Hang On for Your Life! (Forget Your Lunch)Cross a robot with virtual reality, and What do you get? A thrill ride Guaranteed to blow your mind
By Jill DavisPosted 05.04.2005 at 9:55 pm 0 Comments
You are dangling like bait at the end of a 22-foot-long robotic arm, and it looks and feels exactly like you're zooming through space. It's tempting to gaze at distant planets, except that an asteroid as big as a house is hurtling toward you. Just before impact, you blast it with a phaser cannon while executing a series of buttery barrel rolls to avoid the debris. The asteroid bits pelt your ship, rattling you to the marrow. Then, without warning, you're sucked through the blackness of a wormholeback into reality.
The key to the thrill ride of the future is a robotic arm that replaces the traditional roller-coaster car. British engineer Gino De-Gol adapted the Kuka KR 500, a 5,000-pound aluminum robotic arm, by attaching a passenger seat to the free end. The arm has six joints that allow it to articulate acrobatics as wild as a programmer can dream up. To make his RoboCoaster a reality, De-Gol needs to build a track that can handle the cantilevered load of the KR 500. Here´s a video of the arm in action: