The robot in the video, Boston Dynamics’ “PETMAN,” was designed to test chemical protection clothing and simulates human physiology by controlling temperature, humidity and sweating, according to the company.
Another Boston Dynamics robot, Atlas — or Agile Anthropomorphic Robot — can navigate rough outdoor terrain, and has “sensate” hands and an “articulated sensor head” with a “laser range finder.”
Watching video of these sophisticated bots, which appear human in many ways, reminded us of a haunting prophecy laid down by Army Lt. Col. Richard Pryer (ret.) in a paper he wrote called “Rise of the Machines“:
It seems heart-breakingly obvious that future generations will someday look back upon the last decade as the start of the rise of the machines, and, as President George W. Bush said in a speech at the Citadel in 2001, they will see many more armed robots on patrol “in space, on land, in the air, and at sea”—robots so advanced that they make today’s Predators and Reapers look positively impotent and antique. These killer robots, though, will share one thing in common with their primitive progenitors: with remorseless purpose, they will stalk and kill any human deemed “a legitimate target” by their controllers and programmers.
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