Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pilots 13ft robot at MARS 2017
March 20, 2017
On Monday Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos test piloted a 13-foot robot at the private MARS conference in Boston
(VERO BEACH, FLA) The Machine-Learning Automation, Robotics & Space Exploration conference, MARS for short, is a private tech conference held annually by Amazon, and is attended by experts in the fields of artificial intelligence, space exploration, and robotics.
While operating the 1.5 ton robot named Method-2 by its parent company Hankook Mirae Technology, Jeff Bezos said, “Why do I feel so much like Sigourney Weaver?” He was referencing her lead role as Lt. Ripley in James Cameron’s 1986 Sci-fi thriller “Aliens”, where the female actor defeated a carnivorous alien monster with a humanoid-like robotic suit.
The Verge tech writer James Vincent added that “reports that he then told the crowd to ‘bow down before your new king and master, Metal Jeff’ are unsubstantiated.”
The suit used by Jeff Bezos was created by robotics expert Vitaly Bulgarov, who worked previously as a concept artist on Michael Bay’s Sci-fi action film “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction”, Paul Verhoeven’s “Robocop”, and James Cameron’s “Terminator”.
On his Facebook page Vitaly Bulgarov said, ”everything we have been learning so far on this robot can be applied to solve real-world problems.”
Though Jeff Bezos only operated the robots arms, a leaked video of a sister model to Bulgarov’s robot, “METHOD-1”, shows the steel automaton walking.
Tech and science website Live Science inquired about the video with Bulgarov’s South Korean company Korea Future Technology, and was openly skeptical of the footages authenticity.
In an email to Live Science regarding the video, Bulgarov said the footage is real, but it was only intended for his circle of followers.
”Frankly, right now, we don’t even really care if people think this is legit because we didn’t try to promote it,” Bulgarov wrote.
Christian Hubicki, a postdoctoral robotics researcher at Georgia Tech, told Live Science that the robot’s leg joints look unusually smooth given the force that the step of a 1.5-ton robot would exert on the motors.
“When I look at the bulk of the leg — say, above the ankle — it still stops its downward motion extremely quickly (I think within a frame of the video),” Hubicki told Live Science. “[N]ot impossible, but if it is real, I’d be really curious about how the effects of that impact are being handled.”
On top this robotics exhibit, this years MARS conference offered numerous seminars and other demos on artificial intelligence and futurist inventions.
Invited guests were told, “many great humans are attending (not to mention some extraordinary robots),” according to the Telegraph.
This advancement in robotics would be in line with the prediction of futurist Ray Kurzweil, who said at the 2017 SXSW conference that he believes a “singularity”, or a merger between humans and robots, is on track to occur by 2029.
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