Why, you might ask, would anyone build a robotic version of an ape? Is this something the world really needs? Researchers at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence presumably think so, which is why they built this “ape-like robotic system” that moves just like an ape. While we still couldn’t tell you why the world needs a robot ape — after all, there are already plenty of things that give Associate Editor Glen Tickle nightmares — the thing is pretty impressive, aping the movements of an…ape with uncanny precision and making the rest of us kind of nervous.
I take it back: I can think of exactly one use for this that’s not building hordes of robot apes as shock troops for the coming robot revolution. After all, when Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity arrives, are you really going to want your choice of robot bodies limited to humanoid shapes? You can’t tell me you wouldn’t at least want to take Robo-Ape for a test drive, just to get a sense for how things could have gone if evolution took just a slight left turn millions of years ago.
- Robot octopus is still learning how to swim
- Squirrels can teach out robots to lie, if we want that, I guess
- This is kinda scary, but it’s not Robot Leopard scary