clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Playing dodgeball with a robot is easy if you hit the emergency power button

New, 21 comments

Sometimes it seems like robot-baiting is going to become one of the 21st century's favorite sports. We've already seen Boston Dynamic's robots get kicked up and down a parking lot, even if these videos did make us worry that one day, the robots might decide they'd had enough. Thankfully, the latest example of the genre shows there are ways to shut things down if the robots start to get out of hand.

the robot's legs curl up like a dead spider's

In the video above, engineers from Oregon State University's Dynamic Robotics Laboratory (DRL) are seen tormenting their experimental, bipedal ATRIAS robot with a barrage of dodgeballs to test its balance. The bot's "spring-mass" legs keep it stable (it's the same mechanism employed by pogo sticks) until a well-placed shot hits the emergency shut down button, and the robot's legs curl up like a dead spider's. Another video from the DRL team shows the same bot getting a bit of a kicking.

It's odd that the sight of humans battering a robot like this has already become familiar. It makes you wonder how long it'll be until we're kitting robots out with gladiatorial gear and teaching them to understand the phrase "two bots enter, one bot leaves."

Update March 16th, 7.50AM: The name of the university involved was corrected from the University of Oregon to Oregon State University.