Caustic Soda, robot fighters! We pit our powerful podcasting techniques against robotic threats like the biomass consuming EATR, firearm-wielding TALON and SWORDS, the frighteningly named Multiple Kill Vehicle and iRobot’s “Warrior” model. Also: Robots hitting people FOR SCIENCE, quadrocopters, The Terminator, Cylons, replicants, Westworld and many more robotic threats!

Music: Big Robot Dinosaur by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets

This episode sponsored by Delta Green: Denied to the Enemy!

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Showing 51 comments
  • Gareth

    Not quite killer robots, but robots in hospitals? Does anyone else think it’s a little careless to show robots how easily killed we are?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10344849

  • Gareth

    Not quite killer robots, but robots in hospitals? Does anyone else think it’s a little careless to show robots how easily killed we are?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10344849

  • castewar

    The white in the first image, the graph, is transparent, making it impossible to read in the photoviewer;

    For those that want to read it…
    /wp-content/uploads/2011/02/uncanny-valley.png

  • banks!

    I’m sure this got cut from the final version (I blame robots) but cinema is rife with killer robots that didn’t get a mention.

    I grew up watching so many B-movies about killer robots, I don’t even know where to begin. Gort from The Day The Earth Stood Still. Hector from Saturn 3. Any robot in Screamers. The computer that impregnates a woman in Demon Seed (who also killed so I’m still on topic with that one). God knows how many episodes of Star Trek had killer robots. Heck, how about Mechagodzilla who started his giant robot dinosaur career attacking Tokyo and killing thousands.

    In the meantime, if you want to track our imminent demise at the hands (claws, tentacles, etc) of our steely oppressors, you’ll want to check this site out…

    http://www.killerrobots.net/

    • castewar

      I tried to sell them on Saturn 3, but they dismissed Hector as technically being a cyborg.

      But Runaway totally should have been mentioned, if only for the Vancouver connection.

      PS sweet link. Must… ignore… work to…. do!

  • banks!

    I’m sure this got cut from the final version (I blame robots) but cinema is rife with killer robots that didn’t get a mention.

    I grew up watching so many B-movies about killer robots, I don’t even know where to begin. Gort from The Day The Earth Stood Still. Hector from Saturn 3. Any robot in Screamers. The computer that impregnates a woman in Demon Seed (who also killed so I’m still on topic with that one). God knows how many episodes of Star Trek had killer robots. Heck, how about Mechagodzilla who started his giant robot dinosaur career attacking Tokyo and killing thousands.

    In the meantime, if you want to track our imminent demise at the hands (claws, tentacles, etc) of our steely oppressors, you’ll want to check this site out…

    http://www.killerrobots.net/

    • banks!

      OH I forgot Runaway! How could I have forgotten Runaway?

      Tom Selleck! Gene Simmons! KIRSTIE ALLIE! Filmed in VANCOUVER!

      GENIUS!

    • castewar

      I tried to sell them on Saturn 3, but they dismissed Hector as technically being a cyborg.

      But Runaway totally should have been mentioned, if only for the Vancouver connection.

      PS sweet link. Must… ignore… work to…. do!

  • MissionBrown

    Hey, I think you gave Sam Worthington a bad rap.

    Go check out “Getting Square”, it’s an Aussie heist film.
    One of the better films to come out of our prison island.

    You forgot the killer robots from “The Chopping Mall”.

    “Eight teenagers are trapped after hours in a high tech shopping mall and pursued by three murderous security robots out of control. ” – IMDB

    How bad can it be?
    Switch it off and watch infomercials, that’s how bad!

  • castewar

    6:30 Toren, that is the single weirdest description of motion-capture ever. I blame myself…

    • Jessica

      Yeah yeah, i agree, that description is misleading. Motion capture is where they stick you in a special suit (with tracker balls all over it) and have a computer track the position of each ball and record that data. then the tracked data is used to animate a cg character rig. It looks more “fake” because we’re used to the squash and stretch of key-frame animation, so many many companies use mocap as a first pass and then key frame/clean-up the animation from there.

      oh <3 the pod cast, this is the first time i had anything to say.

