Flying drones

1. “Eagle” drone: a quadrotor with a 3-D printed claw that scoops up objects the way an eagle grasps prey
2. Ryan Firebee: the grandpa of the drone world; did recon during Vietnam and was one of the first drones used widely
3. A160 Hummingbird: an unmanned helo that, when combined with the Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System, is able to collect 80 years’ worth of HD video daily
4. DJI Phantom: a toy quadcopter that goes fast, far, and really, really high
5. NanoQuad: a tiny quadrotor for conducting research
6. “Dead Cat” drone: a taxidermied cat-turned-quadcopter (really)
7. MQ-1 Predator: probably the most iconic drone; can be armed, carries out drone strikes
8. AirBurr: a seemingly dumb drone that develops 3-D maps of interior spaces by crashing into walls
9. Black Hornet Nano: a palm-sized, camera-equipped drone that can scope out snipers and spy around corners
10. RQ-11 Raven: a small, remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle that sees around corners and spies for troops; might be the most widely used drone in the U.S. military
11. Robot Dragonfly: a spy drone that fits in your palm and flies like an insect; raised more than $1 million on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo
12. Parrot AR.Drone 2.0: a smartphone or tablet-controlled recreational quadcopter that can fly as high as 164 feet
13. X-47B: the world’s first autonomous warplane
14. Incredible HLQ: a rescue quadcopter designed to fly autonomously and to haul up to 50 pounds
15. RQ-4 Global Hawk: a 32,000-pound, $104 million military behemoth that can fly for more than a day at a time and reaches altitudes of up to 60,000 feet; takes photos and tracks targets
16. Phantom Eye: Boeing’s hydrogen-powered spy plane

Land robots

1. Simon: a sweet-faced robot that can tell when you’re ignoring him, and waves to capture your attention
2. RoboRoach: a mind-controlled insect that scurries and stops on command
3. PR2: an open-source robotics platform that can be programmed to read, bake cookies, fetch beer, and even scoop poop
4. Telenoid R1: a tadpole-shaped telepresence robot that is possibly the creepiest thing ever made, ever
5. CanBot: a robot that masquerades as a can of beer
6. Nao: A French robot that can be programmed to dance in unison with other Nao robots (cute video here!)
7. Petman: a bipedal robot that simulates the walking motion of human beings; can also exercise on a treadmill
8. BigDog: DARPA’s four-legged robot designed to navigate tough terrain, carry big loads, and climb up hills like a pack mule
9. Cheetah: a four-legged robot that runs faster than Usain Bolt
10. Sand Flea: a recon robot that can jump up to 26 feet
11. Bike-riding robot: a robot that rides a fixed-gear bike
12. Pancake-flipping robot: a robotic arm that is exactly what it sounds like
13. Geminoid DK: an eerily realistic android modeled off of an associate professor at Denmark’s Aalborg University
14. HRP2: a helper robot that does your dishes
15. WR-3: a robotic rat designed to terrorize real rats
16. CHARLI-L: America’s first true humanoid robot
*Strikethrough connotes eliminated contenders