Boston Dynamics = Cyberdyne Systems?

The stuff Boston Dynamics is coming up with is both very cool, and very scary:

I for one, welcome our new robot overlords. I feel like we’re only a breakthrough in battery technology away from a breakthrough into another phase of technology advancements on multiple fronts, similar to industrialization and the information revolution. Right now I think the limitation is going to be storing enough energy for these machines so they can be useful in the field.

12 Responses to “Boston Dynamics = Cyberdyne Systems?”

  1. Cargosquid says:

    When they can make it turn successfully at speed is when I’ll start worrying…..

    All hail our new overlords.

    Very cool.

    • Sebastian says:

      It could re-invigorate fox hunting in Britain. The law says you can’t set on foxes with dogs. It doesn’t say anything about a killer robot cheetah.

  2. DevsAdvocate says:

    Raytheon Sarcos is cooler. Exo-suits and strength amplification systems are pretty sweet. Got to try one a few months back.

  3. Jake says:

    I agree, if we can get the energy storage problem licked there will be a whole flood of new technology that will come out. We’ve already got the basic tech in place and shrunk to a practical size for sci-fi style powered armour a la Starship Troopers, and further development is stalled because of power source limitations. I bet there are other things that are being held back that we don’t even think of because we’re so used to the power limitations.

  4. Alpheus says:

    Just this past week, I’ve been imagining making my own pack robot to carry equipment into the Utah wilderness, so that I could use a “landscape scanner” system and water-flow approximator to try to calculate where the best deposits of gold flakes would be, so that I could pan for that gold.

    And, yes, as I’ve imagined this, I’ve realized that power source is going to be a huge limitation!

    It’s still fun to imagine all this, though.

    • Jake says:

      Maybe something like this?

      The biggest drawback (and biggest barrier to deployment) is the power source. Currently, it has to run on a gas engine, which (as you can tell from the video) is loud. An all electric system would be much quieter, and much more suited for deployment to a combat zone.

      • Alpheus says:

        Yes, something like that, except made by me. I’ve thought about using a gas engine as well, both for the airplane drones I was planning on using and for the mule. Come to think about it, I wonder how well a Sterling engine would work…those are quiet, but I’m not sure about the size-to-power ratio.

  5. Shootin' Buddy says:

    I was thinking more along the lines of “Screamers”. That movie really creeped me out.

  6. AK Matt says:

    And this TED Talk form the developer of them:

    I too welcome our new robot overloards!

  7. Jake says:

    looking at those back legs that thing runs like it has hip dysplasia…Skynet should have that checked out.

  8. toadold says:

    Back in the 1970’s the military checked out Sterling engines because they were multi-fuel. The problem was the same as for all external combustion engines though, too much energy loss through heat loss so they had bad power to weight ratios and/or where fuel hogs. The focus now is on exotic material turbines that could run without bleed air to turn generators, fuel cells improvements (they tended to drop off performance in cold weather in the past), and better battery chemistry and capacitor materials. Nano tech research is being applied across the board in those areas. If and when though, your guess is probably a lot better than mine.