Be Afraid: Robots Can Now Climb Stairs Unaided

I think most of us have accepted the fact that one day robots will become so advanced that they'll take over the planet and enslave mankind. But until that day comes, we've still got a good five or six years when we can mock their feeble attempts to imitate humans. "Haha! Way to climb the stairs like you've got chronic back pain jerk-bot!" (High-fives another awesome human.)

In reality, though, this humanoid robot named Nao is demonstrating some fairly sophisticated image analysis and processing while it uses a laser scanner and built-in camera to carefully climb a spiral staircase all by itself. So watching ED-209 fall down the stairs in Robocop might have given us a false sense of security that robot attackers can be easily foiled by a staircase. Because they're obviously learning to slowly and painfully master that obstacle already. [Robots Dreams via Ubergizmo]

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