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135 comments

Penn robotics sucs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23265494)

bunch of theieves

Re:Penn robotics sucs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23265570)

Mark Yim, who did this work, is a good guy. But some other people here are kind of slimy.

Oh, great (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265532)

Robots made out of little pieces that assemble themselves. And we don't even have the Asgard to bail us out.

Or at least, I don't think we do.

Rob

Re:Oh, great (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265606)

It's an interesting trick, no doubt. The trouble is that this is like looking at the technology to mark bad sectors on a disk as something on it's own.

When you can teach this to Mars rovers to replace worn parts/systems from a rescue/resupply lander then it's something to yell about. Even better, send up a robot that can repair/upgrade/improve the Hubble Space Telescope for 1/10th the cost of a human mission and you have something REALLY cool.

This is just a first step in that direction, and a good one.

Re:Oh, great (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266184)

No... when you can teach these things to assemble into a 50 Mars Rovers, trundle across the desert, then have the lot of them reconfigure themselves into a Hubble Telescope, THAT is when it will be something to yell about.

Re:Oh, great (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266588)

No... when you can teach these things to assemble into a 50 Mars Rovers, trundle across the desert, then have the lot of them reconfigure themselves into a Hubble Telescope, THAT is when it will be something to yell about.

No... when you can teach these things to assemble into 2500 Mars Rovers, trundle across the desert, then have the lot of them reconfigure themselves into 50 Hubble Telescopes, THAT is when it will be something to yell about.

Re:Oh, great (1)

FrozenFOXX (1048276) | more than 5 years ago | (#23267004)

I thought it was when you could teach these things to assemble into 50 Mars Rovers, trundle across the desert, then have them reconfigure themselves into a siege tank to piss off your opponent, THAT is when you'd have something to yell about.

Re:Oh, great (1)

Facetious (710885) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266622)

I occassionally wonder if we /.ers don't set our sites a bit high. (No, this isn't why we, collectively, can't find women.)

Re:Oh, great (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266696)

Geeks can't find women because they tend to research things instead of going with their gut, and end up believing women who didn't realize they were lesbians until ten years after their book was published.

Re:Oh, great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23265610)

The Asgard didn't bail us out. We bailed the Asgard out.

No Asgard would ever consider using a device that uses reactive chemicals to propel metal balls out of a tube as a weapon.

Re:Oh, great (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265816)

But the Asgard were needed so O'Neill could invent that anti-Replicator gun. I guess I should've said that the Asgard and the Ancients bailed us out.

Rob

Re:Oh, great (1)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265880)

Heh heh! DENIS! Don't worry, Hasslehoff will show up in his talking car and solve the problem of the Robots. DENNIS! MAN DENIS!

Re:Oh, great (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#23267632)

Robots made out of little pieces that assemble themselves. And we don't even have the Asgard to bail us out.

It was SG-1 that kept bailing us (AND the Asgard, for what it's worth), remember?

Resistance is futile (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265538)

After decades as a way for humans to release tension, by kicking them; one day they shall form together and assemble into a massive re-assembling mass. Our only hope is to begin researching advance kicking and boot technology now!

Let me be the 7th of 9 ./ers to welcome them (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265542)

"I for one welcome our self-reassembling robotic overlords."

Do/does they/it run Linux?

Re:Let me be the 7th of 9 ./ers to welcome them (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265650)

Running on PICs -

CAN-BUS, local IR
I would suspect at least given size and the CAN-BUS I would say no OS to speak of, as it appears that the code is done in C# with MatLAB as a compiler.

Re:Let me be the 7th of 9 ./ers to welcome them (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265968)

Nope, they are evil, it runs Vista.

Re:Let me be the 7th of 9 ./ers to welcome them (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#23267676)

Nope, they are evil, it runs Vista.

Then we've got nothing to worry about.

Re-assemble this. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265586)

So let the Borg and Terminator jokes begin!

I think not, but I hear that in Soviet Russia, robots re-assemble you.

Re:Re-assemble this - more. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266006)

I hear that in Soviet Russia, robots re-assemble you.

My bad. Further research reveals that in Soviet Russia, you actaully have to re-assemble them yourself.

A Borg, a Terminator and a Dalek walk into a bar (1)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266362)

The Borg says, "Barkeep, let me assimilate a gin and tonic," the Terminator says "I'll be back, I forgot my ID," and the Dalek levels the place because it can't find the stairs.

I love it... (4, Funny)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265614)

The 3 modules spend all that time trying to reassemble after being kicked apart, only to stand up, fall over, and break apart again. Brilliant!

Wait... (1)

MrMacman2u (831102) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265632)

Just Borg and Terminator jokes?

What about our self-assembling robotic overlords? I'm certain they will be displeased about being excluded!

Re:Wait... (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265906)

I always think of Nimrod [wikipedia.org] when I think of self repairing robots. Perhaps I read too many comics and didn't watch enough TV.

Re:Wait... (1)

Mr. Beatdown (1221940) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266662)

Beware of Wikipedia links to a single character in a fictional universe. Your lunch break will disappear after 50 minutes of interested clicking, and you will know more than you ever needed to know about the Marvel universe.

