Fact or fiction: robots in Horizon Zero Dawn from the point of view of science
According to the authors Zero Dawn Horizon, our future is grim. Destruction, herbalism, matriarchy, people again living in caves, and robots dominate the Earth. Mahin from the size of a house to bugs on chips — it’s not only like animals, but behave accordingly. It would seem, another fantasy on the theme “the plastic world has won the”played in “terminator” and “Ghost in the shell”, and even in the animated series “Futurama”. But look at the advances in modern robotics is so incredible picture of the Horizon and during the night, Guerrilla Games from reality?
How they look
In the meadow herd of Buffalo steel Broadhead, in the forest and glimpsed the silhouette of a cybernetic Panther Stalker, under the clouds bionic hawks Stormbird. Say futuristic technology Horizon is unattainable in the current realities? However, the engineers at Boston Dynamics on this one, pardon the pun, dog ate. After all, their four-footed beast by the name of BigDog, developed for the us army in 2005, was able to walk and run over rough terrain, to follow the person, and also to carry loads up to 150 kg. Attach the horns — and here’s the great-grandfather of a Buffalo from the creation of Guerrilla Games. Attach the flexible neck — get a miniature version of giraffe-giant from clear what kind of game.
Developments BigDog helped design in 2012, a cybernetic Cheetah, can reach speeds of up to 45 km/h And even if he is faster than Usain Bolt to escape from the laboratory he has failed: the power was supplied from a stationary hydraulic systems. In 2013, Boston Dynamics introduced the Autonomous kindred Cheetah — Sprinter WildCat, the galloping across open country at a speed of 25 km/h Jumping and abrupt transition from walk to run? About a year later took care of mit, who designed the anatomically correct robot Cheetah. How here not to remember the steel Panthers of the Horizon?
And if American designers were inspired by the cat family, their South Korean colleagues from the Institute KAIST took the eyes on the dinosaurs. So in 2014 appeared three-kilogram baby Raptor, mimicking the biomechanics of VelociRaptor. Door to open can not, but runs no less briskly than the cyber-raptors Guerilla Games.
While the Koreans set sprint records, European engineers turned their gazes to the sky: the German laboratory of Festo sent flying electric Seagull Smartbird, a Dutch company Clear Flight Solutions — the Falcon and the eagle. However, modern artificial birds far from Autonomous vultures and hawks of Horizon — it is on the remote control.
How they act
Whom nature does not hurt, he admits that in 99 cases out of 100 it is wiser engineers. That is why they take from life a lot useful. But sometimes robotics, on the contrary, helps to better understand living organisms — as, for example, the robot dragonfly the German company Festo has helped biologists to thoroughly study the mechanism of flight of this insect. As it hangs in the air, gaining speed and maneuvering, not to mention the fact that the results of the experiment turned out great drone with a complex system of orientation in space. Even in war, even the pizza home deliver.
Another thing on batteries, nicknamed “Pleurobema”, is able to walk and swim and at the same time simulates the nervous system of salamanders — one of the oldest amphibians on the planet. Neuroscientists, looking at the miracle, rubbing their hands — than not an occasion to test the principles of the movement of animals by using electronic circuits? Such examples — the dam, but not to spam shopathome, let’s just say. Based on the living example, robots are able to save and focus energy, use binocular vision, symmetrical locomotion, and even simulate the tendons springs — a very useful thing that is often noticed in the legs robotvery.
Anatomy is not the limit. Please note that the developers of Horizon Zero Dawn instilled in the monsters from another and group behavior. If him real robots? Of course! How to interact with bees in a beehive, birds in a flock or fish in a school, in the same exchange signals kids are made of metal and plastic.
However, the question arises: what is the practical meaning? Imagine that you need to collect data on a large area or explore something hollow inside. Run to a hundred or so bugs with a penny sensors — each takes their land mosaics, and then the information is summed by the computer. You-the members of the swarm single-celled, primitive, but collectively are doing a great job. Just like students on Saturday.
As they develop
Mining Eloy, heroine action Guerrilla Games — not just a bunch of tin cans. Because the car has created in the universe of the game of sustainable ecosystem, and thus Makar pushed humanity. What’s missing real robots for the same result? First, the intelligence to make decisions with far-reaching consequences, and, secondly — you need to build yourself like that without the corresponding program. Consciousness must, in short. And if so — meet this Pinocchio with red eyebrows name is iCub.
And he has a mind — however, at the level of a two year old child. The trick is that it is not programmed to roll round and to knead soft, but taught. In the iCub head is generally no ready-made solutions — all the data it receives by communicating with people and corrects them depending on the reaction of the coach. For example, he said that he had asked to raise the red ball, not blue — so the robot learns to distinguish colors. To murder all the people the kid away, but he alone determines the shape and other properties of objects, are capable of primitive manipulation and meaning. Black overlays on the limbs and torso — is not a trendy outfit, and sensors like touchscreens, thanks to which the iCub learns that some actions or reactions to touch.
Engineers have long seen in motion the very Foundation, after all, what we carry out in passing, the reflex, the robot is given at the end of the computation. As if while walking, yawning, or just breath, you consciously in control of every muscle involved in the process — the task is clearly harder than to go through Dark Souls with no deaths. The machine uses a bunch of sensors for balance, motility of limb, recognition of obstacles. The experience in education gadgets reasonable, good, eternal looked like this: the miracle technology of the late 60’s, a chest of drawers with eyes named Shakey traveled to an unfamiliar room and absorbed it like a cat on the lawn. Today the same principle used for neural network learning. The only difference is that the neural network operates just like the brain of the living entity — hence the name. Now that little bugger is learning to walk, and after a year or two will be a new vote in the elections and will issue a mortgage.
