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Category:Science & Technology, Military
Tags:Robot, marines, boston dynamics, bigdog, reactor online sensors online all systems nominal
Submitted:Albuquerque Halsey
Date:07/15/14
Views:1150
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Comment count is 15
Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2014-07-15
I love bigdog but I've always wondered is a donkey not a million times cheaper, quieter, more intelligent, more effective at carrying loads over terrain, wont run out of batteries etc.
Still if they can wangle money out of DARPA and the military to develop awesome stuff like this then more power to them!
Binro the Heretic - 2014-07-15
Donkeys shouldn't be subjected to combat.

Old_Zircon - 2014-07-15
Donkeys have ethics.


Stars because the guy being interviewed can't quite bring himself to say anything good about the experience, the best he can do is "surreal."

namtar - 2014-07-15
I assume they're hoping to develop better robots in the future.

If the public saw images of donkeys blown up or gunned down, support for war would go down. Nobody cares about dead soldiers or brown people, but if animals are killed stop the presses.

Also, soldiers would fuck the donkeys.

Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2014-07-15
@namtar isnt that just another added benefit?
Also I think I must just be intrinsically evil. One benefit of a machine over an animal is that it will follow orders selflessly with no sense of self preservation (unless you want it to have one) and it will not be startled by gunfire/shelling.
So the optimal solution I am imagining is a donkey but maybe on special drugs or with some kind brain implant or VR device to make it super compliant.

The Mothership - 2014-07-15
Neither should people, Binro; is the best argument for bigdog animal welfare? Cause if so it's pretty weak.

Oscar Wildcat - 2014-07-15
The US Army certainly used mules and donkeys in the past. They work wonderfully, better than any machine, for a host of reasons. If you want to move stuff over impossible terrain via ground, your donkey is pretty much the best thing around.

Although the donkey is superior in every way to the machine, it fails one crucial test. It's too cheap. If you could genetically engineer a super donkey that cost 100,000 an animal, that might get some traction. But still, it'll be cheaper than the bot. So it's a non-starter.

EvilHomer - 2014-07-15
>>Still if they can wangle money out of DARPA and the military to develop awesome stuff like this
>>Although the donkey is superior in every way to the machine, it fails one crucial test. It's too cheap.

Pretty much this. I've often had heated arguments with tank nerds over the feasibility of legged mecha, and this is one point that the tiny brains of tank nerds (god they are so stupid) simply cannot grasp. The military is a business, and it needs to spend money to make money. Whether or not new technological designs are practical, optimal, or cost-effective is besides the point!

>> Neither should people, Binro; is the best argument for bigdog animal welfare? Cause if so it's pretty weak.

Not necessarily. All that means is*people* should be replaced with robots, too, which is actually a major rationale behind projects like these. It's not so much about keeping donkeys off the battlefield, it's about keeping people off the battlefield. Or at least, keeping *our* people off the battlefield; Hajji's still gonna be staring down the barrel of a mk19-mounted Bigdog, of course! ARF AaaARF!

James Woods - 2014-07-15
If tomorrow I tell the press that, like, a gangbanger will get shot or a truck load of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics - because it's all part of The Plan, but when I say that -one- little old donkey will die, well then everyone LOSES their MIIHIHINDS.

magnesium - 2014-07-15
Soon, the robots will occupy all of the bad countries for us. Until they turn on us. Which will happen. But at least someone is engineering a robot to be something other than a girlfriend.
Rafiki - 2014-07-15
I hope I live to see the day when Americans are complaining about the government creating a now-hostile robocracy in another country.

And then I hope I live to be exterminated after the day when robot Americans are complaining about the robot government hunting people to extinction.

matlock - 2014-07-15
Binro's argument seems pretty strong to me. Until animals start volunteering to be sent to war, anyway.

OZ: "the guy being interviewed can't quite bring himself to say anything good about the experience"

He probably wanted the donkey, too.
matlock - 2014-07-15
dammit, s'posed to be a reply to Mr. PC esq.

deadpan - 2014-07-15
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?
Jet Bin Fever - 2014-07-18
I'll name it sparky, for the sparks it makes when you cut it open!
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