IT & Systems Management

This robotic ape is what futuristic dystopian nightmares are made of

It's almost as if scientists have never seen a movie before. Researchers at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) have developed the world's first robotic primate called the iStruct robo-ape, thus combining our worst fears of robot uprisings along with a literal Planet of the Apes.

For now, the 40-pound robot just slowly strolls along on all fours, but it has a super-stable robotic frame. This is thanks to a series of force sensors and accelerometers built into the robot's frame that keeps it moving steadily. But seeing it's meant to be an ape, we imagine it might start lurching and climbing around any time now.

The DFKI researchers also say they are looking into developing a multi-locomotion system that will replace the rigid connection between the front and rear body with an actuated spinal column. Supposedly this flexible spine won't just extend the existing locomotion behaviors of robots, but will also act as a conduit for sensory systems.

[DFKI via IEEE Spectrum]

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