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Remarkable. As lifelike as the Honda Corp. bipedal robot which can climb stairs, etc..Having read a great deal of science fiction when I was younger, I have a sense of unease about technological advancement, and human "advancement" seems to me a myth. Alternatives?

I could have sworn I'd seen a video about this before. From what I remember (of that video), the robot was to be used as a sort of mechanical pack mule for the military.

But still, even if I'm misremembering, the manouverability of that robot is rather impressive. Recovering from a kick is one thing, but recovering its' balance after slipping on ice, or treading carefully over a stack of bricks, is very impressive. The only irritating thing was the buzzing/whining noise it made as it moved, but that's probably to be expected.

. . . human "advancement" seems to me a myth.

I can relate, Kevin. But are things looking a little dark at the moment?

I think we are progressing, but it does seem painfully slow at times. The downside of idealism is how little society actually resembles the vision. It's easy to overlook that we're now living in an an era where we can openly speak about injustices, and forget that the very idea of freedom is a relatively new concept in human history.

I do think we're advancing, but at the same time, the idea of those who haven't advanced to a very high degree having access to Giant Mechanical Spiders is the stuff of some pretty grim science fiction.

Good thing our leaders don't yet have widespread access to such awful capabilities, isn't it?

Well it seems we are heading into the manifestation of our fictional science dreams that has been projected onto us via our prophetic (channelling) authors and the writers of Hollywood movies.

It demonstrates our "possibilities" and the power of imagination/thought. :-)

Although can't we dream of less creepy looking inovations!!

Thanks for fulfilling my request for another "Giant Mechanical Spiders" post! :)

As for the thing itself, I couldn't help but feel a bit of schadenfreude for when it got kicked, and when it was falling on the ice. I suppose it's not true schadenfreude because it is not conscious and cannot have feelings (and if it did, I certainly would feel upset about them mistreating it) but there was a certain bit of amusement I got from watching it try to keep its balance.

Anyways, fascinating technology. I do wonder how often it fails (surely they edit the failures out) but it clearly has shown to be able to succeed to maintain balance, which is pretty great. My only problem is how annoying it sounds! As said in the comments on that page, someone put a muffler on the damn thing!

I still don't think it will ever be conscious, though. At least not until we uncover the true nature of consciousness and realize that consciousness isn't just vomited out at a certain level of computational complexity. ;)

Oh, Kevin, I would also hardly call the Honda robot (ASIMO, I think it was called) "lifelike." Sure, it had basic balance and could climb stairs, but if you ever saw the video of it falling off the stairs, you could immediately see the obvious determinism about it. A minor blip in the extremely predetermined flight plan causes complete disaster. Hardly lifelike!

Lol so can zombies move and stuff and make sound but do they have an inner life? i would say no

The company that makes this is down the road from where I work, and they test it on the park/hill behind our building. My first guess was also that it was to be a military "pack mule" but their website doesn't give any strong indication of that.

One thing the video doesn't convey is that the "irritating ... buzzing/whining noise" is very loud. We can hear it coming up the hill right through the walls and heavy windows throughout our office space in plenty of time to wander over to the window to watch it approach if we've a mind to.

That may be a matter of using the most convenient engine (maybe an unmuffled lawn mower engine?) rather than the quietist.

Something like this would help either on the Moon or Mars when we decide to go back. Interesting to watch it. They've got the legs down, now to just work on the top part to get arms too.

I suppose you have seen pictures of this one?

http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001436.html

Still, I can't help but think...

...SkyNet!

"The company that makes this is down the road from where I work,"

What a small world we live in. a reader of this blog works next door from this robot.

Intelligent robots? Back in the 80"s the buzzword was artificial intelligence. Haven’t heard much about that lately. Maybe we decided during this election year intelligence took a leave of absence.

According to David Chamlers on his blog Daniel denett responded to him about qualia and admitted his arguments were all unsound and now he privately accepts substance dualism. http://fragments.consc.net/djc/2006/07/dennett_changes.html

Did you miss the "OK, not really" at the bottom of that post, Leo?

Another four-limbed robot that climbs vertical walls: http://technology.newscientist.com/channel/tech/dn13508-climbing-robot-throws-its-weight-around.html

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