Wednesday, December 28, 2016 by JD Heyes
The world of robotics is rapidly advancing and as it does, it is capturing the imagination of more and more people.
But it is also terrifying many.
As reported by the UK’s Daily Mirror, scientists and developers in South Korea have built and programmed a massive one-ton robot that is capable of mimicking human movements and resembles something from the film Avatar. The “METHOD-1” monster is four meters tall; when it walks, it actually shakes the very ground it walks on, according to its designer, Vitaly Bulgarov.
The giant robot operates by copying the actions and movements of its pilot, who sits inside of it, by moving its gigantic arms and legs up and down. An amazing video of the sinister-looking machine shows it walking around a laboratory floor utilizing its mechanical joints.
The robot’s control room is in the center of the machine, and it is just large enough for a human operator to squeeze inside. The machine was created by the firm Future Technology, but at present it’s unclear what it will be used for. It’s certainly large enough for a number of jobs—but scary in and of itself.
To that end, its designer said he modeled the high-tech machine after working on Hollywood blockbuster films including Transformers 4, RoboCop, and Terminator Genesys. He has remained fairly secretive about his creation, but he has said it could be used to “solve problems” instead of being used for something evil.
“I’ll just say for now that from a mechanical/software/hardware/electrical engineering stand point it was quite an ambitious project that required developing and enhancing a lot of technologies along the way,” he wrote on Facebook, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
He added that growth in the industry opens up several applications for the real work, and that everything being learned about robots at present has been applied to solve real-world issues and problems.
Obviously, there are several legitimate concerns about a robot this advanced—and this big. Are there military applications, and if so, what are they—and are such uses even ethical?
There is a great potential that such mammoth machines (and certainly METHOD-1 won’t be the largest one ever built) could also be used by criminal syndicates and others with ill-intent. How would today’s police forces, or those of the future, stack up against giant machines that are tough?
Still others see much more mundane, though life-changing, uses for robots of this size, namely in industry, as a replacement for human labor.