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Robots

Robot Art Class

Robot Art Class

WIRED UK introduces us to artist Patrick Tresset, whose latest exhibition includes a classroom filled with robotic “students” each of which has been equipped with a pen and paper. While the students doodle, three smarter robots at the head of the class draw portraits.

Cassie The Ostrich Robot

Cassie The Ostrich Robot

Oregon State University’s College of Engineering and Agility Robotics are giving the animal robots of Boston Dynamics a run for their money, with this awesome robot which balances on two legs, and walks with a gait inspired by giant flightless birds.

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Roborace DevBot POV

Roborace DevBot POV

Roborace is knee-deep in the development of cars for its fully-autonomous racing series, and they just dropped some amazing footage that shows one of their test cars running a lap of Berlin’s Formula E track. Top speed for the test lap was 124 mph, but their goal is 190 mph.

Sony KOOV Blocks

Sony KOOV Blocks

Sony’s KOOV robot construction system is designed to teach kids basic robotic concepts. The colorful blocks snap together, and can be programmed using a graphical interface which runs on tablets and PCs. Modules include buzzers, sensors, and actuators.

Alonso Martinez’s Robots

Alonso Martinez’s Robots

Pixar animator and robot designer Alonso Martinez dropped by Tested to show off prototypes of his upcoming robot toys. Alonso wants Mira and her siblings to evoke empathy and joy through nonverbal cues, and we think you’ll agree that he’s on the right track.

Tertill Robotic Weed Whacker

Tertill Robotic Weed Whacker

Roomba co-creator Joe Jones is working on a Roomba for gardens. Tertill uses a nylon string to cut down anything that’s under an inch. It comes with collars that protect growing plants from the robot’s wrath. It can be charged via its built-in solar panel or its micro USB port.

Marble-cutting Robot

Marble-cutting Robot

For their 2014 project Carrara Robotics, Jelle Feringa and Lucas Terhall demonstrated how an Odico architectural robot can be used to cut organic shapes out of marble, as it twists and turns a wet saw blade through a slab of stone like a hot knife through butter. Skip to 1:00.

Why Automation is Different this Time

Why Automation is Different this Time

Automation has been around for centuries, but the rise of machine learning has led to new industries that need relatively few people to operate. As Kurzgesagt and many others have pointed out, this is an unsustainable trend that needs to be answered swiftly.

Spooky Scary Animatronics

Spooky Scary Animatronics

Turn away if you’re easily weirded out. Krolo added an appropriate soundtrack to this reel of creepy and scary animatronics by effects master Gustav Hoegen used for visual effects in movies and TV. Seriously, that squirrel freaked us out when it turned around.

MetaLimbs Robotic Limbs

MetaLimbs Robotic Limbs

Researchers from Tokyo University and Keio University designed a pair of robotic arms and hands that are controlled with the user’s legs and feet. Called MetaLimbs, the extra limbs can be modified with different “hands” and even provide haptic feedback. Think Doc Ock IRL.

DIY Self-Balancing Robot

DIY Self-Balancing Robot

If you’ve ever found how Segways and so-called “hoverboards” stay upright, check out Joop Brokking’s video tutorial, which shows you how to build your own R/C 2-wheeled robot, controlled via Arduino for about $80 total. Full schematics, build details, and code here.

Crazyswarm

Crazyswarm

Engineers from USC’s ACTLab and RESL show off a slick system for controlling numerous drones. Crazyswarm currently operates 49 Crazyflie 2.0 nano-copters, and can create coordinated aerial displays, and dynamically adapt their flight path around a tracking device.

Toe Mata Band

Toe Mata Band

Musician/technician Giuseppe Acito aka Opificio Sonico created a tiny set of bandmates using LEGO Bionicle robots he’s programmed to play a mix of sensors, smartphones, and other inputs. Here, they perform Kraftwerk’s The Robots and Daft Punk’s Da Funk.

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Jenga-playing Robot

Jenga-playing Robot

It may look a little bit like a sideways stargate, but this robot is designed to carefully position itself around a Jenga stack, methodically pluck out a wooden block, and move it to the top of the stack. We’d be curious to see if it could play an entire game, but we’re guessing not.

Planar Elliptical Runner Robot

Planar Elliptical Runner Robot

Engineers at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition developed this two-legged robot which can run at speeds up to 12 mph. It may not be as fast as Boston Dynamics’ cheetah ‘bot, but we still wouldn’t want to chased by one.

