DARPA funded Robot Ninja Warrior?

Fans of the game show Ninja Warrior will immediately recognize the similarity of this test apparatus as the Spider Climb. Of course that’s not a human contestant, but a humanoid robot developed by Boston Dynamics. And it’s not actually clinging to the vertical walls as its only support. There are two narrow ledges to either side on which its feet gain purchase. Nonetheless this is some impressive work to keep itself upright and avoid slipping. Check out the video after the break to see how it does.

The sheer volume of amazing robot tech that this company spits out is remarkable. Just last month we saw the robotic cheetah which can run at almost 30 mph. We don’t expect to see either in the wild anytime soon, but especially this humanoid. you’ll notice the red rings positioned around the apparatus. We believe these are high-speed cameras set up to give the robot positional feedback and we’d wager it can’t perform without them. But that’s merely conjecture so judge for yourself.

[Thanks Pdadio via Geekologie]

Comments

  1. ginsublade says:

    thats just creepy….amazing work though.

  2. Skitchin says:

    Wow! This thing has awesome mobility! It looks almost like it was key-framed, so to speak, from real human movement. That is, aside from the twitchy movement. And to quote someone from youtube:

    “That’s my kind of robot. CLANG CLANG CLANG”

  3. Jstylen says:

    That’s pretty cool. It’s also very unsettling…

  4. xkcdFan1011011101111 says:

    The red rings look like a Vicon motion capture system.

    http://www.vicon.com/

    We had a set like that at the university lab I worked at.

  5. jpitz31 says:

    Boy, I sure do hope that Boston Dynamics does not change their name to Skynet. ;-)

  6. Spacedog says:

    DARPA robot design specifications must be based on the Combine from Half Life, it’s only a matter of time before they’re dropping pods filled with headcrabs, and sending 3-legged Hunters to clean up the goo left behind.

    Don’t they look at their own creations, stop for a second and think ‘this pretty evil lookin, hey, you think we might be the bad guys?’

    same with drone strikes, what kind of soldier is going to earn a purple heart, killing women and children from thousands of miles away with an x-box 360 controller. can’t get any more cowardly than that in my book.

    • Kaj says:

      That makes me thing of this:

    • Whatnot says:

      And with a very good change of getting a religious nutter controlling the US military (again).

    • Blue Footed Booby says:

      This is literally the same thing people said about guns when they first entered wide use. And rifles. And guided missiles.

      I agree that it’s doing bad things for how we view warfare, making something inherently horrible far too detached and abstract. I see it as a way to roll things back to the days before mass media, where governments could whitewash war and make it seem noble and dignified. This scares the hell out of me, but characterizing it as cowardly is, I think, missing the point. It seems to imply the people killed up close and personal are better off than those killed from afar. It seems to suggest that the pilots are responsible for what weapons are deployed, and that putting their lives at risk would someone stay the hands that move the chesspieces.

      And just for the record you get purple hearts from being wounded in combat. Military is pushing to allow drone pilots to receive medals, but purple heart ain’t one of them.

  7. GaspingSpark says:

    I love the pit of rubber lizards.

  8. n0lkk says:

    While the red this thing bleeds is hydraulic fluid, doesn’t stand a chance against determined members of a societies that has been oppressed it’s builder. While I can appreciate the technology that went into it, but if I owned media outlets I publish the following in it’s *entirety* on a regular basis.

  9. The engineers and robot are awesome – DARPA and the interests that will ultimately benefit from this work are not.

    Hack-a-day is an awesome site btw. Thanks.

  10. henry says:

    Fantastic stuff, the noise makes the video a bit unsettling though. The amount of coding required to do this is quite amazing

  11. Buggme says:

    Looks Like Me when I had too Much to Drink…… and I’m trying to Make it to the Bathroom!!!

  12. Gavin says:

    All this has happened before, and all this will happen again…

  13. riley_g says:

    Dude, freakin’ awesome. This will lead to great things.

  14. Pollo says:

    Haha it’s just like Metal Gear even the part about DARPA

  15. bored0987 says:

    makes me want one of these

    only $1.35 million

  16. Justin says:

    The DARPA Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line August 4th, 2013. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. DARPA begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

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