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Big Dog takes to the woods


Joe Frickin' Friday

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Joe Frickin' Friday

When last we saw DARPA's "Big Dog" robotic mule project, the prototype was stumbling around in a parking lot, but showing some promise, staying on its feet even when given a swift kick to the head by one of its engineers.

 

Now, Big Dog is stomping around the great outdoors, shuffling through deep snow, marching up and down hills, and even recovering from some slippery ice.

 

And those fricking giant house-fly legs are as creepy as ever. eek.gif

 

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Wow! That's really cool. Almost life like in it's reactions. You are right though, those legs are kind of creepy....especially with the buzzing motor. Looks like a giant horse fly. eek.gif

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Creepalee cool.

 

It needs better eyes tho but what potential this has.

Several years/decades from now this version will seem so archaic.

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You're right... Those legs may well give me nightmares! The buzzing fly like noise it makes when it's operating on it's own certainly don't help.

It's amazing what they've accomplished... I was blown away by how it handled slipping on ice and the sudden kick it got from the side.

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Couchrocket

Amazing! I wonder if it can "get back up" if it does fall over on its side or something... with a payload aboard. That seems like a critical test of usefulness in the field.

 

Simply amazing. I'm guessing the buzzing sound is a small motor turning a generator of some sort. In the lab it looks like pure "electric."

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  • 3 years later...
Joe Frickin' Friday

Two years later, "creepy" has now been taken to the next level with USC's

 

BigDog (see OP) had jointed legs with black covers that looked vaguely lifelike, although the movements tended to be a bit jerky, and the overall shape of the machine was a little odd, like a headless pack mule. In contrast, LittleDog has slower, more deliberate limb and body movements and the overall shape looks like a toddler encased in a suit of black armor. It really appears as though it's thinking about how to navigate the terrain in front of it.

 

The capability is pretty amazing, but the visceral reaction, for me at least, is a slight sense of revulsion.

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Two years later, "creepy" has now been taken to the next level with USC's

 

You are sound asleep when you feel ... something ... on the bed. You open your eyes to see the closet where you usually park your vacuum-cleaning trained Little Dog. The door is open - it shouldn't be - and suddenly you realize what is on the bed. Turning your head you find the LD by your shoulder, perceiving you. It lifts a leg and __________ (finish the story.)

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Much better than the early version :rofl:

 

 

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

 

OMG, if you've seen the original video, this is freakin hilarious. :grin:

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  • 2 years later...
Joe Frickin' Friday

Big Dog is now being trained to rip off human heads and throw them in a pile.

 

 

I, for one, welcome our robotic quadruped overlords.

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It won't be long - Riot police will be mounted atop these techno-steeds. No horse sweat, no flies, no hay, no water, no wheelbarrow pushing pooper scoopers in hot pursuit... just pure, invincable electronic crowd control.

 

I can't wait to see one of these at the local rodeo. Cowboys will have to go back to school to study electronics.

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The Coleman company should be looking into these things. They'd sell the hell out of a cooler that could walk to the picnic full of beer and ice by itself. :rofl:

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Joe Frickin' Friday
The Coleman company should be looking into these things. They'd sell the hell out of a cooler that could walk to the picnic full of beer and ice by itself. :rofl:

 

You could have three robocows walking to the picnic site with you: a grill-cow (charcoal or propane, you decide), a bar-cow (loaded with beer and a few taps - maybe where the udder would be?), and a food-cow (full of steaks and potato salad).

 

As far as civilian spin-offs from military technology are concerned, this one would be right up there with GPS. :thumbsup:

 

Could be a real cash-cow. :rofl:

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The Coleman company should be looking into these things. They'd sell the hell out of a cooler that could walk to the picnic full of beer and ice by itself. :rofl:

 

You could have three robocows walking to the picnic site with you: a grill-cow (charcoal or propane, you decide), a bar-cow (loaded with beer and a few taps - maybe where the udder would be?), and a food-cow (full of steaks and potato salad).