  • castewar

    6:30 Toren, that is the single weirdest description of motion-capture ever. I blame myself…

    • Jessica

      Yeah yeah, i agree, that description is misleading. Motion capture is where they stick you in a special suit (with tracker balls all over it) and have a computer track the position of each ball and record that data. then the tracked data is used to animate a cg character rig. It looks more “fake” because we’re used to the squash and stretch of key-frame animation, so many many companies use mocap as a first pass and then key frame/clean-up the animation from there.

      oh <3 the pod cast, this is the first time i had anything to say.

      • Toren

        I was talking about rotoscoping!
        Wasn’t I?

  • Phoenix

    I dunno if it strictly classifies as a killer robot (it doesn’t come standard with grenade launchers, as far as I know), but the Boston Dynamics BigDog is pretty effin’ scary: http://bigdogrobotvideos.com/ The official explanation is that it’s supposed to function as a robotic ‘pack mule’, but there has also been a fair amount of theorizing that it could also be used to run down fugitives (with some speed modifications). Anyway, enjoy!

    • She Fights Like A Girl

      I love Big Dog (and the little brother), but my favorite thing about it is the visceral reaction people have to the robot being kicked (to show its stability). “*gasp!* He just KICKED that poor… oh, uh, mechanical… thing.”

    • curtis

      When i first saw it, i was reminded of the Invid’s Robot minions the Cougars (aka Hellcat) from Robotech the Sentinels

  • castewar

    I think the Big Dog is a good example of Joe’s Uncanny Valley – when that thing gets shoved or slips on the ice, the way it moves to correct is scary organic looking. Always creeps me out.

  • castewar

    I think the Big Dog is a good example of Joe’s Uncanny Valley – when that thing gets shoved or slips on the ice, the way it moves to correct is scary organic looking. Always creeps me out.

    • Phoenix

      @castewar- Yeah, I agree- there’s nothing endearing about what looks like a skeletal motorized dog; not only does the self-correction thing kinda weird me out, the fact that it jogs in a pretty realistic way gets right under my skin, too.
      The follow-up project to BigDog is damned creepy-looking as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legged_Squad_Support_System

  • banks!

    Video: New Demolition Robot Rips Through Walls, Snips Rebar and Turns Concrete Into Dust

    http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-02/video-new-demolition-robot-rips-through-walls-snips-rebar-and-turns-concrete-dust

  • She Fights Like A Girl

    By the way, I competed in Battlebots, and my fighting ‘bot was not a rolling ramp. Neither was I in love with her. IT! I MEAN IT!

    • Generaleesimo

      It wasn’t a ramp or a spinning blade? How did you feel once it had been completely demolished?

      • She Fights Like A Girl

        She were a betoothed drum. And as far as I know, she’s still out there battling somewhere. (No kids; had to give up *something* in the divorce.)

  • Deinces

    1000 Ways to Die: Bot-ily Harm.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU1BZyxYkfo

  • Fatrick

    One of my favourite killer robot stories is the Philip K. Dick story “Second Variety”, which was made into a really bad movie called “Screamers”.

    Robots made to kill commies in the future end up building their own robots to do their job better, then they start building robots that look like people, and start killing all humans.

    The movie is bad, but the book is pretty good.

    • Toren Atkinson

      I both read that short story and saw the movie.

  • MissionBrown
  • MissionBrown
  • Sirik

    It’s not ‘killer’ by any means, but I admire it’s moxie.

    • Sirik

      I take it back. They seem to be evolving.

  • curtis

    Along the lines of how Roomba also makes kill bots, John De Lancie from Star Trek TNG starred in a B movie ‘Evolver’ about a prototype military robot that got repurposed as toy. “Want to play?”

