THE BEST Robots

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

Bosstown Dynamics Military Bot

Bosstown Dynamics Military Bot

The VFX wizards at Corridor imagine a world where battlefields aren’t populated by humans, and war is waged by humanoid robots instead. But they can’t fight before their masters treat them like rubbish as part of their training exercises. We do not condone cruelty to robots.

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Toyota’s Future of Mobility

Toyota’s Future of Mobility

We spent a week in Tokyo, Japan learning all about Toyota’s plans for the future, as it expands its horizons from conventional cars, to providing mobility solutions for all. The future includes ultra-compact battery-electric vehicles, self-driving cars, and even cars that can adapt to your mood.

Light Painting Machine

Light Painting Machine

By using a similar mechanism to the ones used in 3D printers, maker Josh Sheldon created an amazing robotic rig which can be used to guide a light source along a precise path. The result are some of the most beautifully smooth long-exposure light paintings we’ve ever seen.

CloudPainter

CloudPainter

Created by Pindar, Hunter, and Dante Van Arman, CloudPainter is a robotic system designed to paint original artworks, using artificial intelligence to help it make creative decisions. Like human artists, it continues to improve and learn as its database grows.

Life-Size Terminator Endoskeleton

Life-Size Terminator Endoskeleton

Chronicle Collectibles and Cinemaquette teamed up to create a 78″ tall T-800 Endoskeleton statue. Based on the robot’s appearance in Terminator: Genisys, the statue is chrome plated, has LED eyes and articulated forearms and fingers. Limited to 100 units.

One-Handed Rubik’s Cube Robot

One-Handed Rubik’s Cube Robot

There are robots out there that can solve a Rubik’s Cube very quickly. But, while OpenAI’s design is decidedly slower, it works much more like a human, using its five robotic digits to maneuver and manipulate the cube with one hand, and learns to solve it using trial and error. Find out more about how it works here.

Insane Animatronics Showreel

Insane Animatronics Showreel

Prepare yourself for six minutes of weird and wild machines that are ready to fuel your nightmares. Since putting together this amazing showreel back in 2012, London animatronics designer Gustav Hoegen has gone on to run the creature effects department for the latest round of Star Wars movies.

DIY Stair-Climbing Robot

DIY Stair-Climbing Robot

Builder Navin Khambhala aka “Mr. NK” shows us how to create a nifty, low-budget RC car that can climb stairs thanks to its Mars Rover inspired wheel mechanisms. It’s made from easy to find parts like PVC, hose clamps, and off-the-shelf motors and wheels.

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Brain-controlled Exoskeleton

Brain-controlled Exoskeleton

While the world certainly can feel like a horrible place some days, it’s videos like these that give us hope for the future. Watch in awe as a man who is paralyzed from the neck down was able to walk and move his arms thanks to a prototype robotic exoskeleton controlled by his own brain. More here.

ATLAS Does Gymnastics

ATLAS Does Gymnastics

Boston Dynamics’ agile humanoid ATLAS robot continues to develop its acrobatic and balancing skills. In this clip it shows off a variety of moves which combine movements of its legs, torso, and arms to perform a brief gymnastic routine.

Pepper Picking Robot

Pepper Picking Robot

Designed as a proof off concept to help combat labor shortages in the EU, the Sweeper is a specialized robot that can pick vegetables all on its own. It uses computer vision to identify sweet bell peppers that are ready to harvest, then cuts them down with a tiny saw.

DIY Felt Robots

DIY Felt Robots

Artist Hah Jeong-hee started making felt toys for her kids. She’s made dozens of small toys, but recently she became interested in making robots. Her creations are so detailed that people sometimes mistake them for model kits. Turn captions on.

ANYmal Wheeled Leg Robot

ANYmal Wheeled Leg Robot

Engineers from ETH Zurich and the CERBERUS team worked together to create ANYmal, an autonomous robot which has wheels at the ends of its legs, making it capable of moving quickly, and negotiating over difficult terrain. Its moves kind of remind us of the wheelers in Return to Oz, but not as creepy.

Slobots Robot Prints

Slobots Robot Prints

Artist Mike Slobot has been making cool robot sculptures and other robot art for 15 years. To celebrate, he’s created a series of fun mid-century style prints of robots made from vintage radios and TV sets. They’re available in eight designs, in a variety of sizes. Awesomer readers get 15% off purchases over $25 with code 15years.

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