 

As far as civilian spin-offs from military technology are concerned, this one would be right up there with GPS. :thumbsup:

 

Could be a real cash-cow. :rofl:

 

Mount a lawn chair on top and ride to the picnic!! Ohh the mind boggles . . . . :dopeslap:

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  • 2 months later...
Joe Frickin' Friday

I was led to believe I'd have one in my lifetime

 

i-zwtfRTq-L.jpg

 

 

After looking at the Atlas video, I'd say you shouldn't rule it out. The day will come when an Atlas robot can stumble across a boulder-strewn landscape while carrying a beer in each hand - without spilling a drop. Once they can do that, what else do we need? :grin:

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russell_bynum

After looking at the Atlas video, I'd say you shouldn't rule it out. The day will come when an Atlas robot can stumble across a boulder-strewn landscape while carrying a beer in each hand - without spilling a drop. Once they can do that, what else do we need? :grin:

 

Depends on who's controlling the robot.

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Joe Frickin' Friday

After looking at the Atlas video, I'd say you shouldn't rule it out. The day will come when an Atlas robot can stumble across a boulder-strewn landscape while carrying a beer in each hand - without spilling a drop. Once they can do that, what else do we need? :grin:

 

Depends on who's controlling the robot.

 

That in turn will depend on what your definition of "control" is. I expect it's going to be like fly-by-wire aircraft or electronic throttle control on cars: you'll issue commands, and the machine will exercise its own judgment about how to best fulfill those commands.

 

You may want to stay close to Will Smith.

 

i-robot-L.jpg

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The Coleman company should be looking into these things. They'd sell the hell out of a cooler that could walk to the picnic full of beer and ice by itself. :rofl:

 

You could have three robocows walking to the picnic site with you: a grill-cow (charcoal or propane, you decide), a bar-cow (loaded with beer and a few taps - maybe where the udder would be?), and a food-cow (full of steaks and potato salad).

 

As far as civilian spin-offs from military technology are concerned, this one would be right up there with GPS. :thumbsup:

 

Could be a real cash-cow. :rofl:

 

Looks like their working on

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some of you may have heard about the continuing evolution of robotics and how it will "threaten" so many jobs. Of course this leads to a cultural, social, economic shift that will soon enter into the political world (don't worry Kathy, I'm not going there) as the available labor force is faced with "what do we do now for a living?". I'm a glass half-full type so I'm all for maximizing their potential, just in my life time the decline of menial, repetitive tasks is astounding and I could give countless examples (agriculture being a good one, and no; I'm not discussing the cotton gin, I'm not that old)so the beat goes on . Wish I had the Big Dog along for my last marathon.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Some of you may have heard about the continuing evolution of robotics and how it will "threaten" so many jobs. Of course this leads to a cultural, social, economic shift that will soon enter into the political world (don't worry Kathy, I'm not going there) as the available labor force is faced with "what do we do now for a living?". I'm a glass half-full type so I'm all for maximizing their potential, just in my life time the decline of menial, repetitive tasks is astounding and I could give countless examples (agriculture being a good one, and no; I'm not discussing the cotton gin, I'm not that old)so the beat goes on . Wish I had the Big Dog along for my last marathon.

 

High-tech automation is undeniably cool, but the troubling side effect is that it eliminates the demand for menial labor, and there are people out there who will never be qualified for anything more than that. If no menial tasks exist that provide decent pay, what will they do for a living?

 

There are some amazing automation videos on YouTube, like

There used to be another amazing video too (can't find anymore) about a completely automatic mushroom harvester. It sliced the mushrooms free of the soil, sorted them by size, cut the stems to the correct length, packaged and labeled them, all without any human intervention. 50-75 years ago, if you had an IQ of 75 you could earn your own living as a mushroom harvester or pancake stacker. Nowadays those kinds of jobs just don't exist, at least not in numbers big enough to employ those people.

 

One suggested solution: pay the unemployable to sit on the sidelines. If automation makes one person hyperproductive, then it may be economically justifiable to simply give a bunch of other people a monthly stipend for not causing trouble. It may be that a society like that is rationally justifiable from a purely economic point of view, but I wonder how it will feel if/when the majority of the human race gets paid for doing nothing.

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One suggested solution: pay the unemployable to sit on the sidelines. If automation makes one person hyperproductive, then it may be economically justifiable to simply give a bunch of other people a monthly stipend for not causing trouble. It may be that a society like that is rationally justifiable from a purely economic point of view, but I wonder how it will feel if/when the majority of the human race gets paid for doing nothing.

