This Robot Can Walk on a Tightrope

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If you are a robot lover who hopes to have a mechanical friend that could save your life someday, we’ve got great news. On the other hand, if you’re afraid of a hostile robot takeover, for you the news isn’t so great.

Scientists in Japan have built a small humanoid robot that can walk on a tightrope, balancing itself by swinging its arms. Although, it’s really more like sliding than walking. Anyway, the good news is that one day your friend might be able to rescue you from danger, if you happen to find yourself stuck somewhere only reachable by tightrope.

Of course, if you’re one of those people who keeps a written copy of Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics just in case you need to issue a warning to an overly aggressive vacuum cleaner, this is the time to press the panic button. “And I thought making my house only accessible with tightropes would save me from the robot uprising,” wrote a worried user in the comment thread.

The robot in the video is likely controlled remotely — it doesn’t balance itself — by the researchers. It’s not completely clear whether that’s the case since the Google translation of the Japanese page isn’t entirely accurate.

Regardless, this is still a pretty amazing feat. The only problem is that the robot doesn’t move very quickly — it takes it three minutes to slide over a short rope. So if you need help from your robo-buddy, you’ll have to be patient. If you’re chased by one of these Terminators, worry not, you’ll have plenty of time to scoot out of its way.

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