Robots With Superhuman Strength Are Going to Kill Us All Soon

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Nice knowing you all! Photo: Schaft

As you gather round the hearth with your loved ones this Christmas, try not to dwell on the following: Berkeley researchers have just discovered that a super-material called vanadium dioxide can be used to make artificial muscles that are 1,000 times more powerful than human muscles. According to the press release accompanying the discovery, a robot muscle made out of vanadium dioxide would be "able to catapult objects 50 times heavier than itself over a distance five times its length within 60 milliseconds — faster than the blink of an eye."

Eventually, vanadium dioxide muscles might find their way into robots like the one (pictured above) that just won a Pentagon-sponsored competition by driving a car, opening a door, and climbing a ladder, among other humanoid tasks. So finish your eggnog, open the presents, sing a carol or two, then pack the car and head for the hills.