The Scariest In Robot News


One thing you may know about me is that I am a science and tech writer. But another thing you may not know is that I have a kind of innate, deep rooted fear of robots (unless they are on my TV and learning how to feel emotions and have free will). Maybe I have just watched Terminator one too many times, but every time I come across a story about new developments in robotics, or computers that are getting smarter, there is a 75% chance I am actually terrified and not awed as I am supposed to be. Here are some of the scariest things I have read about the future robots who are going to kill us all.

Google has its own artificial intelligence, called Google Brain.

” With Brain, Google can now transcribe all of the addresses that Street View has captured in France in less than an hour.”

AND IT KNOWS WHERE WE ALL LIVE. No way this is gonna backfire. THIS IS HOW SKYNET HAPPENS, PEOPLE!!! I have no problems with Google eventually becoming Skynet, by the way. It makes a lot of sense.


Ressearchers in France have developed a robot that can learn how to walk again in just a few seconds.

“When one of the hexapod’s legs is broken, it first tries to walk using its normal gait—but when it notices that its actual movement is nowhere near its expected movement, it realizes something is afoot (sorry). The robot then uses its “intuition”—i.e. what it knows about its physical capabilities—to develop a new gait that effectively compensates for the broken leg. Sometimes the new, evolved gait is completely new, with little hops and skips that overcome the injury. The researchers attempt to draw some similarities between their robot’s adaptability algorithm, and how an animal (a human, a dog) adapts to an injury.”

I realize the practical applications of this, because having robots that are in dangerous situations that can adapt quickly and continue working is beneficial, but I, for one, am thoroughly against giving our future robot overlords any abilities that humans don’t have. Do six months of physio therapy like everyone else, you metal monster!


Researchers at Washington State University have been using video games to get computers to teach things to each other. Specifically, Pac Man.

“The virtual robots, nicknamed “student agent” and “teacher agent,” learn from each other as the student agent navigates through a dizzying maze trying to outrun four colorful ghosts all while gobbling up pellets. When the teacher agent detects its disciple is in trouble, it jumps in to give advice.”

Well, at least we know how their military is probably gonna work.


Robots are starting to make bands together.

“…a team at Philadelphia-based KMel Robotics, known for building airborne video recording solutions, turned their robot-making talents to creating a band. The company pre-programmed a six-aircraft ensemble to hover over instruments and strum or strike without any human interaction, other than the team’s initial strike of a “play” button.”



The Navy is making sure their robot overlords will be both able to withstand fire and carry heavy equipment.

“The ultimate Navy Seal may end up being a humanoid robot that can carry heavy equipment, interact with officers and head straight into a face-melting fire without hesitation…The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot, SAFFiR for short, has been in the works for several years as a safety tool for Navy ships. Recently the advanced bot was brought out for a collaborative demonstration with researchers from Virginia Tech and the University of Pennsylvania, according to the lab.”



There are even robots that can “eat” and recycle concrete.

“ERO deconstructs with high-pressure water and sucks and separates the mixture of aggregate, cement and water. It then sends aggregate and filtered cement slurry separately down to the packaging unit to be contained,” Haciomeroglu wrote. ”Clean aggregate is packed into big bags, which are labeled and sent to nearby concrete precast stations for reuse. Water is recycled back into the system.”

And one day it shall do so with our bones.


Have your heard any terrifying robot news recently? Share in the comments and we can discuss the ways we’re one day going to be wiped out horrifically!

Writer, editor, and founding member of Paper Droids. RPG-lover, baby game maker, owned by corgi. Spends way too much time on Twitter @mk_patter. To reach by email:

  • Ariel

    This pleases me.

    A note about the robot that re-learns to walk – on a reread, it sounds like that is what any human/animal does when a leg/foot is damaged – just readjusts gait to compensate. Now, if the robot could self-heal in less than a minute, I’d be a bit more concerned, but at the mo, it’s not doing anything that people/animals don’t. 😉

    And I think the proper response is a little awe and terror mixed in with the cool factor. You’d be an idiot not to; robots usually get out of control because the morons in SF movies did not have the common sense to be concerned in the first place!

    • Megan Patterson

      Yep, that’s indeed how it works, but way faster and more effectively.

  • I’m terrified.