Thursday, December 12, 2013

One Step Closer: C/Fe Society

I'm not exaggerating...much.

Meet Valkyrie. It (she?) stands 6'2 and looks more than anything else like an Iron Man suit. It's designed that way so humans who work with it will be comfortable with the robot's presence. In fact, they are even giving it clothing.

More details will be announced on the 18th, but Valkyrie is, if it works as advertised, the first truly human-sized, humanoid robot capable of human-like tasks. It moves like a human and, rumor has it, can even drive vehicles. It's designed for search and rescue...but also to go to Mars ahead of human colonists so that when the squishy biologicals arrive they'll already have somewhere to live.

Valkyrie looks...I'm trying not to get too excited here...much like how the not fully humanoid robots in Asimov's work would appear. It's not going to be nearly that intelligent and will work in conjunction with human handlers...but it may also work alongside humans in dangerous environments. Troopers in Iraq are already mourning the destruction of bomb-sniffing robots. Valkyrie's almost human appearance might lead to an even greater emotional attachment.

Like, I don't know, a partner.