Awesome Robots

Robot Spy Crab

Robot Spy Crab

The nature photographers at John Downer Productions are known for infiltrating animal communities by packing cameras into lifelike robots. In this clip from Spy in the Wild 2, one of their robots crab-walked with thousands of real-life crustaceans and played a crab version of Frogger crossing the roads on Christmas Island.

Bigbug (Trailer)

Bigbug (Trailer)

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, creator of Amélie, Delicatessen, and City of Lost Children helmed this science fiction comedy about a group of suburbanites who are locked inside their homes by their robots when an android revolution starts outside. On Netflix 2.11.2022.

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Autonomous NERF Sentry Turret

Autonomous NERF Sentry Turret

Taking inspiration from KillJoy’s turret in Valorant, engineer Vinnie Satriale built this motorized NERF weapon that uses computer vision to lock onto the closest moving target and fire harmless foam projectiles at them. He built it as an alarm clock because he kept oversleeping.

DIY Security Mech

DIY Security Mech

Builder Handy Geng was worried about leaving his uncle alone to watch his workshop, so he did what any mad inventor would and built a mech to help guard the premises. It has caterpillar tracks like a tank, punching metal fists, and water guns which really should have been flamethrowers. English subtitles available.

CyberKAT R/C Snowcat

CyberKAT R/C Snowcat

Ryan Butler of Spyker Workshop built this powerful electric vehicle with a design clearly inspired by Tesla’s Cybertruck. The 29″ long remote-controlled snowcat is remarkably quick, zooming across rugged and snowy terrain with ease. The kit is available for pre-order for $1299 to $1499, with the first orders shipping in Q1 2022.

Ascento Pro Robot

Ascento Pro Robot

Ascento’s agile robot has a pair of articulated legs which roll on bicycle wheels. This design allows it to ride on uneven surfaces, up and down hills, and even climb stairs with ease. It can autonomously drive at speeds up to 12 km/h and 8 hours per charge.

Suction Cup Picking Machine

Suction Cup Picking Machine

This fascinating factory machine sits along a conveyor belt as it waits for individual items to arrive on the scene. It then lowers a series of suction-powered grippers to grab each one, then shuffles them along to the next stage in the packing process. The video is also perfectly looped, so you can just sit and watch it all day.

How To Build a Robot Suit

How To Build a Robot Suit

What you’re looking at here isn’t a real robot, it’s a really impressive costume, built by artist XiaoQianFeng. She created the wearable mech outfit for her brother using wire mesh, paper mache, cardboard, wood, and if you can believe it, ceramic tile. The finished costume is too heavy to move around in, but it looks amazing.

Evolving Soft Robots

Evolving Soft Robots

Scientists from MIT CSAIL have developed Evolution Gym, a system that uses artificial intelligence to optimize the design and control logic of soft robots. Like strange digital animals, the simulated robots autonomously evolve to perform specific tasks like walking, jumping, climbing, or carrying objects.

Expressive Humanoid Robot

Expressive Humanoid Robot

Engineered Arts shows off their Ameca robot, an advanced humanoid that can produce convincing facial expressions and gestures. The robotic platform is designed to improve human-robot interaction, and as a vehicle for AI technology. It’s expected to be on display at CES 2022 in Las Vegas. (Thanks, Rob!)

Boston Dynamics in the ’90s

Boston Dynamics in the ’90s

Boston Dynamics has made a name for themselves with their humanoid and animal-inspired robots. We’ve previously met Spot, their robo-dog that can handle all kinds of terrain and carry small payloads. Future Punk made this fun video that imagines what Spot might have been like had he come out in the 1990s.

Inside Out and Upside Down

Inside Out and Upside Down

Gadget artist Dr. Katsumoto Yuichiro demonstrates a couple of intriguing robot designs which can shape-shift themselves using a combination of telescoping arms and hinges. The first video shows a cube configuration that turns itself inside out, while the second features triangles that can flip themselves over.

Paint Flinging Robot

Paint Flinging Robot

We recently watched an engineer build a robot that can paint giant wall murals. JBV Creative’s robotic painter is decidedly less precise in its approach to creating art, though its abstract paint splatters could still land its entirely randomized works in a modern art museum.

