Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori once made the observation that “the more humanlike his robots became, the more people were attracted to them, but only up to a point. If an android become too realistic and lifelike, suddenly people were repelled and disgusted.” Henceforth, the concept of uncanny valley came into our public consciousness. Perfectly illustrating this concept, CNN presents us with a disturbing news report introducing us to “the mule robot” — not a Tim Burton movie, but in fact, a DARPA invention that can carry heavy equipment for US troops.
“It can walk or whatever you call that,” CNN Newsroom anchor Brooke Baldwin quipped.
On CNN.com, Jennifer Rizzo describes the features of the, er — creature:
Designed to carry 400 pounds of equipment, travel up to 20 miles at a time, and move at speeds as fast as 10 mph, the LS3 is meant to fit into a Marine or Army unit in a “natural way,” the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said in a news release.
I call it nightmare fuel — and so does the rest of the Abrams Media office, who stopped what they were doing and let out a collective “what the what?” Instead of handling heavy payloads, perhaps we should sic it on Taliban fighters — because it would be super effective…and now, I need to start thinking happy thoughts.
Watch the segment — if you dare — via CNN below:
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