Just when you think robots are about to take over the world, they go and do something like this.
The DARPA Robotics Challenge was held this past weekend, with numerous teams “vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters.”
Turns out they had a few disasters of their own as well.
IEEE Spectrum created a compilation of robot falls from the first day of the finals, and while this is pretty funny to watch in itself, one YouTuber took it a step further and mashed it up with some WWE commentary turning it into Internet gold.
“As much as nobody wanted to see a robot fall, everybody wanted to see a robot fall,” wrote IEEE Spectrum on their blog.
The course involved the competing robots trying to open doors, turn valves, drive cars and climb over rubble.
Team KAIST from South Korea took home the top prize with the fastest time, and here’s their robot, DRC-Hubo, stepping up to victory. It was built with wheels on its knees to help protect it from taking a tumble.
“These robots are big and made of lots of metal and you might assume people seeing them would be filled with fear and anxiety,” said DRC organizer Gill Pratt. “But we heard groans of sympathy when those robots fell. And what did people do every time a robot scored a point? They cheered!”
Meanwhile, nothing can stop the beasts from Boston Dynamics, so while these falls are funny, the threat is still very real.
Twitter user _danilo uses an example from Star Trek to explain some of the dangers of having an industry that lacks face-to-face interaction with its own workers. It's scary enough to imagine your job being done by a cold, calculating robot, but what if your boss's job was done by a cold, calculating robot? For something with more Star Trek fun and less technocratic dread, here's an awesome Tumblr post on how hard humans go in Star Trek.
A woman in South Korea recently found herself battling one of the vacuum robots after it tried to eat her hair instead of cleaning the room.
From the report:
On the day of the accident, she turned on her robot vacuum as usual, and laid down flat on the floor to rest, leaving the robot to do its job. The robot vacuum came around her relaxing on the floor, and suddenly sucked her hair into its nozzle. The vacuum stopped running one to two minutes after the sudden hair intake.
It’s unclear why she would lay down on the floor next to the thing in the first place and not expect to have this happen.
She suffered only minor injuries and the emergency responders said the vacuum sensed her hair and thought it was dust.