THE BEST Robots

Slagwerk-101 Robot Drum Machine

Slagwerk-101 Robot Drum Machine

Designer and maker Love Hultén is best known for his retro-inspired video game and computer builds. But this one is quite different – an electromechanical drum machine that plays rhythms using a MIDI sequencer. Each of its components is modular, so it can be reconfigured to create unique audio sculptures.

Rockubot Sterilizing Robot

This robotic gadget uses an array of sensors to drive itself across various household surfaces, exposing them to powerful UV-C light, which can destroy up to 99.99% of bacteria and other germs, while ultrasonic waves can get rid of mites. It can even drive across your bed or under sheets. Save 26% in The Awesomer Shop.

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Inflatable Soft Robot

Inflatable Soft Robot

Engineers from Stanford University have been working on an unusual design for a robot that uses inflatable tubes for its body. It can move about and change shapes by squeezing on its air bladders, and can pack up small when not in use. It’s like the more evolved cousin of the wacky waving tube guy.

Butt-cleaning Robot

Butt-cleaning Robot

With hoarding surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been quite the run on toilet paper here in the U.S. While add-on bidet toilet seats are always an option, Mike of Useless Duck Company thinks he’s got a more thorough solution – though his approach might be just a little more painful. Kids, don’t try this at home.

The First Westworld

The First Westworld

(PG-13: Language) Westworld just returned for its third season, and is off to a typically cryptic start. But 43 years before HBO’s hit sci-fi drama appeared, there was a movie version of Michael Crichton’s dystopian story. While it was pretty creepy in its day, and had some promising ideas, Mr. Sunday Movies is here to laugh at its many flaws.

Robot Dinosaur Factory

Robot Dinosaur Factory

Creature Technology creates incredible large-size animatronics for museums, theme parks, live shows, and other attractions. Bloomberg takes us inside the factory where they make giant mechanical bears, gorillas, and imposing life-size dinosaurs.

The Octo-Bouncer

The Octo-Bouncer

Electron Dust shows off a nifty machine that can bounce a ping pong ball, while keeping it balanced and centered on its moving platform. It uses combination of open-source image processing software and Arduino-controlled stepper motors to work its magic. More build details here.

0% Food

0% Food

This weird and wonderful very short film attempts to answer the question “what kind of food would androids consume, if they needed to eat?” Apparently, the answer seems to be something very colorful and strangely textured. Directed and animated by Lukas Vojir, with music and sound by Resonate for XK Studio.

LEGO Robot GBC Module

LEGO Robot GBC Module

We’re surprised that LEGO machine expert JK Brickworks has never built a Great Ball Contraption module before, but his first one definitely lives up to his standards. Watch as four tiny LEGO robots work along an assembly line, each passing a ball to the next to move it down the line. It also appears to work as a hypnosis device.

Engineering Living Robots

Engineering Living Robots

Researchers from The University of Vermont and Tufts University have created tiny “xenobots,” which use living cells manipulated to perform tasks. AI algorithms guided the microsurgery used to create these organic machines which could someday clean microplastics from oceans, or repair organs in our bodies.

Matt and Mantis

Matt and Mantis

Guinness World Records introduces us to animatronics and robotics expert Matt Denton, and his prize-winning walking robot, Mantis. This gigantic, diesel-powered hexapod weighs in at nearly 4200 pounds, and can stomp around while an operator rides in its mid-section. Matt also happens to be the co-creator of BB-8.

Adam Savage’s Spot Robot

Adam Savage’s Spot Robot

In December 2019, Adam Savage unwrapped one of the coolest Christmas gifts ever – one of Boston Dynamics‘ four-legged Spot robots. He then took it out for its first walk to learn just how good it is at walking on challenging terrain. Adam and the crew at Tested plan on putting Spot through its paces over the next year.

Making an Animatronic Elmo

Making an Animatronic Elmo

James Bruton is always making cool and amazing things. His latest build is a version of Tickle-Me Elmo that can actually move and walk around thanks to an array of nine servo motors and a wheeled robot that pushes it along. The design was inspired by that creepy teddy bear in the Spielberg movie A.I. Part one here.