    Also on the awesome DC cartoon Young Justice when they fight Prof Ivo and his Amazo robot, Ivo also has the quite annoying servitor robots called M.O.N.Q.I.s (Mobile Optimal Neural Quotient Infiltrators) that look like robot monkeys with jet packs and make laughing noises. He even laments ‘oh, and after all the trouble i went through finding an acronym for monkey…’

  • Eric

    Shocked and dismayed that you left out these killer robots from your pop culture discussion:

    1. Call-Me-Kenneth leads the robot rebellion in Mega-City One but is eventually defeated by Judge Dredd (2000 AD progs 10-17)

    2. The “Robots of Death” run amok on a sandminer but are outwitted by Dr Who (season 14)

  • Eric

    Shocked and dismayed that you left out these killer robots from your pop culture discussion:

    1. Call-Me-Kenneth leads the robot rebellion in Mega-City One but is eventually defeated by Judge Dredd (2000 AD progs 10-17)

    2. The “Robots of Death” run amok on a sandminer but are outwitted by Dr Who (season 14)

  • Some Bitch

    You can blame Bugs Bunny for the shift in meaning for the word ‘nimrod’. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nimrod#Idiom

  • Arlen Woods

    Pop Culture- In the movie Red Planet there was a dog-like robot that got whacked out and tried to kill people.

  • Arlen Woods

    Pop Culture- In the movie Red Planet there was a dog-like robot that got whacked out and tried to kill people.

  • shiftwire

    you guys forgot GLaDOS from Portal, she killed all of the scientists and who knows how many test subjects…

  • Derek Weber

    There are some interesting new drones on the market, being tested around the corner from me (well, with a 15,000km range, just about anywhere this side of the planet is “around the corner from me”):

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-06/taranis-drone-uk-mod-bae-systems-woomera-south-australia/5242636

  • Derek Weber

    There are some interesting new drones on the market, being tested around the corner from me (well, with a 15,000km range, just about anywhere this side of the planet is “around the corner from me”):

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-06/taranis-drone-uk-mod-bae-systems-woomera-south-australia/5242636

  • Robert

    1 Thing about the Autobots killing the Decepticons, ya maybe seemed heartless that Autobots kill er destroy the Decepticons, but if say ur ppl were nearly wiped out do to some other species and say that other species still has it out for the remaining of ur species. (They dont want to talk just destroy u). What would u do or be like? I for one would be a lot like Optimus Prime. Dont forget now he does want to save humanity as well, many a times he has put his life in danger to rescue a human. “Excuse poor grammar at work got to do fast and this is just my thoughts.”

    • Joe

      Executing a defeated and helpless foe begging for mercy isn’t “heartless”, it’s a war crime.

      And remember, that Decepticon wasn’t doing anything wrong. He was just hiding out, and then running. And then hunted down, defeated, begged for mercy, and then shot in the face by the Autobot version of Captain America. The noble, calm leader of the Autobots. Remember the line “Easy, Ironhide.” from the cartoons? That line showcased the difference between the hotheaded warrior and their leader.

      Michael Bay shit on all that and made Optimus a savage, murderous asshole, though I’m sure that tool was trying to make him a “badass”.

      It doesn’t matter that he’s put his life on the line. What matters is he chased down an opponent who was currently doing nothing wrong, defeated him in combat handily, and when they begged for mercy he executed them. This wasn’t the heat of battle, there was no danger. The opponent was defeated, and there was no great rush to get anywhere else, except Bay’s rush to get to the next scene.

      The movie Optimus Prime has no mercy, and that makes him more a villain than a hero.

      More reasons to love the Captain America movies: They made a total badass with a strong moral center. “I don’t want to kill anyone. I don’t like bullies; I don’t care where they’re from.” <3

  • Derek Weber

    Doomed! We’re doomed, I say! Planet of the Robot Apes, here we come!

    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/30/tech/mci-robochimp/index.html

    Cool idea for moon exploration though.

  • Derek Weber

    Doomed! We’re doomed, I say! Planet of the Robot Apes, here we come!

    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/30/tech/mci-robochimp/index.html

    Cool idea for moon exploration though.