back to article Oregon profs plan giant robotic space cockroach warriors

Human traitors in Oregon are planning the construction of fearsome robot cockroaches physically superior to mankind. “Cockroaches are incredible," says John Schmitt, a prof at Oregon State uni. "They can run fast, turn on a dime, move easily over rough terrain, and react to perturbations faster than a nerve impulse can travel …


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  1. Colin Millar

    Just in time

    With that asteroid due to smash into us in a few years time its only going to be the roaches that are left.

    Can I order one in British Racing Green with electrically heated seats, ipod/mp3 input to the stereo and heated rear windscreen?

    BTW - is it Hydrogen or Li-ion?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      ...but it'll stop working whenever it rains and use a quart of oil every five miles.

  2. Merchman

    Kent Brockman

    Well I for one welcome our giant, robotic, unthinking cockroach overlords!

  3. blackworx

    Bimimetics eh?

    I've heard of it.

  4. Eddy Ito

    Can't speak of cockroaches

    But guinea-fowl are down right delicious! Pass the (muscovy) duck sauce, please. So, how long will it take to roast a robot, or is that the other way round?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      don't tell the robotic versions

      but the fleshy ones taste fishy or at least drunken minds determined it as a fishy taste. Peel the shell off first!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Thank goodness! I can't wait until Skynet or whatever machine regime wipes all you useless meat-sticks off the planet. I'll be OK, because I work in IT.

  6. Mr Young

    Gun totting giant robot cockroach?

    Now I really am scared! Actually, nah - just shoot the fucker. Bullet size tbd.

  7. Paul McClure
    IT Angle


    I thought the point of walking on two legs was that it freed up the hands for tool use ... shooting stuff. It's well established that four legs is faster than two and ignoring scale, big jump, 6 or 8 is faster still.

  8. DarkElfa


    Why didn't Skynet think this one up? I call Epic Fail on Skynet's behalf.

  9. DJV Silver badge

    I for one...

    I for one welc...

    ... hey, stop eating my leg!

  10. Anonymous John

    Old Year Resolution

    I'm not going to make any more Overlord comments until next year.

    No, really. I'm not.

    Oh, soddit!

    I for one welcome our new robotic cockroach overlords.

  11. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    Kristanna Loken > cockroach.

    Liquid metal ftw.


  12. Mr Pedantic

    Gun counting giant robot cockroach, indeed!

    @Mr Young: I would be scared of a gun counting giant robot cockroach too. Actually, come to think of it, I wouldn't. I can just imagine a rather camp robot cockroach with an inferiority complex, scuttling around counting its array of armaments and comparing its firepower to the big cock roaches. It would forever be accumulating more firepower in a bid to out-count the other robots, and wouldn't have time to shoot any humans.

  13. Kanhef

    Saw something like this

    quite a while ago. The idea is simple: rather than deliberately placing every footstep, the legs just spin mindlessly. This is surprisingly effective at getting over rough terrain. Some biomimetic ideas aren't useful (e.g., flapping wings), but this one definitely is.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What gives - it isn't April 1st?

    I'd be damn careful about this if I were you. Gort ain't going to be very pleased and he'll be along shortly with his mate Klaatu ('The Day The Earth Stood Still' if you need a reminder).

    Better make damn sure these vermin understand the equivalent of 'Klaatu barada nikto' because once they start infesting space they'll probably forget where they originated from and be back to conquer us.

    However if we could borrow one of these on account and arrange for it to operate only in Downing Street that's okay by me. There are other vermin it could take care of and help mankind.

    Paris because the word 'conquer' was used above.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Snake Oil Scientists

    ..of the Marvin Minsky type. Used Car salesmen are more trustworthy.

  16. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Thumb Down


    So a purpose built machine is better at a single task than its creator? Who'd have thought? Hey, perhaps we could imagine a race of superbeings who deliberately build special purpose machines for every task. They'd be unstoppable! Give them a few centuries to perfect their craft and the whole planet would be theirs for the taking.

    Though perhaps not, if one of them can be impressed by the stability of a low, flat plate (running cockroach) and still get to be a professor.

    1. Brutus


      I'm sorry, but what exactly are you talking about? I'm fairly sure that cockroaches aren't purpose built. Or are you an Intelligent Design follower.

  17. heyrick Silver badge

    Um, guys... giant warrior bugs?!?

    I'm surprised nobody has pointed out "Starship Troopers" yet.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very spiffy, very new.

    I recall reading about 20 cm long robots much like described here in about 1990 or so. But of course those actually worked and therefore weren't interesting enough to fund. 2-metre-high behemoths high on computing power and still managing only one step every half hour provided level ground are of course much more worthy of fat government grants.

  19. VeganVegan

    I for one..

    I for one will comestibilize our new guinea hen over lunch.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Stargate SG-1

    Replicators spring to mind

  21. Mr Young

    @Mr Pedantic

    Thank you Mr Pedantic. Now, my roboroach actually has 7 guns and I bet he's bigger than yours! And, yes, he does count his guns all the time?! It would appear he has been traumatised by the 23rd Century Space Wars and the time travel also seems to have done something weird to his hybrid serial killer/shark AI unit as well. Other than that he's ok, hic...

  22. Doug Glass

    Generation 1 AI Bolo

  23. Youngdog

    Don't panic yet mankind!

    While bullets and obstacles may pose no threat to the robo-roach I am sure they will crap their mechanised pants when we unleash their nemesis - a 10-metre long, fully armoured, combat ready AI controlled robotic slipper!

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