MicroBot Push 2

MicroBot Push 2

The MicroBot Push 2 lets you wirelessly control and automate almost anything that has a button or a switch. It works with IFTTT, Amazon Alexa, WeMo and more. The Push 2 has quieter gears than the original, as well as a timer feature and touchscreen compatibility.

Robotic Axel-F

Robotic Axel-F

James Cochrane’s robotic band bd594 learns to play Harold Faltermeyer’s 1984 instrumental hit Axel-F, with the Arduino controlled glockenspiel on leads. We’re thinking this version should have accompanied the Beverly Hills Cop video game. (Thanks James!)

Invasion of the Droids

Invasion of the Droids

During Star Wars Celebration, a veritable army of robot builders got together in one room to let their R2-D2s, BB-8s, and other assorted droids meet each other. It’s like a dog park for droids, and it should be open every day of the year. Kudos to Michael McMaster for the video.

Robot with a Knife

Robot with a Knife

The guys at Irfon Automation decided to see just how precise their Stäubli TX40 industrial robot was, so they attached a straight blade knife to it, and programmed the robot to play a game of five-finger fillet on an all-too-trusting human. Then they increased the speed.

Endless Toy Train Loop

Endless Toy Train Loop

While this robot might not be quite as showy at playing with model trains as these ones, there’s something hypnotic about this one toiling endlessly at its single task – to build a track just in time for the model train to get there.

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DIY Life-Size K-2SO Puppet

DIY Life-Size K-2SO Puppet

One of the best parts of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the snarky new droid K-2SO. Norm Chan from Tested recently met up with fan Darren Moser to take a look at the amazing full-scale K-2SO puppet suit he’s been building. We can’t wait to see the finished build.

Sorter Bots

Sorter Bots

HKVision built this army of 300 little orange robots which dance around the floor, selecting parcels and dropping them into the appropriate sorting bins. With this system, this STO Express facility can sort up to 20,000 packages per hour – 30% faster than humans and at 1/2 the cost.

Octopus Gripper Robot

Octopus Gripper Robot

Robotics company Festo developed this incredible appendage that mimics the movements and suction abilities of an octopus tentacle. It can grab and hold onto objects that might challenge other robots. It attaches to the end of their bendy Bionic Motion Robot.

Rayna Meets a Robot

Rayna Meets a Robot

YouTuber marxj1 shared this cute video of a little girl mistaking a broken water heater for a robot. We’re not sure what’s more fascinating: that her belief makes us believe as well, or that she’s familiar with the concept of a robot.

Making Robots from Soda Cans

Making Robots from Soda Cans

ApolloCrowe from Carbide 3D uses one of their Nomad desktop CNC machines to slice up soda cans, and transforms them into parts for a pair of robot sculptures. There’s a lot of handwork involved after the aluminum is cut, but it’s still cool to watch the machine work its magic.

Musical Improv Robot

Musical Improv Robot

Engineers from the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology developed a robotic marimba player who “listens” to live music then provides improvised accompaniment via artificial intelligence algorithms. Listen to more smooth robojams here and here.

Joto

Joto

Joto is a modern take on an X/Y plotter that displays pictures, screenshots, notes and more by drawing them on a whiteboard marker, then erasing them when it’s time for a new image. With support from developers, it can integrate with apps like Twitter, Slack and Spotify.

Thomas the Flame Engine

Thomas the Flame Engine

Toy modder PeterSripol wanted to make his own version of YouTuber Y NAKAJIMA’s funny Thomas the Tank Engine-themed remote controlled hexapod. To one-up his inspiration, he replaced the laser with a flamethrower. The terror starts at 8:07.

Burger-flipping Robot

Burger-flipping Robot

Miso Robotics‘ “Flippy” can automatically identify burgers and other items on the griddle, and flip them at the right time. It’s rolling out to the CaliBurger chain over the next couple of years, and eventually will help line cooks with other tasks. We want a Mise en place bot.

Baby Bottle Robot

Baby Bottle Robot

The latest invention from Useless Duck Company is a robot designed to give parents a break, and automatically deliver bottles of milk to babies. It’s quite efficient, and ensures that crying brat won’t bother you with its pesky need for nutrients.

Arpeggio Piano Superdroid

Arpeggio Piano Superdroid

Unlike other player pianos, the Arpeggio is a self-contained robot which can drive up to the keyboard and pedals on a regular piano, and perform in place of a human pianist, replicating the most intricate and nuanced elements of a previously-recorded performance.

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