This is a bot out of the University of Pennsylvania, although they apparently received some insight from my favourite of the rock-star roboticist firms, Boston Dynamics.
It doesn’t look like it would last long if placed in a fighting arena against some of the Battlebots of yore, but you’ve got to keep in mind that, in the real world, combat doesn’t take place on a custom built, perfectly level, playing field.
Most of the comments I’ve seen related to this little beast have suggested that it would be useful as some sort of spying device – that wasn’t what popped into my mind at first viewing, however.
Remember that post I wrote regarding the use of trained dogs to attack tanks? This seems like a much simpler delivery system, and one that won’t be scared away by gunfire.
I have a theory that, once lasers reach a certain level of power and can be effectively used to keep our skies clean of aircraft, and once robot drones can be used to automagically take out heavily fortified vehicles, we’ll be back to the bad old days of World War I, cowering in ditches and hoping for trench-foot.
– or, maybe we’ll end up with giant snakes formed of Indian terminators that utilize AK-47s as a tongue:
(Hat tip to Warren Ellis for the clip.)