American robot dance is comparable to humans, Musk exclaimed: This is not a special effect!

The divine gift does not come from a higher pwer, but from our own minds. (The gift does not come from God, but from our own minds.)

—— Robert Ford, "Westworld"

In the last two days of 2020, Boston Dynamics released videos of three of its robots dancing, which changed the robot's "clumsy" image, which was quite cute.

It's no exaggeration to say that I was not as good as these robots when I was a big human. The robot’s dancing posture attracted Musk’s praise. In the face of the public questioning whether the video was synthesized, Musk also specifically stated This is not CGI ( this is not a computer synthesized image).

Robot dance skills advance by leaps and bounds

As early as 2018, Boston Dynamics released the first robot dancing video. In the melody of "Uptown Funk", the robot SPOT swayed childish steps and made some radio gymnastics-like dance moves, which made people think of three. The word "Tiehanhan".

▲ In 2018, the robot SPOT jumped "Uptown Funk"

In less than 2 years, Boston Dynamics' SPOT robot dog and the intelligent robot PEPPER can coordinate with each other neatly and uniformly in the Japan Professional Baseball League in July 2020, jumping out of a mechanical dance.

▲ In July 2020, the robots of the Japan Professional Baseball League support dance

Let's take a look now, do you feel that you have made rapid progress?

▲ The latest robot dance

What can a dancing robot do

Taking SPOT as an example, you can open the door, do simple housework, cooperate with workers to do decoration, move heavy objects, explore space, etc.

When encountering danger, it will automatically avoid obstacles and get up automatically when knocked down. The body is not only waterproof, but also like a dog, it will shake off water droplets on its body.

A similar robot is HANDLE, which is larger in size and is mainly used in warehousing and freight transportation. It can work up to 3 meters in height and can carry objects up to 15 kg.

The most human-like is the ATLAS robot, which can now perform part of the basic human movements, walking upright, rolling, jumping, and rotating in the air.

In addition, there are some military robots that can accompany the soldiers in extreme environments in the wild.

The use of robots in the real world

Robots should not be narrowly defined as human beings as robots. As long as intelligent machinery that simulates some of the characteristics of humans, it can be regarded as a robot, or a part of a robot.

The robot is not far away from us. In some factories, mechanical arms have replaced part of labor on part of the assembly line, which has improved production efficiency, reduced production costs, and avoided many risks.

▲ The robotic arm is producing Volkswagen. Picture from: KUKA China official website

In order to alleviate the aging problem, Japan has tried to use mechanical animals to replace humans and guard farmland that is increasingly being occupied by wild animals.

Mechanical exoskeleton can be regarded as a kind of robot that can "externally penetrate". It is generally used to enhance the labor output intensity of workers, restore part of the body functions of the disabled, and strengthen the combat effectiveness of soldiers. It can be said that it is the closest to ordinary people and the future Technology that will be used on a large scale.

What are the difficulties?

"MIT Technology Review" predicts that the next 3-5 years will be the mature period of dexterous robots. But in reality, there are still many difficulties in robotics research and development.

1. High accuracy but poor learning ability

When doing repetitive tasks, the robot's stability greatly exceeds that of humans, but once there are variables, such as the sorted goods become other objects, the robot is confused and does not know how to deal with it. It needs to re-debug or even rewrite the code.

▲ In order to meet different production needs, robots need to be customized. Picture from: KUKA China Promo

Most robots are temporarily unable to learn by themselves like humans, or their learning ability is relatively limited, which means that the current mechanical devices can only replace part of humans, and it is difficult to become more powerful than humans in the movie.

2. Joint stability

Mr. Tan Jianrong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and an expert in mechanical engineering, said that theoretically the joint of a robot is a point, and there is a gap between the joints of the robot. It is necessary to consider the problem of smooth operation of the robot under the influence of the joint clearance.

For example, the reason why the Boston company releases robot dancing videos is largely to show their excellent smooth performance. Even if the robot can now dance, there is still a lot of room for optimization in its smooth performance.

The seemingly easy walking upright is a skill acquired by humans over millions of years of evolution. Robots have a long way to go to achieve this. Robots have been upgraded from "static walking" at the beginning to the current one. "Dynamic walking" (dynamic walking), how it will develop in the future, depends on the scientists.

3. Ease of operation.

Robot operation, control switches, daily maintenance, maintenance, etc., require high-level technicians to pay higher wages than ordinary operators when robots are not used, and robots that are already available are also more expensive than manual labor.

However, this problem has gradually become not a problem. Data shows that the global robot market continues to grow, reaching 29.40 billion US dollars in 2019, a growth rate of 3.2%.

The short-term impact of robots

The large-scale popularization of robots or mechanical devices will have a significant impact on society in a short time. The popularity of robots will cause many people to lose their jobs. Machines or robots have no feelings, no need to rest every day, no need to worry about their psychological problems, and no need to pay wages.

Its large-scale popularization will change the social structure to a certain extent. For example, programming may become one of the necessary skills for ordinary people. Many people no longer engage in manual labor and begin to develop in services, art, entertainment, etc.

Of course, robots have also brought many positive effects. For example, with the help of robotic arms, the accuracy of surgical operations can be improved, and the production output can be improved . It also creates new jobs, such as programmers, Algorithm engineers, etc., robots can help people with disabilities improve their living standards or become a part of their bodies.

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It is foreseeable that the humanization of robots and the mechanization of humans are a trend.

At the beginning of 2020, Intel Connect released two important news: one is that it has made significant progress in the research of using the neuromorphic chip Loihi to identify the odor of hazardous chemicals such as explosives with Cornell University, and the other is the use of 768 Loihi chips to construct a new Pohoiki Springs, a neuromorphic research system, has a scale of 100 million neurons, which is equivalent to the brain capacity of a small mammal.

This lays the foundation for the combination of humans and machines. With the help of neuromorphic calculations, machines can feed back parameters such as touch, taste, and smell to the human brain, and are closely integrated with the human body from a higher dimension. Robocop, battle angel Alita Waiting may one day be everywhere.

How will robots develop in the future

In the book "Constructing the Conscious Brain", the author Antonio Damasio (neurologist, psychologist) has expressed emotion in the book more than once, whether the human psychological change is the brain The results of extremely complex CPU calculations. All emotions, subconscious minds, conditioned reflexes, feelings, etc. are the products of complex calculations. We temporarily regard these factors as non-mathematical problems, just because they have not been able to crack their algorithms.

This raises a major question: If humans are algorithm-driven machines, will humans be replaced by robots created by themselves in the future?

▲ Numerous film and television works express concerns about robots replacing humans. Picture from: "Real Humans"

Wolfgang Walster, CEO of the German Artificial Intelligence Research Center, believes: "Even in the age of Industry 4.0, our factories will not be empty."

Before, there was a robot who threatened to "destroy humans" and caused widespread discussion. It was finally discovered that it was only the designer of the robot that used a set program to win people's attention for commercial purposes.

Rather than worry about human beings being replaced by robots, we should focus on the broad prospects of robots, which can greatly release productivity, improve people's overall living standards, extend people's life span, and allow us to devote time and energy to more important areas. , Such as exploring the universe, making art, etc.

From a more macro perspective, the invisible hand of the rules of the universe is ubiquitous, which determines that robots can become a kind of existence, but they can never become a species , otherwise a kind of fearless negative effects of resource consumption and ignoring the majority A new species with harsh scenes and almost immortal life, if you master the ability to make, repair, and continuously learn to evolve, then there is a high probability that you can go with the universe to the end of time to find out. This is an obvious BUG, ​​and it will definitely be restricted or repair.

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