Robots falling: permission to have hard days

Robots falling: permission to have hard days

Robots falling: permission to have hard days 150 150 Lauren Ellerman

We all have those days, days when everything seems hard.  For our medical malpractice clients, who are facing their own serious injuries or the death of a family member, those days come more often.  Sometimes a little perspective goes a long way.  So when I heard about the epic failures of the most advanced robots doing the simplest things, I knew I wanted to write about them.


The DARPA Robotics Challenge is a competition designed to compare the world’s most advanced robots as they navigate a difficult obstacle course.  The 2015 DRC Finals took place last weekend.  After the dust settled, an entertaining video compilation of the robots’ failures emerged.  Surprisingly, at least to me, the things they struggled with were things many of us take for granted: walking, turning door knobs, climbing stairs.


Image: DARPA


What did the robots’ failures tell me?  That even the best minds putting in countless hours of research, design, and programming turn out robots that have those days when the easy things seem hard.


If these robots – that are designed specifically to tackle a difficult obstacle course – still fall, we certainly need to give ourselves permission to have bad days, too.  As Vince Lombardi said, “The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.”


And, indeed, there is no doubt the DRC competitors are already busy working to get their robots ready for the next competition.


About the author

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at

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