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The Bolt Connection

The Bolt Connection

A robot takes part in a heist that goes wrong, and ends up in possession of a prize that makes it feel alive. But once it gets a taste for this sensation, it does whatever is necessary to hold onto that precious lifeforce. This graduation film by students of Rubika Valenciennes is simply fantastic on every level.

Robosen T9 Transforming Robot

Robosen T9 Transforming Robot

This pricey robot toy uses 22 programmable servo motors and joints to change from a mech into a vehicle, just like a Transformer. It can dance, pose, speak, walk, and drive like a car too. It’s fully-programmable via an app, and also supports voice commands.

Animatronic Mimir Head

Animatronic Mimir Head

If you’ve played God of War on the PS4, you’re probably familiar with Mimir, the disembodied head that helps guide Kratos and Atreus on their missions. Bar-El Studio created this animatronic replica of the egotistical character, complete with light-up mechanical eyes, and speech samples from the game.

Samsung Bot Chef

Samsung Bot Chef

Among the rows of giant televisions and folding computers at CES 2020, Samsung turned up with something we’ve been dreaming of since we were kids – a robotic assistant for your kitchen. The lightweight robot arms attach to the bottom of cabinets, and can download recipes to help with meal prep and assembly.

The Flying Roomba

The Flying Roomba

One of the big problems with Roombas and other robot vacuum cleaners is that they can’t go up or down stairs. Leave it to builder Peter Sripol and his pals to come up with a solution. They attached three ducted fans to a cheap Roomba knock-off, so it can fly like a drone between floors.

Probe Lens Robot

Probe Lens Robot

With builds like this and this, maker Giaco Whatever isn’t exactly known for his subtlety. So when he wanted to shoot a promo video for an upcoming Kickstarter campaign, he not only busted out one of those crazy Laowa probe lenses, but he fabricated a camera mount for an industrial robot to give it motion control.

Robots Make an SUV Frame

Robots Make an SUV Frame

While humans are still very much a part of assembling vehicles, robots are often used for the heavy lifting and dangerous tasks like painting and welding. Watch in awe as an army of 45 KUKA robots work in harmony at MAGNA Presstec to create frames for the Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV.

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Gluon Desktop Robotic Arm

Gluon Desktop Robotic Arm

Innfos‘ modular desktop robot is designed for scientists and hobbyists alike. Configurable with up to six axes, this robotic arm has extremely dexterous and smooth actuators can be used can be used to pick up objects up to 1kg (2.2lb), hold machining tools, or to perform other precision tasks.

3D Printed Soft Robots

3D Printed Soft Robots

With their high-tech 3D printer that can print up to 8 different materials with a single nozzle, engineers from Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS are showing how they can create tiny soft robots which use a mix of hard and flexible substances. By introducing a vacuum into its chambers, it’s able to walk without motors.

Baymax Takes a Ride

Baymax Takes a Ride

Engineers from Canada’s Laval University Robotics Laboratory show off their motion simulator robot by strapping a Baymax bobblehead to its platform. As you can see in this demo footage, the kinematically redundant parallel mechanism offers incredible flexibility when it comes to positioning its platform.

Mini Cheetah Robots Show Off

Mini Cheetah Robots Show Off

The MIT Biomimetics Robotics department shows off a pack of its miniature “cheetah” robots, letting them frolic and roam the campus, showing off their agility along the way. The quadruped robots are about the size of medium-sized dog, and weigh just 20 pounds each. They can walk, run, flex, and even perform backflips.

Robot Sword Fight

Robot Sword Fight

While the goal of American robot fighting is total annihilation, Japan prefers to stick with something a little more gentlemanly in its ROBO-ONE duels. Watch as bipedal bots Bluethunder and Metallic Fighter do battle in thoughtful close combat. We’re impressed that they’re able to stand themselves back up after a knock-down.

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