Swinging in soon to destroy us: Robot apes

Getting ready to swing.
Getting ready to swing.
Image: YouTube/Georgia Tech
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You hear something rustling in the trees above you. You keep running, unsure of how to escape, just trying to outrun whatever is coming for you. You look over your shoulder and you catch a glimpse of it swinging from branch to branch. You shouldn’t have looked back, it’s now all over. The beast swings down, descending on you, and humanity’s hopes fade as the life drains from your eyes.

When the robot uprising begins, we’ll now have to worry about ape-like bots that can swing through trees with the ease of a gibbon raining down upon us. Much like the robot cheetahs, bats, hornets, ostriches, and myriad other robot animals scientists are already working on, we may one day be doomed by our desire to mimic what occurs naturally in the world.

This latest affront to the natural order was created by scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who believe that a robot that could swing from a wire above crops to inspect their progress as they grow would be useful. This proof-of-concept runs on battery power, but the goal would be to one day power robots like these with solar panels, engineering professor Jonathan Rogers said in a video released by the university. Rogers envisions a future where ape-bots like these could live in fields for days on end, requiring only the sun to survive. Hopefully these future robots don’t use their survival skills and aerial abilities to pick us off one by one.