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Science!: Murderous Robots and Pea Aphids

Lauren Admire | 10 May 2010 21:00
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Murderous Robots Practice Stabbing Techniques on Humans

Beware, those of you who seek to get between a robot and its rocks. Last year in Stockholm, a worker trying to repair a defective rock-lifting machine found himself in a struggle that broke four limbs and nearly cost him his life.

Though it was an isolated case, a few German scientists aren't taking any chances. A group of researchers programmed a robotic arm, teaching it to stab, strike and slice using a variety of weapons: steak knife, kitchen knife, scissors and a screwdriver. When testing the robot on dead pig flesh, the researchers determined its aim to be true, strong and completely lethal.

No, the intent wasn't to construct a lean, mean killing robotic arm. Researchers were trying to determine how best to avoid a future robotic uprising. After installing a prototype safety system, human volunteers were asked to subject their tender flesh to the slices and dices of the robot. A torque sensor will notice when the arm hits a different substance (say, your fleshy thumb) and immediately freeze, allowing you to retreat with your digits intact.

There's even a video!

Source: Popular Science

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