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Robot Mural Painter

Robot Mural Painter

Shane from Stuff Made Here had a big wall in his workshop that he needed to paint. But rather than get out the rollers himself, he spent more than a month engineering and fabricating a robot to do the work for him. But this thing doesn’t just paint a flat color; it outputs multi-color images like a giant inkjet printer.

Spot Me Up

Spot Me Up

Boston Dynamics programmed one of its nimble Spot robots to mimic the dance moves of Mick Jagger. But that’s not all. Spot is soon joined by the other members of the Robot Stones to replicate the music video for their classic hit Start Me Up.

The Trash-eating Robot

The Trash-eating Robot

The sheer amount of trash floating in our oceans and waterways is staggering. To help TeamSeas reach its goal of removing 30 million pounds of trash by January 1, 2022, Mark Rober challenged Mr. Beast to see if an army of humans or trash-gobbling robot boat could remove more trash in the same amount of time.

Electric Shaver War Machine

Electric Shaver War Machine

The Braun S9 shaver is pretty slick looking as electric razors go. But even if you squint really hard, it’s hard to envision this thing turning into a mech. But model maker RAY Studio used his imagination and crafting skills to transform this $300 groomer into a detailed figure inspired by War Machine from the Iron Man series.

Squid Game But with Robots

Squid Game But with Robots

A whole lot of people died in Squid Game. But would it have been any better if the eliminated contestants were robots instead? Shutter Authority had a little CGI fun in Blender and replaced the humans with robots in the iconic Red Light, Green Light sequence. Will WALL-E make it to the finish line?

Walking + Flying Robot

Walking + Flying Robot

There are robots out there that can walk on two legs and drones that can fly. But Leonardo can do both, using its rotors to help it balance while walking. It can even skateboard and slackline. Veritasium takes a look at this unusual hybrid robot being developed by engineers at the Aerospace Robotics and Control Lab at Caltech.

ArcDroid CNC Plasma Cutter Robot

ArcDroid CNC Plasma Cutter Robot

CNC plasma cutters are big and expensive, but this tabletop robot lets anyone add a computer-controlled metal cutter to their workshop. While it can be used with CAD software, it requires no external computer for operation. Its arm can also be used to trace cutting templates. It can cut an area up to 26” x 15”. Plasma torch not included.

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Ugears Hexapod Explorer

Ugears Hexapod Explorer

Wood model maker Ugears was clearly inspired by robots when they engineered this mechanical marvel. Once assembled, the six-legged creature ambles along on smooth surfaces when you wind its spring. The 388-piece, flat-pack model takes about 8 hours to assemble.

Walking Wheels

Walking Wheels

Wheels are good at maneuvering vehicles over most surfaces, but they’re not always great at climbing irregular or rough obstacles. Engineer James Bruton fabricated these unusual “Pedrail” wheels that use a system of articulated “legs” and “feet” to roll and walk over uneven terrain. They look cool, but are they practical?

Deck of Robots Playing Cards

Deck of Robots Playing Cards
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Stellar Factory’s imaginative deck of cards takes us inside a top-secret facility run by robots. The face cards are illustrated with robots performing tasks like testing games and printing playing cards, while the rest of the deck is embellished with binary code and circuit traces.

Roy

Roy

Joseph Fifelski’s science fiction short film tells the story of a mechanic and a humanoid robot who arrives at his barn in search of a fix before she is shut down permanently. While Roy certainly owes a debt to Blade Runner, it also stands on its own as a story about compassion in the face of despair.

The Wall Fall Clock

The Wall Fall Clock

A young engineer named Burke McGabe got it in his head to build something totally unnecessary but nonetheless entertaining. What looks like an ordinary wall clock is designed to automatically fall off the wall any time he looks at it to check the time. It’s seen better days after all of its crashes.

How ATLAS Works

How ATLAS Works

We’ve seen Boston Dynamics‘ ATLAS robot evolve over the years to become incredibly agile. Now learn about the technology that makes this impressive humanoid work from the engineers who built him. Like any good science and engineering challenge, failure is part of the learning process.

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