 

It's all well and good till they run out of other people's money

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There are some amazing automation videos on YouTube, like

 

I dunno, Mitch. There's nothing like

 

Thought your link would open one of video's of fast food workers doing some "less hygienic" food preparation....but like you took the high road, that's a classic for sure.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
It's all well and good till they run out of other people's money

 

This is the standard argument against socialism/welfare, but what if we're talking about a world where robots make a few of us so incredibly productive that we really can afford to give the masses a weekly allowance?

 

Moreover, socialism is often understood to refer to a forced redistribution of wealth in order to achieve some arbitrary sense of "fairness." The idea here is that people who are unable to contribute to the economy would be paid just enough to get them to stay out of the way.

 

We're headed in a direction such that jobs requiring little or no education are drying up. Pretty soon you won't be able to get a job as a

likewise, Amazon (and other similar companies) are working to make sure

 

If there are 100 people who are really only capable of gruntwork, and only 20 positions available, what do we do with the other 80 people?

 

Scale it up even bigger, to the size of the entire US. If only 60 million people are working, and the other 240 million don't have jobs and aren't receiving any stipend, what do you think will happen?

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Mitch, those ideas are common arguments because the are the only possible results. Eventually the 20 percent will stop producing the income to support the 80 percent. The 80 % will become more and more restless demanding "their fair share." Anarchy and economic breakdown will ensue.

 

Look around the world, it's happening already.

Look at the French welfare riots last year. Look at Brazil this summer.

 

Those that can make money always will. They will also find ways to protect what they earn from the encroachment of an increasingly repressive government and society. They will take those abilities underground if needed and the rest of the world be damned.

 

It's the gist of Rand's Atlas Shrugged... I'm willing to be you've read it, but if not, there's no time like the present.

 

Quiet frankly, the ideas of poverty with "dignity" minimum pay as a "living wage" are so reprehensible to me, the only kind of "safety net" I would support would be to either put the unskilled to work in a WPA/CCC type effort doing public works as manual labor, e.g. picking up litter on the roadside, manually clearing/building parks and green spaces for the benefit of the community at large, WHILE teaching them a skill that is useful to an ever more automated society. That has to have a fuse on it though. After that limit is hit, you're done. Off the payroll. Don't let the door hitcha where the good Lord splitcha!

 

Someone will continually build newer/better/faster/cheaper widgets to do the work of more than one person and be enriched for that work. At least some of those in the 80% will always be needed to make our french fries and flip our burgers and to clean the grease out of the vent hoods where said fries and burgers are made. It's a natural order of things. Darwin was right about survival of the fittest.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
It's the gist of Rand's Atlas Shrugged... I'm willing to be you've read it, but if not, there's no time like the present.

 

I listened intently to the audio version on the way to/from one of Ron's Christmas parties; I sat in my driveway for a good hour after I got home so I could finish it.

 

You may recall my display name has at times been changed to John Galt, Francisco D'Anconia, Hank Reardon - and even Dagney Taggart. :grin:

 

 

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It's the gist of Rand's Atlas Shrugged... I'm willing to be you've read it, but if not, there's no time like the present.

 

I listened intently to the audio version on the way to/from one of Ron's Christmas parties; I sat in my driveway for a good hour after I got home so I could finish it.

 

You may recall my display name has at times been changed to John Galt, Francisco D'Anconia, Hank Reardon - and even Dagney Taggart. :grin:

 

I had forgotten about those.

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John Ranalletta

The trend toward more knowledge work and less labor-only work poses an interesting policy question regarding immigration.

 

If the trend is true and accelerating, does it make sense to open the doors to more immigrant laborers and knowledge workers?

 

Just a question, not a position. Both my parents immigrated. My father as a laborer. My mother as a child of a laborer.

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It's all well and good till they run out of other people's money

 

This is the standard argument against socialism/welfare, but what if we're talking about a world where robots make a few of us so incredibly productive that we really can afford to give the masses a weekly allowance?

 

So, you're openly advocating an oligarchy ... and one that purchases submission of those who do not contribute to the economy. Is this tongue-in-cheek or what, Mitch?

