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Machines are evolving 10 million times faster than we are. Are you ready for robots that run our homes, watch our neighborhoods and even fight our wars? One day in the not too distant future, robots will travel to the far reaches of the universe, they will be the first to colonise new worlds. Robots will lead the way in the exploration of deep space.
Robots, machines of our nightmares, or servants of man? In the 1930s film Metropolis the robot was an evil character, it represented our darkest fears. By the 1950s they had become even more sinister and powerful, but over that last few decades our opinions of robots have dramatically changed, they’ve been reinvented as the police force of the future. But can real robots match the exploits of their celluloid cousins?
While the movies were creating ruthless men of steel, real robots were starting their own painful march into the world. Robots are still basic but over the past few decades they have advanced enormously. Before robots can become the masters of the universe, or even the servants of mankind, they need to accomplish one important thing, they need to move around.
This 1999 documentary includes interviews with prominent roboticists and artificial intelligence specialists. Beginning with robot locomotion and historical clips of ingenious experiments from MIT’s Leg Laboratory, BigDog’s ancestors dynamically walk, hop, trot, and perform impressive gymnastics. To find out the best way for a robot to move around the scientists look to nature. There have been many attempts to copy nature, some successful, others less than perfect.
Some of the robots discussed in this documentary :
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Genghis II
Hermes the Hexapod
Mine Clearer Ariel
Ambler the Massive Six-legged Planetary Rover
Adaptive Suspension Vehicle
Odetics Inc’s Odex 1
Spring Flamingo Robot
Honda’s P3 Humanoid Robot
Xavier from Carnegie Mellon University Robotics
Cog Project at MIT’s Humanoid Robotics Group
Mark Tilden’s BEAM Robotics
SPAWAR’s Robart 3
NASA’s Surveyor 3
Mars Rover Sojourner
JPL Robotics’ Rocky 7 Rover
Nomad Rover Test Vehicle