Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rise of the Drones

Drones are coming.  There is no denying it.  The question is what will they bring with them?  Is Skynet beginning to take shape?  Are we setting in motion the Matrix?  All film references aside, the emergence of drones in our everyday society is something that we as a culture have for long anticipated, either with fear or excitement.

The fast accelerating robotics industry, paired with even faster evolving computational devices, places the new drone movement on a very slippery slope.

In light of all this, I have compiled together a bunch of robot/drone videos covering some of the more interesting advancements in Robotics.  There are a lot of videos, but they are all relatively short and definitely worth a watch.

We will begin with perhaps the least threatening of robots coming from a company called Festo, an international automation company that makes some incredibly beautiful and mesmerizing robots.

We will now move on to a company called Boston Dynamics.  Many may already know of this company through videos of the robot Big Dog.  While Big Dog is an incredible robot, they have many other really interesting projects going on there. Here are a few starting with Big Dog throwing a cinder block

Ok and here is where things start to get a bit creepy.  The quadrocopters that may one day be hunting you.

There is a robot snake that goes in the water.

The Hummingbird Drone from Darpa

British Soldiers are using the Black Hornet Drone for surveillance in Afghanistan.

And lastly, my personal favorite, and potentially the weirdest and most frightening of all.  Cyborg bugs and rat brained robots.

If you have made it through all or a few of these videos, I recommend also viewing this Ted Talks lecture from bioethicist Paul Root Wolpe.  His discussion, while not fully focused on drones, touches on some issues that are without a doubt part of the same discussion.

Here is the link:  Enjoy

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