This week, I decided I wasn’t going to start into another series (although I always think that), and would simply offer up some neat examples of our future robot overlords for your admiration. These are real robots either currently in use or under development, and what I think are unique examples of science fiction meeting reality. So, without further ado, here’s my pick for this week.
The Quadrotor: 4 Times the Rotor, 4 Times the Nightmares
I’ve seen something like this example in a lot of science fiction movies and games (Manhacks, anyone?), and they have to be some of the scariest ideas for killer robots I’ve ever seen. Imagine it: You’re on the run. The enemy is everywhere, but you think you’re safe in your hiding place in the warehouse, when suddenly you hear it- that humming noise- like a cloud of enormous bees. You stare in horror as the buzzing drones zip in through the broken window and train their little camera right on you. *shiver* If the world ever does end with the robots in charge, these ‘Quadrotors’ are going to make The Resistance’s job a heck of a lot harder. Check out more creepy videos for these 4-prop’ed harbingers of death here.
South Korea’s Happy Killer Robot Turret
The idea of automated machine gun turrets for point-defense of evil lairs and top-secret government facilities has been around for a long time now, but THIS thing has them all beat. Built for defense on the demilitarized border zone between South Korea and their not-so-happy neighbor North Korea, this automated machine gun can pick out a human from 500 meters (that’s 1640 feet for you Americans), day and night. This demonstration video would be intimidating if it weren’t for the up-beat music playing in the background.
Death on Tracks: The TALON Armed Assault Robot
You’ve probably seen those bomb-defusing robots before, and you might have thought, as I know I have, “Hey why don’t they put guns on that?” Well, apparently some guys at the Army R&D devision had the same idea. Enter the TALON, a tracked, remote-control land-based drone coming soon to a battlefield near you. It’s payload is pretty much anything you want to put on it, from the SAW automatic support weapon seen in the video, to anti-tank rockets. They even have an attachable gripper assembly to handle bombs and wounded soldiers, but that seems pretty dull in comparison, and not anything we haven’t seen before.
Giant Deer-shaped BIG DOG Mule
Ok, that was a bit much, I admit- but if you read the articles about this Army-designed all-terrain cargo carrier, they throw arround all kinds of animal metaphors. The neat thing about this robot is the way it compensates for landscape, weak footing, and losing its balance in such an organic way. The applications of this kind of mechanical finesse is far-reaching, and could lead (I hope) to the kind of walking tanks many science fiction nuts have been dreaming about since Star Wars first came out. Also, it’s pretty cool that pretty soon our soldiers won’t have to carry nearly as much of the weight they currently have to.
Well, that’s it for now- see you next week!
Until then, what are some of your favorite robots in science fiction? Let me know in the comments below!