May 16 2008Philisophical Question Of The Day: Can We Use Robotic Suits To Defeat The Robots Of The Apocalypse, Or Will They Turn On Us?
Okay, I posted on the Sarcos Exoskelton Robot Suit back in November, but this week I've been flooded with tips to show it again, so here she blows. Raytheon, impressed with the Sarcos suit, purchased the company, and continues to develop the exoskeleton suit as part of a $10 million Army contract.
The suit can multiply its wearer's strength and endurance as many as 20 times, with relatively little loss of agility, by sensing and almost instantly amplifying every movement the wearer makes.
The suit itself weighs 150 lbs. and the biggest hurdles Raytheon has yet to overcome are the unit's short battery life, incredible cost of production, and clunkiness.
When a soccer ball was thrown at him, he bounced it back off his helmeted head. He repeatedly struck a punching bag and, slowly but surely, he climbed stairs in the suit's clunky aluminum boots, which made him look like a Frankenstein monster. "It feels less agile than it is," Jameson said. "Because of the way the control laws work, it's ever so slightly slower than I am. And because we are so in tune with our bodies' responses, this tiny delay initially made me tense." Now, he's used to it. "I can regain my balance naturally after stumbling -- something I discovered completely by accident." Learning was easy, he said.
"It takes no special training, beyond learning to relax and trust the robot," he said.
Over my dead body. The day you learn to trust robots is the day they turn on you and blast a powerful burning laserbeam straight through your domepiece. I'd rather trust my girlfriend, and she cheats on me like it's her job (which it kind of is, she's a hooker).
So today's philosophical question of the day is this: Can the human race battle robots with robots? Wow, did that just make your head explode? I know, I'm freaking deeper than a well. Suck it, Descartes.
Another video of the suit in action after the jump.
Thanks to Indo, Robert, Matt, and Lee, all of whom don't need a stupid robotic suit to lift cars and jump over buildings