Say hello to your new robot overlords

Welcome to GovTV -- an occasional feature from FCW that showcases agency videos on science, IT and other related topics.

This first installment comes from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which on July 11 unveiled the android being used by seven teams in the DARPA Robotics Challenge.

ATLAS, a 330-pound robot standing six feet, two inches, boasts 28 hydraulically actuated joints, LIDAR and stereo vision, and two interchangeable sets of hands.

"ATLAS is one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever built," the DARPA announcement stated, "but is essentially a physical shell for the software brains and nerves that the teams will continue to develop and refine."

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Reader comments

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 earth

Let me be the first the say: “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?”. The course of development for this technology could route through robot sports to generate development funds and get developers involved. It would also help to work out bugs in reliability and safety. Penalties for “intentional roughing” and stuff like that would help in developing the “three laws of robotics”. The idea I saw was elder care but I have to think that the first time a servo or sensor failed and this thing fell on the elder they would be goners. And that would open up a whole new can of worms for crime and forensics. Robo Sports would allow goal directed behavior, interactivity and an absence of humans in the playing field. There are some robo sports for nerds already but they don’t get the general public to buy tickets and fund the research. American football would seem to be a balance between what the military would be looking for and what the public would support. Rugby and Lacrosse seem good candidates.

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