Robot tasking: comedy (1)

cruff (171569) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265638)

I love it. At the end of the video when the robot has just about reassembled itself, the narrator says the robot will complete its task. The robot then promptly falls over. :-)

Re:Robot tasking: comedy (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265664)

I love it. At the end of the video when the robot has just about reassembled itself, the narrator says the robot will complete its task. The robot then promptly falls over. :-)
Trying to give us a false sense of security no doubt.

Re:Robot tasking: comedy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23266322)

That definitely cracked me up too. Especially since the narrator is one of my professors.

Jokes aside (4, Funny)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265720)

This is an interesting development and one which does slightly worry me.

I don't believe in real machine intelligence just yet, but a device that can re-assemble itself after being dis-assembled is a horrible idea.

First it was the "power switch," most computers don't have a power switch. You have to physically unplug them to be sure. Now, they'll put themselves back together, after you take them apart.

Imagine this in the hands of Microsoft, perhaps a computer will re-install Windows after you've installed Linux? (Functionality in the BIOS of course, BIOS code notices Windows has not called the deadman API recently after power-up. BIOS takes over, DHCP the ethernet card, nuke the hard disk and re-install Windows from the net.)

Leave a room of happy Linux machines, return with a miserable set of windows boxes.

Yeah, I saw such game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23265996)

You had to squash little Bills installing windoze on your happy computers. After some time there was so many of them that they tool over your machines anyway and finally converted them into toasters.

Computers do have a power switch (1)

Tanman (90298) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266060)

If you don't believe me, next time your system locks up, hold the power button for 15 seconds.

POOF! it's off. There is still an OS-independent power switch, but you have to purposefully use it because it is important to shut your computer down 'the right way.' Ditching the old insta-off buttons was good because ma and pa kent know farming, not computers, and so the computer needs to shut down properly when they hit the switch.

Re:Computers do have a power switch (1)

deander2 (26173) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266426)

but that is still bios-dependent, which == still software dependent. which, according to the def presented by the original post, means it's not a "real" power switch, because if the computer software chooses to ignore your power-off command, it can.

Re:Computers do have a power switch (1)

Tanman (90298) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266488)

It's your hardware, though. It isn't like your OS can disable it -- if you can't switch off your computer with the 15 second method, then you have a hardware-based failure (be it a bad rom chip or whatever).

It's akin to saying "my dvd burner won't burn because the software on the drive says not to" -- well, that's a problem with the burner, not the software, for all intents and purposes.

Re:Computers do have a power switch (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266958)

Ok, this was all in response to a joke, but the GP's point stands. That "hold the button for 8 seconds" trick is controlled by the BIOS. That's a software component. In many (most?) BIOS's you can disable that functionality altogether, or change it to instant-off, or what not. Also, the machine still can turn itself back on via a scheduled timer, Wake on LAN, or any other number of software based devices. The simple fact is that that was NOT a power switch that you hit to turn it off. It was a button that asks the computer's lower level hardware to shut down. Nothing more. To physically cut the power to the system you need to pull the plug OR, flip the rocker switch on the back of the power supply if there is one.

Re:Computers do have a power switch (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266524)

In my computers it's always been 8 seconds, not 15, but frequently it fails and won't turn the computer off after any amount of time. It's not a hard switch - it's a gentle request.

On the other hand, you can always just go around to the back of your computer and flip the hard switch on your power supply.

Re:Jokes aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23266326)

That could be done right now, what does it have to do with these robots? You're just bashing Microsoft for no reason.

Re:Jokes aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23266806)

wow.. I'm not sure if you are trolling or if you are serious.

In either case, you are the most confused person I've seen in some time.

Please tell me you don't do anything IT related..please

Re:Jokes aside (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#23267106)

I Do work for IT, and I'm not confused.

Few ATX type computers being produced have a real "power" switch. They have a function button that tells the computer to shut it self mostly down, but power continues to be fed to the system even after shutdown. Even the shutdown is a voluntary step.

The very fact that you can hold down the power function button (for around 10 or 15 seconds) and that will initiate a BIOS function to shut down the system means that BIOS code *can* take over if the system is designed to do so.

My scenario of a system which is not properly initialized by a host OS which causes a reset into a BIOS function to obtain an "approved" OS from the internet (Or obtain a bootstrap loader first) is perfectly reasonable as "netboot" machines are quite common.

What parts do you assert are confused?

Re:Jokes aside (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#23267196)

First it was the "power switch," most computers don't have a power switch. You have to physically unplug them to be sure. Now, they'll put themselves back together, after you take them apart.


I don't know where you get your computers from, but, except for my laptop, all my computers have, in addition to the soft power button on the front, a rocker switch on the back that is part of the power supply. You flip that switch off, and the computer is *off*.

Re:Jokes aside (1)

fifedrum (611338) | more than 5 years ago | (#23268044)

none of the three hundred servers we just imaged for a new datacenter have hard power switches. The only way to remove power without the aid of a bios is by removing the power cable.

