Nowadays, we have robots that can outrun us, outsmart us, and even some that can kill us if they tried. As AI improves each year, it may not be long before they think for themselves. With all that said, here are 13 of the most terrifying robots currently in development. Make sure to remember their names, because some of the machines might just take over the world some day.
The dictionary definition of uncanny valley, engineers created this child-like humanoid robot with one thing in mind, to test the learning capabilities of AI. Designed at the Osaka University in Japan, CB2 has been built with the ability to recognize facial expressions and gestures and derive meaning from such things, much like how an human infant would. The lead scientist on the project has claimed one of their goals was to teach CB2 human language, and that he believed that there would be a whole new race of robo-humans living alongside real humans sometime in the future.
Roughly the size of a small mule, BigDog is a military funded robot produced by the Google-owned company Boston Dynamics. It has the ability to carry up to 100 pounds and cross rough terrains that would be impossible for a robot on wheels, making it a useful pack mule for soldiers. Being Boston Dynamics’ first quadrupedal robot, the technology of BigDog has changed drastically over time, and it has become the basis on which many future robots would be modeled after.
I don’t think I have to explain what makes the T8X so terrifying, just the fact that it’s a giant robotic spider is scary enough on its own. The appearance isn’t everything though, this robot has been programmed to move and behave exactly like a real spider would, upping the creepiness tenfold. Luckily, the T8X is only a remote controlled toy, but the company behind the T8X, aptly named “Robugtix,” has a number of new spider-bots in the works, bigger, more autonomous, and even more terrifying.
ASIMO is a humanoid service robot currently being developed by Honda Robotics. The ASIMO project started all they way back in 2000, and today it is one of the more advanced humanoid robots in the world with the ability to recognize faces, voices, and gestures, and it can autonomously decide how to respond, such as waving or shaking an offered hand.
Created by Boston Dynamics, this six-legged robot excels at traversing rough terrain such as rocks, mud, sand, vegetation, and snow. This versatility, along with RHex’s completely water proof body, makes this little insectoid robot one of the most successful machines for surveying or reconnaissance in hard to reach, dangerous locations. Extensive testing by the U.S. government has found that it’s capable of going pretty much anywhere.
This robotic bat moves, flies, and resembles the animal from which it gets its name in every way except for one; it has a body length of more than two feet long and a wingspan of nearly seven and a half feet, all while barely cracking one pound. The robot is autonomous in the air, though it still needs assistance taking off or landing. It can compare data from each flight to a database and “learn” the most efficient way for it to travel.
MIT’s new Cheetah 3 robot is not only capable of galloping over rough terrain, climbing stairs, and leaping over 30 inches in the air, but also doing all of that without the use of any cameras or environmental sensors whatsoever. Although the engineers do intend to eventually add working sensors, the robots ability to operate uneven terrain completely blind could make it the perfect candidate to head in to environments where vision could be unreliable.
At first glance, you may not have realized the woman in the middle of this picture is actually not a real woman at all, or even a real human for that matter. That is actually Actroid-F, an experimental android created by Osaka University’s Hiroshi Ishiguro with the goal of creating the most lifelike android possible. Actroid-F can speak, blink, recognize facial expressions, and react at their own discretion. Though impressive, they have more work ahead of them to overcome the pesky uncanny valley.
Short for “Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin,” PETMAN is a humanoid military robot designed to mimic the movement and behavior of a human soldier to test the next generation of military apparel and safety equipment. It can walk, run, crawl, and even sweat like a human. In the future, it could be deployed autonomously for search and rescue operations within dangerous areas.
Another Boston Dynamics robot developed for military use, the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) is an automated quadrupedal robot funded by the U.S. military that can be used a robitic “mule” of sorts. Capable of autonomously following its leader, understanding simple voice commands, and carrying over 400 lbs of payload, LS3 were used by the marines for some time before they were eventually retired because of their loud noise and extreme weight (over 1300 lbs!) Still, future updates to the machine could put it back into use, and it has since helped Boston Dynamics improve upon their many other quadruped robots.
Philip, 26, works in a growing tech company in NY. His passion for technology made him a part-time tech blogger. At TutuApp, he writes about the latest Apps, newest tech updates, and App reviews.