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Boston Dynamic's Big Dog for Darpa

Meet Big Dog, designed by Boston Dynamics for DARPA. One blogger called it “amazing”, I call it creepy. When I was young I used to fantasize about a future flourishing with robots in all shapes and sizes, but during these wartime years here in America I feel less comfortable with our military’s effort to sanitize war by leaving the dirty work to robots (along with the already active mercenary groups and independent war contractors).

Dirty work drones have been in use now for some time, carrying out assassination missions in many part of the world. By their standards, some of the robot mission are considered “successful”, meaning they killed the person they were hunting, while other not so glorious missions tell eery stories like this one in the UK’s Guardian of innocent villagers’ homes being blasted to pieces in the middle of the night, like this case in Pakistan where 18 villagers were killed, including 4 children. Just Google Preditor Drone and countless other stories will pop up.

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4 of the last post here at Bureaux have been about war, so we decided to end the week with another, this one for the robotics and ethical design debate.

“DARPA’s Robot Dog Project”, Defense Industry Daily, July 2007

More of the war-focused designs by Boston Dynamics can be found on their website.