Seriously scientists, quit tempting fate. Self-replicating robots are NOT cool

There’s good science and then there’s bad science. And almost all bad science comes out of scientists thinking they are researching something for the greater good. Cyberdyne wanted to make the world a better place through AI, not open the doors to genocide. The U.S. government created WOPR to be a quick response system for wartime scenarios, it didn’t intend to almost start World War III. The GRASP laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania sees nothing wrong with its quadrotor drone learning a few aggressive maneuvers, until the drone aggressively starts killing people in their sleep. So you can understand why I am a bit wary (read: I think this is a terrible idea) to learn that scientists have created a robot that can self replicate itself out of foam. That’s right, we have now given robots the ability to create a virtually endless army should the idea of human extermination ever pop into their memory banks (surely that thought is ludicrous, robots love us!).

The Modular Robotics Lab at the University of Pennsylvania showed off its FoamBots and their new-found ability to use spray foam to construct virtually anything, such as structures, tires, and other inanimate objects. The FoamBot can also use its intelligence and its ability to spray foam to construct an actual robot out of a cluster of CKBots. Really, there isn’t much more to say, just check out the videos below:

UPenn says how wonderful this is because the robots will be able to use their power to help in critical situations, like extinguishing an inaccessible fire, and no harm can possibly come out of this because the spray foam is entirely biodegradable and therefore friendly for the environment. Does anyone else think that having the self replicating robot lab and the assassin drone lab in such close proximity to each other is not the best of ideas? I guess it is time to brush up on our Robot Apocalypse Survival Guide.

Source: IEEE Spectrum

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  1. Pingback: Roundup October 20, 2011 | The Noisecast

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