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Machine Rising Update: Google Buys Skynet / NASA Unveils Not-Quite-Superhero Robot

Google Buys Skynet


Cylon Prototype as seen in Caprica.
Well okay, not Skynet, but the next closest thing that you know some tech-nerd-sci-fi-movie-fan future CEO is going to rename because 'Boston Dynamics' just doesn't fulfill the prophecy outlined in The Terminator series of documentaries sent to us from the future.

Google buys out Boston Dynamics the company responsible for developing some pretty sophisticated robots for the US military.  The world's biggest Search Engine/data company teamed with one of the world's most advanced experimental robot companies...

I just started watching the TV series Caprica - a prequel to the recent Battlestar Galactica series - and in that show the Cylons begin when an A.I. created from the accumulated data of big brother like search engine/database is placed in the mechanical body of what would evolve into the Cylons that become hell bent on destroying human kind...

Wait? Maybe James Cameron's Terminator movies got it wrong? Maybe we should be looking out for the creation of the first Cylon? The Earth's destiny could be in the hands of the Final Five.

Google's motto maybe 'Don't be Evil' but hopefully someone will inform the first Cylon before escorting it to the bean bag relaxation room of Googleplex.

NASA Unveils Not-Quite-Superhero Robot


Nicolaus Radford with 'Valkyrie'
NASA recently unveiled its new human like robot, 'Valkyrie', which they're talking up as a 'Superhero' robot. It certainly looks cool with its Iron Man like glowing chest disc.

Whilst I'm confident it can probably do all the things NASA claims, including driving a car by its-self, if you're going to call a robot a 'Superhero robot' you really need to create a more impressive demonstration video.

In the only demonstration video I've seen of Valkyrie (see below), it spends most of it standing motionless and most likely switched off (I reckon that chest light indicates stand by mode). When it does finally move, we see it slowly turning the steering wheel of a simulated car (I presume) and then stepping over a single piece of what looks to be a 4 by 2 length of wood more carefully than your eighty year old grandma with a Zimmer frame.

Not exactly 'Superhero' league is it?

Especially not compared to some of the robots created by Boston Dynamics for DARPA that can not only handle rough terrain but can also recover from being kicked off balance before they completely fall over.

I know NASA probably doesn't want to get it's shiny new robot dirty but how am I supposed to maintain the level of fearful concern for a machine uprising with a robot that's completely absorbed by stepping over something that isn't even as high as a curb?

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