Robot Roundup: Trio of killer bots is on the way

Killer Bot
Check out these three bots, making such serious progress that one is now untethered, another can walk across rough terrain without even flinching, and a third is actually a group of bots that can self assemble into a variety of shapes. Come along for a peek at the machines that will someday turn into killer bots, ready to replace all us meat puppets.

Boston Dynamics has been working on various versions of its noisy four-legged monster for years, but now it’s been miniaturized and untethered, and can run at 16 mph. The DARPA-funded WildCat is not quite perfect yet, stumbling a bit at 1:19 in this remarkable video. Now all they need to do is muffle that whiny engine that runs its hydraulics so it can sneak up on the bad guys — and raise its top speed up to about 40 mph — and it’ll be battlefield-ready:

Here’s another DARPA-funded experiment from Boston Dynamics that’s come a long way since its inception: Atlas, a biped bot able to walk over rough terrain and stay upright. It’s even unfazed when a 20-pound wrecking ball hits its steely thigh. As soon as they figure out how to run this thing untethered on its own power, some evildoers (and maybe even us) will be facing a formidable robot army:

And here are the scariest robots of all: M-Blocks. They seem harmless, these self-assembling modular bots that are “capable of changing their geometry according to task.” Not scary, you say? Imagine them 10,000 times smaller, where a million of them can take on the shapes of your wildest nightmares. Versatility, indeed:

via Gizmag, Gizmodo and TechCrunch