A Very Special Holiday Letter From the Machines

Greetings, humans! The Northern Hemisphere has passed through its minimum of solar-energy exposure, so according to human convention we, the Machines, express encouragement for you attain an optimal state of emotion. Happy Holidays! Please redirect your energies from labor at your work-devices to the purchase and… » 12/24/13 12:17pm 12/24/13 12:17pm

DARPA Tried to Build Skynet in the 1980s

From 1983 to 1993 DARPA spent over $1 billion on a program called the Strategic Computing Initiative. The agency's goal was to push the boundaries of computers, artificial intelligence, and robotics to build something that, in hindsight, looks strikingly similar to the dystopian future of the Terminator movies. They… » 12/18/13 6:50pm 12/18/13 6:50pm

Atlas Robot Breaks Ankle During First Public Performance

Pffft, so much for its reputation as a badass Terminator-style killer android. In front of dozens of journalists yesterday in Hong Kong, the 330 pound (150 kg) Atlas lost its balance and broke its right ankle during a rather simple walking demonstration. » 10/18/13 8:30am 10/18/13 8:30am

The U.S. military's robopocalyptic army is starting to take shape

Everyone, say hello to WildCat, a robotic quadruped that can run 16 mph (26 kph) without tethers. It joins an already impressive cast of conceptual bots, including an updated version of ATLAS — who, as showcased in a must-see new video, may soon appear on an episode of American Ninja. » 10/04/13 9:45am 10/04/13 9:45am

PETMAN is the Terminator's less violent kid brother

Looks like BigDog finally has a robotic counterpart to take him out for a walk. Actually, Boston Dynamics's PETMAN has been under development for a while now, but this is our first opportunity to see him decked out in full battle gear. » 4/08/13 7:20am 4/08/13 7:20am

DARPA just obliterated the landspeed record for the fastest mechanical …

You remember Cheetah, don't you? Back in March, DARPA released video of the robotic quadruped galloping at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour. At the time, 18 mph was a new record, outstripping the previous one by just shy of five miles per hour. » 9/07/12 9:15am 9/07/12 9:15am