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Pending apocalyptic doom at the hands of our robotic overlords


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I'm a bit of a news junky and RSS fiend, so I read a lot about things like this, science news and whatnot, and I've noticed a shocking trend over the past few months. Enhancements in the field of robotics and AI are increasing sharply, and if you read between the lines, you'll see that our impending doom is certain! Prepare to be ruled by robots. The day is coming sooner than you think!


Here's a selection of recent news stories to prove it.


Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and that wheelchair that goes up stairs, invents a cyborg arm for use as a prosthesis. Next the entire body, then the AI brain, then it's only a matter time before they fight back.



South Korea's campaign for internationally recognized robot rights and laws for human protection for future AI enabled robots. Giving them rights? I guess they're going to start brown nosing now, knowing that their future robotic overlords may want to punish those that created/enslaved them prior to their uprising.



Israel's new TV sized portable robotic tank. Capable of fighting with a mounted machine gun / grenade launcher, and able to defuse bombs. It reminds me of the HK Tank from T1, but on a much smaller scale.



Chinese scientists control a pigeons flight using electrodes in the brain. This will certainly be used on us by our robotic overlords in the future.



Autonomous repair robots for fixing satellites without the need for astronauts. Used to repair....



You guessed it, a "Skynet Satellite". The 5th satellite of that infamous name to be launched into space by the brits. Supposedly communications satellites, but we all know that the only thing they'll be communicating is when and where the attack will begin.


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I read about the whole "reroute the arm nerves to the pectoral muscle" control method a little while back... (this is what kamen's arm is supposed to use) It sounds promising, hopefully they can get it to work reasonably well.

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I read about the whole "reroute the arm nerves to the pectoral muscle" control method a little while back... (this is what kamen's arm is supposed to use) It sounds promising, hopefully they can get it to work reasonably well.



From what I read yesterday it utilizes Stem Cells to bond the nerves controlling motion and touch with the sensors and motors of the prosthesis. They orignally looked at brain implants but decided against it, so I can only assume that they are connected somewhere between the spinal cord and arm. It was a very interesting story. I imagine with it being a DARPA funded project for military amputees it won't get backburnered like most cool new techs from other R&D or university labs.


Here's what I recall about it. He was approached by Darpa to develop the worlds best prosthetic arm. Our men and women wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve it. We owe it to them.


The General from Darpa gave Kamen basically this blue sky order: I want an arm that's so precise that a person could pick up a grape or a raisin and without looking be able to tell the difference.

At first Dean begged off. It was too hard, it was too resource intensive, DEKA had a lot of other projects on the table. But Dean said he'd go to military hospitals and meet with the people. He met with combat wounded and was so inspired by them and their courage in meeting the challenges of life missing one or two arms that he decided they'd give it the best shot they could.


And so began DEKA's attempt to make the worlds best prosthetic limb, and do it with a very short timetable, to get it to the people who would need it.


Next Dean talked about control for this arm. He talked about brain implants and how bad an idea that was, going inside someone's skull. But then he talked about stem-cell research, and making a small implant that wouldn't be in the brain, but somewhere else in the body, maybe in the shoulder. Something that would be self-contained and communicate with the arm wirelessly. He named a research team at a big university, I forget which one. They were working on the stem-cell part of it. But, he cautioned, it may not work. The stem-cell research might not work, or it might not work in time to put it in this arm. But clearly this was the key to two-way neural contact. Control AND feeling.


So if that didn't work, or not in time, they had a number of other control schemes that they were looking at, and they were all better than the current standard.


At this point, Dean described what current motorized limbs were like. They strapped against a shoulder, and if they moved at all, they're controlled by kind of jamming the opposing shoulder which pulls the strapped limb so that a button gets pressed on it. If they're motorized they have a kind of a hook, or in some cases a cosmetic hand.


These hands are kind of one-size or a couple sizes and a couple of skin colors fit all.


So the first thing on Dean's list was that these would be the best looking prosthetic arms ever. Number one, these arms would match the person. And this would be achieved by taking a cyberscan of the other arm and making an exact mirror image. With nails, skin tone, size, bone size, everything matching. If the person didn't have another arm, a match would be found.


The next thing to tackle would be movement. From the looks of the video, this is coming along nicely. I wonder what the control scheme actually is on this video. I don't know. But I do know that they're shooting the moon.


And I don't think there was a dry eye while he was describing this to us. It was like watching the impossible become real.

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