You may have seen a video making the rounds on the Internet in the past few weeks showing a robotic “dog” quickly and jerkily making its way up to an elevator call button panel, quickly punching a button, then hopping in for ride. The video serves as a showcase for a new software framework developed by roboticists in Switzerland that operates a prototype four-legged robot called ANYmal. Both the software and ANYmal were developed by Robotics Systems Lab of ETH Zurich, and will be presented at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Robotics and Automation Society’s upcoming conference in Mexico on November 15-17.
While the ANYmal is undeniably neat, it kind of gives me the creeps. It’s freaky fast, bringing to mind the zombies in the movie World War Z or the rapidly evolving vampire-like monsters in The Strain series. UPDATE: A colleague pointed out the video may have been sped up. Still freaks me out.