NASA built a terrifying monkey robot that might give you nightmares

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

DARPA's annual robotics challenge starts tomorrow, and already, we're looking forward to glimpsing our future overlords — including the "RoboSimian," a monkey-like quadruped that will probably not kill you if you ask it nicely.

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

The RoboSimian, which was built by a team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is actually a very benevolent robot monkey. It was designed to go into disaster zones where humans can't safely go — places like the Fukushima nuclear reactor — and manipulate tools and objects with its multi-jointed limbs. The RoboSimian's limbs, its creators explain in this YouTube video, have as much torque as a Ford F-150 truck. And unlike human emergency workers, they're not susceptible to radiation exposure and other hazards of rescue work.

If the RoboSimian worked, it could be a huge benefit to first-response teams and disaster relief agencies. So as you go to sleep tonight, just try to imagine the RoboSimian running into a burning building to save you, rather than picking you up and slowly crushing you in its truck-strength arms.