Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Robot galloping at 16mph

"WildCat" is the latest work of Boston Dynamics, and the successor of their cat-inspired "Cheetah" project. Where Cheetah was tethered and could run 19mph, this one runs free at 16mph. So, is it mostly creepy or mostly cool? Watch it in action and decide for yourself:

I do suggest that this device needs some 'humanification', so it appears more friendly at least. Creating some vacuum formed shells for it won't be that expensive. In the end, once its use expands beyond the military, it will become more explicitly part of the social fabric and will have to have some capabilities for social communication as well, and possibly could also act to spread information. I'm not saying that it needs to have a face, it just needs to at least be able to communicate its intentions so that people will accept it as part of the social world. Robots are going to look strange, but I think it's easier to accept that when their intentions are known or even better, felt.

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