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back to article Who's the best-built bot that makes the US military hot? SCHAFT!

A Japanese robotics company now owned by Google has won the first stage of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, which is trying to find a new generation of mechanoids to keep fleshy humans safe from harm. Youtube video of the SCHAFT robot The first of the challenge trials were held in Florida over the weekend and saw humanoid robots …

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Seriously guys?

A 10 hour video link?

Could you not find a shorter highlights link?

I'm sure it was all very impressive but I'd rather not be be still watching that when Xmas come around :-)

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Re: Seriously guys?

and no sound either.

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Bronze badge

Re: Seriously guys?

and no sound either.

There's plenty of sound, just not all the way through. The real problem is that its *soooooo boooorrrriiinnnnggg!* Jump to any random spot in the video; it'll probably be either a full-screen Chyron or a medium shot of a robot standing perfectly still.

You know those old newsreel clips of wacky turn-of-the-last-century flying machines[1]? This will be the robot equivalent of those clips for future generations.

[1] eg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMhdksPFhCM

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Anonymous Coward

Not only do we have to contend with super volcanos, meteors, exploding sun, pollution, nuclear war and global warming that may ultimately wipe out the human race, but now someone invents a gang of Psycho Google Robots that will inevitably want world domination.

There's just no hope is there?

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Holmes

You forget the upcoming super-recession, just prior to a fat serving of NEW HITLER. It's gonna be hilarious.

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Downvotes? Are there optimists here tonight?

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Trollface

That naming!

Anyone acquainted with the excellent japanese anime series "Patlabor" (Basically a cop show with comedy in which cops get to drive giant robots around Japan to catch other perps driving giant robots used in construction tasks for example) knows that "SCHAFT Enterprises" is the dark-side slimy megacorps which unleashes dark-side robotica onto the unsuspecting public, like the J-9 Griffon:

The Type J-9 Griffon is an experimental labor developed in secret by section chief Utsumi (aka Richard Won) for Schaft Enterprises Japan. The Griffon is a high end proof of concept labor that surpasses all labors during its introduction in 1999. The Griffon, nicknamed the "Black Labor" by non-Schaft employees, is highly agile and capable of performing near human movement, something that many other labors lack. In its original configuration, the Griffon becomes the first labor capable of unassisted flight, although the flight system is in its early stages and causes substantial damage after a crash landing. Its raw power allows it to disable labors entirely by hand. The Griffon, piloted by a young boy named Bud Renard Harchand, makes its debut by attacking the 1999 Tokyo International Labor Show. The Griffon easily defeats Shinohara's new AVS-98 Economy and proves a match for even the AV-98 Ingram, its primary target for combat data.

Really it's like Musk named his company "Weyland Yutani" then proceeded to shoot stuff into space.

Imma gonna get more popcorn!!

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Re: That naming!

It all sounds very 'laborious'.

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Re: That naming!

You beat me to it. So what's the bets the next one will be called Shinohara ?

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About waking over rubble

Do they have to walk over rubble in human fashion? Could they crawl over it? With the correct articulation in the knee joints, they could do it doggy-style.

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Re: About waking over rubble

The highlights I saw showed robots walking human-like over the rubble. I'd say the robots are now on the level of a very cautious and somewhat arthritic 65-year-old, which may not sound very impressive, but if you know anything about the issues truly, really, is.

We could have robots with the mobility and speed of a healthy adult human in ten years (though I think that's a bit optimistic).

The tasks were all selected from work drones have been doing at Fukushima.

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Re: About waking over rubble

There were non-humanoid robots that crawled over the rubble in odd ways, like Chiron and NASA's Robosimian. Scroll through the article for pics of the non-humanoid robots:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25493584

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Boffin

Re: About waking over rubble

Rubble is a cheap and effective way to demonstrate a machines compatibility with Human architecture and infrastructure in a single test. A good rubble pile has a little bit of most any kind of situation your machine, not just robots, could encounter 'in the wild'.

Compatibility with the world Humans have constructed is a HUGE component in bringing robots into daily life. It is completely unacceptable from an both an engineering and financial perspective for Humans to greatly modify our existing infrastructure or build a second infrastructure for robot use.

Interactivity/compatibility with Humans and their world is the first and most important part of engineering anything. If what you're building, whatever it is, isn't Human friendly it is an engineering failure. Full stop. Obviously, something doesn't have to be compatible with all Humans, just those who have to interact with it.

A robot that performs one specialized task in a fixed environment, only needs to be compatible with the Humans that use and service it. A robot that functions 'in the wild' has to be compatible with ramps, stairs, hobos on the sidewalk, doors, wet ceramic tile, you get the idea. For a robot designed, ultimately, for daily, real world use, the robot must be able to function wherever Humans are. A rubble pile is a good test for real world stability.

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At Last!

Absolutely, totally and completely the best headline this year!

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Safe from harm

" In the interests of efficiency and economics it has been decided that the best way to achieve total safety and immunity from harm for the human race is to deactivate it. The program begins NOW!"

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Re: Safe from harm

I really detest tired, knee-jerk, memery. Be original, be serious, or STFU.

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Alert

Skynet coming too?

So, does this mean that Skynet is just around the corner. What happed to "Do No Evil"? Are we going to have to pass the 3 laws of roboics, i.e. Isaac Assimov's "I, Robot"? I have so many questions. Also why does Google need to buy a company that makes terrifying military robots with animal names? I think Skynet is coming, because if anybody can deliver on the failed promises of A.I. over the past 25 years, it will be Google. Whether they want to or not, they are about to open that Pandora's box. I say this as software developer who has been in the biz for almost 30 years. Skynet is coming.........be afraid, be very afraid.

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Gimp

Re: Skynet coming too?

Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.

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Angel

Re: Skynet coming too?

Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind...

...because it would suck too much!

That would be a saying by the Machine Pope then?

All hail His/Her Positronic Illumination! Praise Be!

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Hush yo mouth

You just had to put that song in my head, didn't you?

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Pint

It's not Fukishima that started inspiring the Japanese with life saving robots.

Search & Rescue robots or teleoperators have been under development since at least the early 90s.

It's as if a generation of Japanese school children grew up to want to offer a sort of "international rescue" capability.

RIP Gerry, you're work touched a lot of people.

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Terminator

Re: It's not Fukishima that started inspiring the Japanese with life saving robots.

Life saving robots aren't always working in radioactive environments or worming though rubble. A close friend of mine runs a company in Japan whose mission is cheap robots that detect, locate and disarm land mines.

Absolutely nothing about land mines is sexy, but situations like that are perfectly suited for robots. It sure beats the dogs the French once used, or crazy people driving specially armored heavy equipment over the mines. You can just huck a robot into the minefield and not worry one bit about loss of life and it's a lot cheaper, even with blowing the robots up, than combing hundreds of square miles inch by inch.

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