This Japanese trashbot is custom-built with a fairly complex-looking control board, power system and operating code. Three wheels at the base have 360 degrees of motion, so the robot can spin in any direction.
The trashcan bot syncs to a Kinect mounted to the wall, which monitors the environment. It knows exactly where to roll and when to stop so it can catch whatever you throw at it.
Flying robots are adept aviators, flipping through small openings, building structures and playing tennis. But what goes up must come down, and sometimes it’s not exactly as planned. A new flying robot can survive a crash, picking itself back up and taking flight again.
The uncanny valley appears pretty frequently in these pages, at least in presentation — like the disembodied baby head above, for instance, or the wonderfully horrible Telenoid. These robots and others represent the gulf in our robot affinity that gapes open when machines approach a certain level of human likeness.
Same old jogging routine got you bored? Can’t move your leaden legs faster than a 15-minute mile? Turn into a juggernaut with Joggobot, a hovercraft that will fly above your head and motivate you to run faster.
Most robots are designed to do a couple specific things, which is one reason why the adaptability requirements in DARPA’s robotics challenge will be so interesting. But not everyone has the funds or know-how to build a robot that can do anything.
DARPA is poised to launch a new Grand Challenge for a humanoid robot, according to robotics insiders — and the result could be a souped-up metal soldier running alongside BigDog, driving an ATV, unlocking doors and clearing a path to safety for its human counterparts. There’s no official agency announcement yet, but robotics companies heard all about it at a recent industry day.
The robots I've personally used are just vacuum cleaners and toys, but even so, these creations took their designers years and countless sums of money to build. But a new project aims to let anyone design and create a custom automaton from the comfort of home.
Printable Programmable Machines is a scheme to democratize robot manufacturing. You wouldn’t need to be a CAD expert, a tinkerer or a programmer — you could just fiddle with a computer a little bit, maybe sketch something out, and automated software would design your concept and prepare it for creation.
This little robot may not look like much, but its standing jump two stories high is one of the most incredible robotic feats I have ever seen. Boston Dynamics, creator of the BigDog, Petman and other awesome military robots, is sending it off for testing by the Army. Click past the jump to see video of it in action.
During the dark sports month of February, when there’s nothing to watch but mid-season NBA games, sometimes I think about the NFL draft. With so many long months to go before the NFL returns, it’s the only football-related thing I have, okay? But now I can look at this — some Japanese robots playing football!
Though he was destined for manual labor, countless days spent toiling in the factory could not dampen this robot's dream. He was built to examine how objects reflect light, but he never failed to see the beauty in the patterns of light bouncing off a mundane object, say a child's backpack. He always wanted to be an artist, he just needed the chance!
Now the robot has been reassigned, fulfilling his ambitions to make awkwardly flabby line drawings of his human masters.
A technique inspired by pop-up books could enable quicker production of tiny robots and other electrical devices, according to Harvard engineers. Usually, building a micro aerial vehicle — or any other robot — requires a painstaking assembly process, with each little wing or sensor folded and machined just so. Now it can come together in a single fold.
Our favorite grippy robot fist, the balloon filled with coffee grounds, has graduated from grabbing to throwing. Its developers at Cornell University and the University of Chicago have taught it how to hurl objects, from mini basketballs to darts.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.