 

Well heck ... presuming you're serious ... I don't understand how you view this model as being something new ... I mean, it's not like something that hasn't been tried before. In fact, I'm not sure how this differs from what we already have? Some estimate have it that 47% of people in the US receive a stipend of some sort from the US Government (in some form of support).

 

Where you presume is that there exists an amount of allowance that would quality as 'enough.'

 

... socialism is often understood to refer to a forced redistribution of wealth in order to achieve some arbitrary sense of "fairness." The idea here is that people who are unable to contribute to the economy would be paid just enough to get them to stay out of the way.

 

While I see that your intent was not to advocate socialism in the Marxist revolutionary sense, you are indeed illustrating that--arbitrary issues such as fairness, equality, morals, etc. aside--a highly productive minority could long support an unproductive minority in the robot age. Whether you call it an allowance, a stipend, welfare, or manna ... in your model people who work support those who do not (presumably via the State).

 

Where you differ from Marxist theory in that you believe the 20% could have/achieve anything and yet expect the 80% to be happy with that state of inequity. It is that very inequity that Marx predicates his theories of revolution upon. We already know such revolutions have occured and may yet occur again.

 

That said, in the long run your presumption ends up being the same as Marx' end game ... that there is some known value that is 'enough' because people essentially are the same and have essentially the same needs. And I'm not just refering to a desire for the allowance (i.e., money), but the differences in their abilities, capabilities, and capacities motivates people differently ... causing them to act & react differently. Clearly, there would be competition for those jobs/careers in that 20% by those in the 80%. They would certainly be frustrated in being so close. Given history of the world, in your end game it's safe to say that such highly dissatisfied people will revolt.

 

I think it's clear that systems that don't at least attempt to account for the differences in humans are more prone to revolution and failure. That is why we should not put those arbitrary issues aside. It is those very issues that make a system of government humane or oppresive IMO.

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John Ranalletta
Where you differ from Marxist theory in that you believe the 20% could have/achieve anything and yet expect the 80% to be happy with that state of inequity.
Revolution would be averted only when and if the 20% were stripped of enough wealth that their living standards were no higher than that of the 80%. Edited by John Ranalletta
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Like it or not or perhaps Ready or not, under employment due to the increased utilization of robotics is real & on the increase.

(Fast forward past the ad).

 

Also this vid is interesting (tho long @ 40 min. & starts off slow).

It touches on DARPA's Robotics Challenge DRC .

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Joe Frickin' Friday
So, you're openly advocating an oligarchy ... and one that purchases submission of those who do not contribute to the economy. Is this tongue-in-cheek or what, Mitch?

 

I'm not advocating anything; I'm merely pointing out that this is one solution I've seen in print. But if we don't use that solution, then I wonder what solution we will turn when a thriving, healthy economy is defined by large swaths of the population unable (not just unwilling, but truly unable) to earn an income.

 

That said, in the long run your presumption ends up being the same as Marx' end game ... that there is some known value that is 'enough' because people essentially are the same and have essentially the same needs. And I'm not just refering to a desire for the allowance (i.e., money), but the differences in their abilities, capabilities, and capacities motivates people differently ... causing them to act & react differently. Clearly, there would be competition for those jobs/careers in that 20% by those in the 80%. They would certainly be frustrated in being so close. Given history of the world, in your end game it's safe to say that such highly dissatisfied people will revolt.

 

I haven't read The Global Trap (the source of the 80/20 idea we are discussing), but I'm interested to see what outcomes they predict, and whether they propose/predict any solutions other than welfare.

 

 

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IBM's Watson, of Jeopardy fame, has been learning to diagnose cancer. Apparently, it has a 90% accuracy, as opposed to a human doctor's success rate of 50%.

 

So, even the upper tier of educated professionals may not be exempt from replacement from robots. Any job that requires the ability to digest a lot of data and keep up with innovation could, conceivably, be replaced or degraded to being a proctor for a robot of some kind. Doctors, stock pickers, management, and even...engineers could be replaced by something with learning capability that can gather and analyze data quickly.

 

Plus, with modern transportation, Galt's Gulch would be easy to plunder.

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