now, they’ve done something else that adds to that already impressive and somewhat frightening list: they bought Boston Dynamics.

What’s the big deal? You might be wondering. The big deal is that Boston Dynamics sits atop the robotics industry when it comes to make a certain type of robot—the kind that could chase you down, knock you over, scare the living shit out of you, and then save your life. A group of MIT engineers founded the company in 1992, with the goal to focus on mobility and maneuverability to make robots able to navigate almost any terrain and perform a variety of practical functions. One example is the Wildcat, which could be used for disaster relief or military operations, or in bringing nightmares to fruition. The Wildcat, like many other Boston Dynamic robots, was funded by DARPA.

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This Killer Robot Isn’t Nearly As Intimidating Once You’ve Seen It Fall On Its Face

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If you read this site on a regular basis, there’s a decent chance that you’ve spent more time than most people preparing for the eventual robot takeover. Perhaps you stockpile canned food, weapons, and EMP devices in your secret underground bunker that you dug out yourself in your backyard so it doesn’t show up on any schematics that the machines could get their grubby alloy mitts on. Then again, you could be one of those turncoats who welcomes your new robotic overlords with open arms and sells out your own species. Either way, or something in the middle, it’s starting to look like our impending doom at the hands of our own artificially intelligent creations may be a bit farther off than some of us assumed. As proof we offer up this video of a killer robot’s evil plan being foiled that most unexpected of obstacles, random crap strewn about the floor.

A while back the world met Atlas, DARPA’s terrifying humanoid robot, and we all let out a collective groan of, “well, it’s been a nice run, humanity.” We assumed that this would track us all down and slaughter us wholesale in short order, or perhaps harvest random bits of nerve and tissue to further augment their own synthetic bodies. We may have jumped the gun on proclaiming our doom just a bit, as this new video shows that Atlas has one, minor weakness, an total inability to navigate anything other than smooth, flat surfaces.