Pacific Rims Robots Are Less Advanced Than Our Real Ones

first_img Evan Rachel Wood Just As Disturbed by Humanoid Sophia As Everyone ElseMIT’s Thread-Like Robot Slides Through Blood Vessels In the Brain I think we’re all at least passingly familiar with Pacific Rim. In case you aren’t, the first one is a super-dope movie from geek legend Guillermo Del Toro. And the second, according to Geek’s resident film critic, MovieBob, is pretty alright.The rest of us, though, have all done plenty of fantasizing about those colossal Jaegers. Huge bots, capable of wrecking Godzilla-sized monsters in the face. With rocket-propelled robot-fists and laser-beams. With all that, these bots certainly seem like far-future child’s fantasy. But that’s not quite true. While we don’t have rocket-fists or lasers, we do plenty of bots that are far more advanced.At least, according to professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A & M, Robin Murphy. In an article published in Science Robotics, she lays out his case for why these feats of movie magic may not be as impressive as they first appear.For starters, Murphy notes that the in-universe Jaegers often struggle to perform simple tasks like walking. That’s largely because they are engineered with a sort of treadmill-like platform on which the pilots run. The Jaeger then copies their movements. But that’s way more steps than it needs to be.“In reality, locomotion is becoming one of the easiest functions to totally delegate to a robot,” Murphy says. And that should be pretty clear to many of us. How many videos of the Boston Dynamics bots have we posted? And that’s just one (admittedly fairly cutting-edge) company.Murphy also suggests that weapons like those we see in the film wouldn’t be very practical. Instead, it’d be much easier and more efficient to simply augment the abilities of the wearer with an exoskeleton. Yeah, such machines are smaller and don’t carry the wow-factor of these colossal colossi, but Iron Man’s cool as hell.It’s also a bit bizarre, Murphy says, that Hollywood has ignored one of the most dramatic possibilities of human-machine interfacing: prosthetics. We can already help people walk again, and there’s plenty of stories yet to be written about the much more likely future scenario of wondering how to get through 15-factor authentication to reset the firmware on your new cybernetic limbs. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img Stay on targetlast_img