Another stumbling block, except for the mind — self-Assembly. And there is quite a complex problem: people do not reproduce because I really want to, but because of the laws of nature, and how to start a similar attraction to robots? The obvious solution is to program them, as the positioner on the Assembly line producing cars. But to assemble cars under the scheme unsportsmanlike — lost purity of the experiment, no evolution.
Fortunately, the imitation mother-nature has stymied scientists from the Zurich Institute of robotics and intelligent systems. Imagine a big car — “mother,” collecting from cubes with a motor of the device easier. Then, looking at the attempts of the robotic monsters, the mother herself decides who shall live and who to scrap. Abstract the verdicts in the spirit of “I’m trembling creature or have the right” are taken with an eye on specific parameters like speed of movement “child”, its sustainability or energy efficiency. Still not natural selection, but something, from what on a forehead sweat oozes.
What they work
Horizon Zero Dawn reluctantly reveals the batteries that feed the machinery of the virtual, while the real engineers is still that headache. While robots have not learned how to whip alcohol, like Bender Rodriguez from Futurama, the designers had managed in his own way. From the classics of the genre — lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries, the kind that are in every gadget, to solar panels of the Mars Rover “opportunity”. Yes, they are three-layered and high-tech. However, the efficiency of such devices is still disappointingly low speeds a few meters per hour, six-wheeled conqueror of Mars does not go far. The only plus — no need to change the batteries.
Than more difficult than more degrees of freedom, the more it consumes energy. But with pocket reactors in uranium-238 while tight, so even the giants of robotics is limited by the factor of ampere-hours. So, witty robotvery LittleDog created in by Boston Dynamics, runs on lithium-polymer battery, which lasts for 30 minutes. And the latest development of the company, the researcher of the wheel Handle, can drive on a single charge up to 15 miles. That is about carefree revelry mechanical life, which is demonstrated in the Horizon, now there is no question.
We understand that kind of reaction causes the phrase “British scientists have invented…”, but researchers from the Bioenergy centre Bristol actively promote the fuel for the robots the normal urine. Oh, that good roll — why not apply it to good use? The fuel element of the British arranged banal: the cathode and anode chamber separated by a membrane, permeable to ions only in one direction. That’s why with field testing there were no problems. But only imagine a future where cars hung tanks with urine, and every person on Earth is proud of its contribution to robotics.
How they scare us
Mechanisms not only to imitate the animals in Horizon Zero Dawn or laboratories Boston Dynamics, but sometimes they look just like they do. The copies are so good that the animals perceive their relatives — and so scientists can observe the wildlife. Without a cleverly disguised operator, for months, catching a good frame — data will be collected in the robot-robot or otter-sloth. But the trick, deceptive animals, we share easily: plastic, carelessly glued fur to the lenses instead of pupils defined — we are the mechanism.
Androids we too easily recognize a fake — here I should add “yet to recognize”. If replica animals evoke positive emotions, the copy man, on the contrary, a sharp rejection. That’s why robotics involved in the manufacturing of “smart” devices like iCub, avoid making them too much like us, although they have the opportunity.
This is due to the effect of uncanny valley: the more like us the mechanism, the more disgust we feel when in contact with him. And this applies not only appearance, but also movements or voice. So there are two options — either to do streamlined Boobs with plastic instead of leather, or Bishop from “aliens,” that the mosquito nose will not undermine. Psychology, you heartless science.
As they take over the world
Look at the limbs of modern robots: hand resemble a T-800 from “the Terminator”, isn’t it? With a kind of dangerous piece of hardware: squeeze would break bones. In fact, these manipulators are harmless to humans, and their strength enough only for raising from the table, the ball or button. Russian robot “Fedor” drills holes and drives a car too, nothing supernatural (Yes, I want to make a joke about UAZ without hadracha). But the most powerful mechanisms are unlikely to be associated with something that deliberately hurt people just to lift weights, and cook pressed metal, assemble complex structures. Nobody in their right mind would poke his head under the included positioner that mounts the body “Mercedes” at the factory?
Cornerstone robotics, security, worked out to and from Isaac Asimov with his three laws and some were not. Even the acclaimed series “the Wild West” presents the situation in a simplified manner. The reality dictates developers to more severe conditions. For example, the robot-guide REEM from Barcelona to evoke sympathy: to say “Hello!” to wave to passers-by hand to follow your eyes. On the other hand, near the people he freezes, and all communication with them is via voice or monitor with a touchscreen. When you hang the children to dissolve the claw is impossible.
Then what about military robots? How smart they are now is a mystery known only to employees of agencies like DARPA. According to public information, the armed drones are controlled remotely, “smart” androids such as REEM, iCub and Japanese Asimo, do not apply in the fighting, and the machine Boston Dynamics is designed for search and rescue operations or to carry cargo. But something the developers at Guerrilla Games are right: if in the future happen to rise of the machines, robotware as the most complicated devices of existing on Earth, it will play an important role.
The author of the text: Alexander Burov