A macabre yet happy-faced destroyer of humans, one-and-two-wheeled discs of destruction and domination, tiny biohybrid facehugger-like manta-rays…what more could you ask for to flesh out your nightmares of an impending robopocalypse? Well, some dust-sized wireless sensors in your brain might be a good start.
Hanson Robotics’ Sophia
While Sophia looks fairly lifelike, David Hanson, CEO of Hanson Robotics, says “my preference is to always make them look a little bit like robots, so you know”. We assume he meant “so you know it’s a robot”, but we think he’s achieved a different result here, which is that “what you know” is that this is the creepiest damn robot you’ll see today. Adding to Sophia’s Uncanny Valley charm, when asked “Do you want to destroy humans?“, she nonchalantly replies “Okay. I will destroy humans.”
Attack of the Raybots
We want to be positive about this amazing fusion of bioengineering and 3D printing, but we read this article about it, and found sentences like “Infected with a virus that delivers the gene encoding the optogenetic molecular switch, the modified cardiac cells twitch when blue light shines on them” more disturbing than awe-inspiring. This shot of the “raybot” in front of a human eye – looking for all the world like a tiny offspring of the “facehugger” in the movie Alien – didn’t help allay our concerns:
No amount of sunny-sounding, Latin-tinged hip hop will distract us from the fact that the natural thing to envision while watching this video is a swarm of these things, armed with lasers and razor-sharp legs, descending on your town, accompanied by a terrifying chorus of whirring motors. We’re pretty sure the photo below shows the engineers trying to capture one of these bots after it became sentient and tried to escape:
Did you happen to see Terminator Salvation? If so, you’ll remember the creepy riderless “MotoTerminators” featured in the clip below. If that’s the robot future you long for, rest at ease. Yamaha is currently developing a riderless motorcycle called “Motobot”, and thing already has an attitude; in this clip, Motobot says – in its own voice: “I was created to surpass you“.
Terminator Salvation MotoTerminators
In case you didn’t see the movie.
Bonus: Dust-Sized Wireless Sensors
While the pitch here is that these tiny wireless sensors developed at UC Berkeley will be wonderful tools for managing seizures and organ malfunctions, the more obvious implementation will be remote control of the human body. By a suddenly self-aware internet.