You've Got To Be Kidding Me!: Scientists Experiment With A Human-Punching Robot

October 14, 2010


Man, scientists be all kinds of pissin' me off lately. I may have to start siding with the Juggalos on this one. Thing is, I really don't know how magnets work. I always thought there were tiny wizards in there. Anyway, a group of Slovenian "scientists" are ignorning Asimov's first rule of robotics and having a robot punch the shit out of humans. Possibly literally! (I know I would)

There [Slovenia], a powerful robot has been hitting people over and over again in a bid to induce anything from mild to unbearable pain....

But the robo-battering is all in a good cause, insists Borut Povše, who has ethical approval for the work from the University of Ljubljana, where he conducted the research. He has persuaded six male colleagues to let a powerful industrial robot repeatedly strike them on the arm, to assess human-robot pain thresholds.

It's not because he thinks the first law of robotics is too constraining to be of any practical use, but rather to help future robots adhere to the rule. "Even robots designed to Asimov's laws can collide with people. We are trying to make sure that when they do, the collision is not too powerful," Povše says. "We are taking the first steps to defining the limits of the speed and acceleration of robots, and the ideal size and shape of the tools they use, so they can safely interact with humans."

Really? The University of Lubjubjama? Because based on the name alone I'm not sure they have the authority to be passing out ethical approvals. OR diplomas. Flyers for furniture liquidation sales maybe.

Robot arm punches human to obey Asimov's rules [newscientist]
Robots learning our pain threshold by punching humans and seeing if they cry [engadget]

Thanks to Jon, Dj Azer, EroticHamster, Kevin, Juan, Oli4, Kara and Schmitty, who would knock a robot's block off before ever getting punched by one.

Previous Post
Next Post