July 17, 2015

Robot soldiers

By Paul Scharre

Source: The Financial Times

Journalist(s) Geoff Dyer

Truth be told, I was pretty unimpressed by Chimp the robot for at least the first half hour.

Chimp looks like a character from Transformers. At 5ft tall and weighing 443lb, it has a red metal shell, tank-like treads for feet and arms with a three-pronged pincer that can each lift the weight of a smallish man. But it took the robot several minutes to get out of a car and when it tried to open a door, it fell over and broke the frame.

 

Chimp was competing for the $2m first prize in the final of a US government-sponsored competition held last month where the robots had to complete eight tasks that mimicked the conditions at the Fukushima nuclear disaster, such as turning off a valve and cutting a hole in a wall with a drill. Many of the robots tumbled, sometimes comically. They moved so slowly one of the organisers likened it to “watching paint dry”.

 

Read the full article at FT.

  • Paul Scharre

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is author of the forthcoming book, A...