Will Knight writes, for the MIT Technology Review:
The latest innovation from the U.S. Defense Department’s research agency, DARPA, is a humanoid robot called Atlas that looks as if it could’ve walked straight off the set of the latest Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster.
In fact, Atlas is designed to eventually take on some of the most dangerous and high-stakes jobs imaginable, such as tending to a nuclear reactor during a meltdown, shutting off a deep-water oil spill, or helping to put out a raging wildfire. And if Atlas proves itself at such daredevil tasks, then one of its descendants might one day be allowed to do something just as important: help take care of the elderly and infirm.
Actual Truth: This thing will come and kill you, in the night. Just look at this thing, and then look at some of DARPA’s other monstrosities, and try to convince me—with a straight face—that you aren’t terrified.