Many of you have expressed some, um, concerns about a few of the bots we’ve covered in recent weeks. ATLAS, for instance, is quite frightening, but it’s not yet self-aware. This tiny hexapod is, however, and it’s rather unsettling.
With all “limbs” intact, the hexapod gets along pretty quickly at 26cm/s, but once you chop one of its six legs (?), it beings to stagger like a drunken sailor at about 8cm/s. And then by the power of Greyskull or a series of algorithms, it runs through a series of tests to regain proper efficiency. In other words, it’s basically self-aware.
The correlation to humans the creators present is rather compelling:
On a higher level, this concept could also share some similarities with what human do when they are injured: if a movement is painful, humans do not fully understand what cause the pain, but they identify the behaviours that cause the pain; once they know that some move are painful, they learn to instinctively avoid them.
All joking aside, this is an amazing advancement in robotics and one that could have larger implications for other bots in the near term. Sure, it takes the little guy about 20 minutes to right the ship, but the fact that it can and does is pretty damn cool. [Spectrum IEEE]