The robotics engineers at DLR, the German Aerospace Center, have a history of violent behavior with their mechanical creations — earlier this year, we saw them smash a robot's hand with a hammer, and last year we watched brave engineers give a robot a knife and let themselves be stabbed.
Meet iMobot, a new reconfigurable robot that can be linked together like a chain to form larger versions of itself. With four degrees of freedom, it can stand itself up and turn into a tiny camera stand, roll end-over-end like a mini tank tread, or hunch along like an inchworm.
This pancake-flipping robotic arm is definitely one of the more endearing helper 'bots we've seen. After a hand-held lesson from its programmers, it just tries so hard to flip a pancake. And it fails, again and again.
After about 50 attempts, the arm is finally able to perfect its wrist-flipping technique, so the fake metal flapjack flips and lands in the skillet. You almost want to start clapping.
Some monkey business in a Duke University lab suggests we’ll soon be able to move artificial limbs, control robotic soldiers, and communicate across thousands of miles—using nothing but our thoughts.
By Carl ZimmerPosted 02.01.2004 at 1:00 pm 0 Comments
Something incredible is happening in a lab at Duke University’s Center for Neuroengineering—though, at first, it’s hard to see just what it is. A robot arm swings from side to side, eerily lifelike, as if it were trying to snatch invisible flies out of the air. It pivots around and straightens as it extends its mechanical hand. The hand clamp shuts and squeezes for a few seconds, then relaxes its grip and pulls back to shoot out again in a new direction.