Project Hexapod, based in Somerville, MA (just outside Cambridge), just passed their requested $65,000 funding on Kickstarter, which is great, because Project Hexapod is building a 4,000-pound, 18-foot-wide, two-seat rideable six-legged robot. Its name will be Stompy. We love this project.
Bad news for long-term receptionists: DARPA's ARM (Autonomous Robotic Manipulation) robot can perform a whopping 18 different reception-ready tasks, from stapling to answering the phone to...turning on a lamp? Grasping things? Also it can't speak, or redirect calls, really, but it can drill a hole in a piece of wood, which I'm not entirely sure I can do, so it's an easy shoo-in for our incredibly prestigious Robot of the Week award. Congratulations! Watch the video after the jump.
A new household servant robot made by the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial ‘bots can help people with disabilities or limited mobility move things around. It’s controlled via Kinect, with the robot aping the Kinect user’s body gestures.
San Francisco-based Meka Robotics wants to make robots that are human-safe and human-scale, but their new S2 humanoid head is more anime than animal. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Mechanically, it's a marvel: seven degrees of freedom, zero-backlash gearing in the neck, high-res cameras in each eye, and eyelids that move with the fluidity of the real thing.
The proud roboticists at Boston Dynamics compiled a nice new video featuring the greatest highlights from the life and times of BigDog, to whom PopSci first introduced you five years ago. From robot pup playtime to a beach vacation in Thailand, BigDog has had plenty of adventures.
A new base-jumping robot can climb vertical walls, flip open a parachute and jump off, parasailing to the ground while capturing video of the trip. It’s the first compact robot that can both climb and fly, two characteristics that will serve it well when the robots take over the world and need to penetrate humanity’s defenses.
The fastest human butchers can fully debone about 150 chickens per hour. That's a lot of chickens! But the new Mayekawa Automatic Chicken Deboner easily bests it, masterfully breaking down a whopping 1,500 chickens in the same amount of time--which, if our math is correct, is ten times faster than a flesh-and-blood butcher.
Robots are cool because they’re robots. But a robot is ice cold when it’s also a beer. Ron Tajima has created exactly this: a robot surreptitiously disguised as a beer. The only thing we can see wrong with this clever design is that there isn’t actually any beer inside.