Awesome Robots

Cassie Runs a 5K

Cassie Runs a 5K

A while back, we met a funny-looking robot known as Cassie. Developed by the OSU Dynamic Robotics Laboratory and Agility Robotics, the bipedal robot can walk and run ostrich-style. Her human masters have now figured out a way for Cassie to run a 5K on a single charge. The research could lead to improved efficiency for delivery robots.

Robot Sets Up 100,000 Dominoes

Robot Sets Up 100,000 Dominoes

Setting up dominoes can be time-consuming and requires a steady hand. We’ve seen robots that can stand one domino at a time. Mark Rober and his engineering pals presents DOM – a custom-built robot that can set up 300 dominoes at a time. The robot arm and Hot Wheels track loading system is equally awesome.

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Gold Porcelain Robot

Gold Porcelain Robot
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Seletti’s Gold My Robot adds a bit of wonder to any room. Designers Selab + Alessandro Zambelli created this playful decorative accessory inspired by robot toys from the 1950s and 1960s. But instead of being made out of metal, this robot is made from porcelain with a gleaming golden finish. Measures 11.8″ tall.

Manual Typewriter Typing Robot

Manual Typewriter Typing Robot

If you’ve ever played with a vintage manual typewriter, you know how hard it can be just to hit those mechanical keys with enough force. JBV Creative built a custom robot that uses 3D-printed “fingers” and servo motors to type text and ASCII art on an old Remington Rand Office Riter. Money shot at 15:34.

The Desert

The Desert

After humanity has met its end, what will happen to the machines we leave behind? Michael Dockery’s eerie animated short film imagines just that, as robots roam a desolated Earth, left to their own devices, endlessly downloading old information and destroying their own kind as they search for a purpose.

LEGO Robots Climb a Flagpole

LEGO Robots Climb a Flagpole

Climbing a tall and curved object like a flagpole or a tree isn’t an easy task. Brick Experiment Channel tested out three designs for LEGO robots that perform the task and demonstrates the physics at play when creating a vehicle that can scale vertical and cylindrical objects. We were totally transfixed by the spinny third robot.

Robot Does Magic Tricks

Robot Does Magic Tricks

Penn & Teller, the robots are coming for your jobs. Mario the Maker Magician created this charming cardboard robot that can perform simple magic tricks, like making a foil ball disappear. Automabot’s shades at the end are a nice touch. Watch more robot magic tricks here.

Robot Grocery Warehouse

Robot Grocery Warehouse

Robots are increasingly being used in factories and warehouses, performing the menial and repetitive tasks that humans no longer need to do. Tom Scott takes us inside a UK warehouse filled with robots from the Ocado Group, each working in harmony to select and prep groceries for delivery to customers.

Heineken B.O.T. Robot

Heineken B.O.T. Robot

Not to be confused with the decade-old Heineken Beerbot, the Heineken B.O.T. is basically a robo-butler for transporting cold drinks on hot days. The beer company built this six-wheeled robot that can follow you around like a puppy dog with a cooler full of beer. You can win one on the HeinekenBOT website starting 7.1.2021.

Boston Dynamics: Spot’s On It

Boston Dynamics: Spot’s On It

To celebrate its acquisition by Hyundai, Boston Dynamics shows off its Spot robots once again. Enjoy this precision choreographed dance routine featuring a pack of the robo-dogs dancing to the Korean automaker and BTS collab IONIQ: I’m On It. This time it’s about their arms as much as it is about their legs.

High-Speed Robot, Slow-Mo Video

High-Speed Robot, Slow-Mo Video

Gav from The Slow Mo Guys mounted a fancy high-speed camera to the arm of an agile and precise robot. Combined with a remote triggering mechanism, he was able to capture some unique perspectives on their subject – a colorful fountain made from diet soda, Mentos, and their sponsor MiO’s instant drinks.

The Guitar Hero Robot

The Guitar Hero Robot

We never could play Guitar Hero on Hard or Expert levels. Engineer Nick O’Hara has no such problems, thanks to the robot he built. Jon Bot Jovi uses AI and computer vision tech to detect the notes and timing, then triggers solenoids to push the guitar’s fret buttons and strum bar to perform even the most challenging tracks.

