Smart and parkour-capable robots. The new goals of robotics

Smart and parkour-capable robots. The new goals of robotics

Robotics, in recent times, is really cutting goals that, until recently, seemed really just science fiction. Thanks to some large technology companies, today's robots, but especially future ones, will be able to boast incredible mechanical performance, perhaps combined with truly cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI). Didn't the Terminator begin like this too?

The fact that robots can rebel and kill us all is a recurring concern for the eccentric Elon Musk, well-known billionaire and CEO of Tesla who, during AI Day, an event organized by Tesla based on the news regarding artificial intelligence, presented the project of a humanoid robot, the first prototype of which could be ready as early as next year. The humanoid robot will exploit the experience acquired by Tesla in the production of cars equipped with automatic driving, adapting in part the same software and the same hardware that are already on board their cars.

The “Tesla Bot ", Although destined, in his own words of Musk, to" be friendly ", it will be a machine designed, on a mechanical level, to be able to safely overwhelm an average human, given that it will be almost six feet tall by almost 60 kg of weight. All equipped with a screen instead of the face. The code name of the project, for the moment is "Optimus", a nickname that can only immediately make you think of the famous Optimus Prime of the Transformers!

If a robot equipped with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence might already appear a little disturbing in some ways, imagine it equipped with a surprisingly agile mechanical body. A mechanical body perhaps like that of Atlas, a prototype made by Boston Dynamics, another company engaged for years in robotics research, which is able to face (almost) completely a path of parkour! Therefore, not a simple walk, or jog, but a real obstacle course, with jumps, stairs, creative passages and so on.

In the interesting five-minute video published about it by Boston Dynamics , in addition to seeing Atlas in action with its surprising agility, we can also hear the comments of the team that made all this possible, including the final backflip (!), and understand that it is their intent to further improve this performance.

These two recent news, make it clear that the interest in robotics is not only purely academic. Large industries, interested in profit and therefore in marketing, are dealing with it. We think it is therefore only a matter of time, before robotics (of which you can begin to learn the basics, thanks to the volume Robotics Application bases: With an introduction to FPGA programming available at this Amazon link) predominantly enters our lives. Let's just hope that robots, if equipped with that intelligence and agility, will always be friends.

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