Re:Jokes aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23268026)

You're an idiot. It only works for putting it back together, not restoring data. The barely hidden paranoia present in your post is both alarming and ridiculous. Also, Microsoft would have to somehow replace the BIOS without you knowing.

Re:Jokes aside (1)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 5 years ago | (#23268216)

Yes, if you take them appart, they can put themselves back togeather.

However, if you break an individual apart, they can't fix themselves.

This is not breakthrough. The only advance they are showing is the ability for robots to work together.

Just a thought... (1)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265724)

You know while on the surface this sounds funny, I can't help but think that this technology combined with attempts of AI research, could possibly just lead to a Borg / Replicator / Terminator situation.

Ok, I could just go back to my statistics homework now...

Re:Just a thought... (1)

ShiNoKaze (1097629) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266514)

Actually if all those parts of those modules are made of small enough electronics, it prolly wouldn't look any different than the blobby terminator to our eyes...

Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23265726)

But they had to help it in the end. The guy kicked one piece in position so it could see the others.

Iron Giant (1)

BigDumbAnimal (532071) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265758)

They have created The Iron Giant [imdb.com]!
Maybe they could combine it CMU's Snake robot [google.com], so the snake can reassemble itself when it falls out of a tree.

Re:Iron Giant (1)

spud603 (832173) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266728)

Maybe they could combine it CMU's Snake robot [google.com], so the snake can reassemble itself when it falls out of a tree.
after fetching us that tasty looking apple...

In other news... (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265774)

A Borg, a Terminator, and Robocop walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them and asks, "Is this some kind of a joke?"

Re:In other news... (3, Funny)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265986)

A Borg, a Terminator, and Robocop walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them and asks, "Is this some kind of a joke?"

I don't know, is it? Cause you're in desperate need of a punchline.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23266140)

Let me help him out with an unrelated joke*:

Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. The second atom says to the first "I think I've lost an electron". The first one replies "Are you sure?", to which the second one responds "I'm positive".

Thanks, I'll be here all night.

*(Mass effect reminded me of this old one)

Stroll! Stroll for your lives! (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265834)

After watching the video, I am quite assured the coming apocalypse will preventable as long as I remember kick my mechanical oppressor in the nads every 20 minutes or so.

(Seriously though, it's impressive :))

Careless design of experiment (1)

SleptThroughClass (1127287) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265844)

cluster robots re-assembling itself after being kicked apart
The next logical action is to disable the kicker so as to prevent future events. Maybe they should use a different disassembly protocol.

"So let the Borg and Terminator jokes begin!" (1)

Freeside1 (1140901) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265898)

What? No replicator jokes allowed?

Re:"So let the Borg and Terminator jokes begin!" (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#23267982)

Funny part is, they seem to act more like Replicator blocks than anything from StarTrek or the Terminator series of movies.

I for one am still waitting on my personalized Repli-Carter.

In soviet Russia... (1)

ohzero (525786) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265902)

Robot reassembles you! Also, then reassembles self and purchase wodka on your credit card.

Borg jokes? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265944)

I am a cyborg, [slashdot.org] you insensitive clod!

You will be assimilated. Resistance is not only futile, but when it's your turn you will beg to join us.

Roundabout solution (2, Funny)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 5 years ago | (#23265960)

I don't get it. Why don't they just make them out of liquid metal? Then they can survive all kinds of things, AND go on killing sprees to eliminate John Connor. Is this not obvious to anyone else?

Re:Roundabout solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23266630)

We're already made of liquid metal. Now all we need is to wait a few dozens revisions to make each module smaller. In a few decades it will look like metal liquid to your inferior human eyes.

It all makes sense now. (1)

mhore (582354) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266092)

That explains why all of my e-mails and phone calls to the engineering school have gone unanswered lately!

He'll Kick You Apart! (1)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266212)

Finally, something powerful enough to stop George Washington [youtube.com]! I hope these things are hardened against radiation too, cause that's what he and his thirty god damn dicks are made out of.

obFuturama (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 5 years ago | (#23266346)

Bender's arms break off. With his left arm he reattaches his right arm, with which he reattaches his left arm.

Fry: I don't know how you did that.

Number Five says (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23266636)

"OK to disassemble!"

Nah... not a Borg joke... (1)

iceT (68610) | more than 5 years ago | (#23268178)

Just a simple "No Disassemble! No Disassemble! No. 5 is alive!"

Hmmm (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#23268270)

Kind of reminds me of the way my personality slowly integrates itself into some kind of recognizable shape after one of those Friday nights. Specifically, one where the poker game's just breaking up and some ass says, "Hang on a minute...I've got two cases of beer in my trunk we haven't even touched!"

No Borg Jokes Here... (1)

TrekkieTechie (1265532) | more than 5 years ago | (#23268726)

...but I can't help being reminded of the Brad Bird animated film The Iron Giant [wikipedia.org] featuring a self-reassembling visitor from the stars. All they need to do now is add a power plant fueled by raw metal and we'll be set!
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