Omni-Directional Ball Robot

Omni-Directional Ball Robot

Inspired by Goodyear’s concept for a ball-shaped tire, engineer James Bruton created a spherical wheel that can roll in any direction. After validating the design, he built a trio of the wheels and attached them to a robot as a testbed for the technology. We’re impressed with the little fella’s agility.

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Cake Decorating Robot

Cake Decorating Robot

Whenever we try to decorate a cake, the frosting comes out an uneven mess. What we need is the Bakon Piston Depositor with the Cake Decorator option. This robotic cake-making machine smoothly applies layers of frosting to a spinning cake, then a second component squirts out perfectly piped frosting flowers.

Making Mora Knives

Making Mora Knives

We’ve seen how individual blacksmiths and blademakers painstakingly handcraft knives one at a time. This factory footage from Sweden’s Morakniv shows us the opposite – how robots and other machines crank out thousands of knives each day. Humans are still involved in the assembly and quality assurance processes.

FPV Robot Lawnmower

FPV Robot Lawnmower

There are a number of legitimate robot lawnmowers on the market today, but none are as quite as exciting as the one that I Did a Thing built for himself. Instead of navigating on its own, this robot features an FPV remote control setup, and it looks terrifying. We cringed every time we saw him walking near it without shoes on.

Disney’s Groot Robot

Disney’s Groot Robot

Engineers at Walt Disney Imagineering have been working on animatronic robots which can walk on their own for a while now. As part of their Project Kiwi initiative, they created a walking version of Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. He needs a safety tether at present but is still an impressive creation.

MowRo RM24 Robot Lawn Mower

The MowRo RM24 keeps your lawn neat and tidy while you relax. It automatically drives around your yard, quietly trimming your grass thanks to its zero-emission battery-powered drivetrain. It automatically stops if it bumps into anything, and works with boundary stakes and wire to keep it on your lawn. Save 14% in The Awesomer Shop.

4-Side LEGO Walker

4-Side LEGO Walker

2in1 Bricking loves to create LEGO machines that can walk or drive. This particular model is designed to amble along the ground no matter which edge it’s placed on. Can you imagine giant robots or vehicles getting around like this?

Flexible Vine Robots

Flexible Vine Robots

Like some other bendy machines, these unconventional robots move with the power of compressed air. Veritasium shows how these inexpensive, inflatable tubes can access places that other robots can’t, and could be used on search-and-rescue missions, or helping to intubate patients. You can even make your own vine robot.

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Robosen Transformers Optimus Prime Robot

Robosen Transformers Optimus Prime Robot

Remember when you had to manually transform your Transformers? That changes today, thanks to Hasbro and Robosen. This impressive 19″ tall robot can automatically convert, and can do it via voice or a smartphone app. The G1 Optimus Prime is loaded with 80 sound effects, and the original voice of the Autobot’s leader.

Eyecam Eyeball Webcam

Eyecam Eyeball Webcam

Saarland University researcher Marc Teyssier created the creepiest webcam we’ve ever seen. The Eyecam uses six servo motors to realistically replicate the movements of a human eyeball, eyelids, and eyebrow, staring down its subject and making sure they are paying attention during Zoom calls.

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robot

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robot

Among its technologies, Festo are experts in robotic biomimicry. In this video, they show off the latest generation of their BionicSwift, a robot that mimics the flight mechanics of a real bird. These artificial swallows can autonomously fly in coordinated flocks, and can pull off tight turns and loops.

Sandwich Assembly Robot

Sandwich Assembly Robot

Mechanical engineer Kuroki Yuto and his collaborators came up with a novel use for a 3D printer mechanism – using the 3-axis machine to manipulate and assemble parts. In this video, they show how the system can be used to put together a sandwich. They used the same technique to assemble a toy car and to fold a shirt.

Chainsaw Robot

Chainsaw Robot

After creating a robot that gives haircuts to humans, Shane from Stuff Made Here has bestowed one of his robots with a far more dangerous tool than a set of clippers. While his chainsaw-wielding robot arm is designed for carving shapes from foam blocks, we could see it taking off an arm if there’s any bug in his programming.

Useless Machine Battle

Useless Machine Battle

A useless machine is a contraption that’s designed to automatically flip its own switch off as soon as you flip it on. Fornax built a pair of 8-switch useless machines, then linked them up to flip each other’s switches, resulting in a perpetual battle for switch-flipping supremacy.

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