February 24, 2016

Yay Robots!

Yay! I'm 18 months from retirement.

Yay! I might make it before this replaces me. 

This is really impressive. The ability to get up and cope with a Teamster with a pole represents a genuinely amazing amount of progress and yet leaves me with ever so slightly mixed emotions. Of course this is much more the sort of concern many of us expected in the 21st century that 9th century religious fanatics, so we should count our blessings. 

I'm not going get genuinely worried until they equip it with a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 03:07 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 100 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Crap! Did you really just say you're 18 months from retirement OUT LOUD?  You're gonna get shot by the bad guy now! You don't need that additional stress.

Posted by: Ben at Wed Feb 24 16:37:40 2016 (BdQxf)

2 That does sound like a flag, doesn't it?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Wed Feb 24 19:07:48 2016 (+rSRq)

3 Like maybe a flag for a tornado warning...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Wed Feb 24 19:27:58 2016 (+rSRq)

4 A couple of thoughts:

1) It already handles snow-covered broken terrain better than I do.

2) Clearly the folks at Boston Dynamics created it just to have something to screw with.  "Wanna pick up a box?  Wanna pick up a box?  Let me knock it out of your hands and shoot it across the room with this hockey stick.  Ha ha, loser."

Posted by: Wonderduck at Wed Feb 24 22:39:25 2016 (KiM/Y)

Posted by: Wonderduck at Fri Feb 26 21:25:18 2016 (KiM/Y)

6 i'm not worried about them taking over until they get more than 10 minutes on the built-in power source.

Posted by: TJ at Sun Feb 28 17:08:59 2016 (fcMMo)


The whole world is waiting on a breakthrough in portable electrical power generation. If someone gives me a battery with 100 times the power density of any existing battery, I'll give you miracles beyond your wildest dreams.

But this is fundamentally a "hard" problem. A lot of really good people are working on it, because they know how valuable (and I mean in money terms) such a breakthrough would be, but no one even has a theoretical basis for such a thing at this point.

(And "no" includes fuel cells and "super-capacitors". They're not going to do it.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sun Feb 28 21:18:10 2016 (+rSRq)

8 Batteries have gotten a lot better recently, though nowhere near the density of petroleum and charging times are a problem. Fuel cells actually do work, but if they run on hydrogen & oxygen, the energy needed to crack the hydrogen makes them only worthwhile if nuclear power is used and even then their energy density rather sucks. Fuel cells that run on petroleum have equal energy density to normal engines and have the  potential to double or triple the efficiencies of the best diesels, but at the moment they are a bit fragile and since they run off of petroleum, they aren't getting the funding for refinement that they warrant.

All that being said, I think that a propane powered generator would allow this thing to fulfill our nightmares. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Mon Feb 29 10:15:25 2016 (AaBUm)

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