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.
Maybe these would makes sense with a few pages of physics or psychology textbook before and after, but as is, these scientific diagrams just look like jokes. The sheer lack of context is the engine that drives forward the strangeness, but it almost seems like textbook writers wanted to make this stuff as weird as possible.