Need to take down some infrastructure? Turn to the new F-16, a demolition robot that can easily break down stairwells, concrete slabs and walls. For a full spectrum of destructive power, it uses shears, breakers, grapples, a drop hammer, buckets and a concrete-pulverizing claw.
Marathoners may sometimes seem like robots, with their single-minded focus and obsessive dedication to finishing their goal. Now some actual robots in Japan are gearing up for a marathon of their own.
The research firm Vstone is putting together the world’s first robot marathon, involving 422 laps around a 100-meter track. Imagine this little robo-scurry on a 42-kilometer scale.
In Japan, robot-led weddings, robot factory workers and even squeaky robot pets are all fine and good. But in-home helper bots, which are the main goal of many robotics research projects, are anything but widespread, even in that robo-friendly country. Apparently old people and sick people, even in Japan, still prefer that human touch.
With telepresence robots serving as stand-ins, there’s no reason for sick kids to miss school. Some children may prefer to skip class, of course, but for those with serious immune system disorders, telepresence ‘bots are a lifeline to the outside world.
Will 2011 be the year we finally welcome robots into our lives? We're already well on our way, as the brilliant animators at Next Media Animation show us in this video. And their proof comes straight from the pages of PopSci.
Roombas are cute and everything, but when they annoy you, they don’t respond well to being kicked in the side. Not so with Dust Ball, a new robotic vacuum cleaner concept designed by a Dutch engineer. Inspired by a hamster ball and resembling a pollen grain, Dust Ball can be pushed or kicked in any direction to clean.
Meet DARwIn-OP, America’s newest humanoid robot, unveiled this week at IEEE’s Humanoids 2010 conference. He is 18 inches tall, weighs 6 pounds and is ready to be messed with. It’s OK, he’s an open-source bot.