WATCH: DARPA’s New Robot Can Chase You Up Stairs

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DARPA / YouTube

PETMAN looks like the Terminator but if it ever went rogue, escaping it would be as easy as walking up a set of stairs. No longer, kids; Boston Dynamics has released new footage of one its creations demonstrating terrifying stair-climbing capabilities.

It’s all for DARPA’s Robotics Challenge, a prize promising $2 million to the team that can develop a robot that can pass a test that involves driving a car, climbing a ladder, breaking through a concrete wall and fixing a leaking pipe.

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This recent development is both an impressive showing of DARPA-funded Boston Dynamics’ technical prowess and a sign of just how far robotics has to go before fulfilling the requirements of the challenge. That is to say, it’s impressive that the robot can climb stairs, less impressive that climbing stairs is such a major accomplishment.

This upwardly mobile fellow is just a head and one arm away from meeting the expectations of how the prize-winning robot should look. Maybe they should contact the Naval Research Laboratory and ask the borrow the eerie robot head of its fire-fighting machine, Octavia.

Scary or not, if anyone does actually win the $2 million, the robot could be a huge boost to disaster response teams across the world — although I’d still rather be rescued by a human.

[via Singularity Hub]

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