Skynet is slowly, but surely, becoming a reality, as a rogue robot reportedly killed a technician at a Volkswagen plant in Germany. The 22-year-old man was picked up and then crushed by a robotic arm while working on the production line. It's believed to be the first death in Europe caused by an industrial robot. The robotic arm, normally used to lift machine parts, seems to have grabbed the worker and crushed him against a large metal plate. Continue reading for the news report and more information.
Let's face it, even a livable tiny home with all the amenities you need to live comfortably takes at the very least weeks to build, that is unless...you're using Fastrick Robotics' latest high-tech robot. Introducing Hadrian, named after the Roman emperor who built defense walls in England. This robot can endlessly, laying up to 1,000 bricks per hour, and capable of building 150 homes in a single year. It's claimed to be the world's first fully automated bricklaying robot. Continue reading for a video showing how it works and more information.
MIT researchers have developed the first robotic cheetah that can see and jump over hurdles autonomously as it runs. The robot plans out its path, similar to humans, to get a running jump, and as it detects an approaching obstacle, the algorithm estimates that object's height and distance. The robot then gauges the best position from which to jump, and adjusts its stride to land just short of the obstacle, before exerting enough force to push up and over. Lastly, it applies a certain amount of force to land safely, based on the obstacle's height. Continue reading for a video and more information.
Ochre Jelly, best known for his LEGO creations, has built a real-life TARS suit. It consists of a wood frame clad in aluminum, complete with camera, LCD display, audio amplifier as well as a headset to help him navigate his surroundings while staying hidden inside. Weighing in at 40-pounds, Heath's TARS suit is human-powered and moves thanks to a couple of handles and arm rests built into the back, unlike the 200-pound puppet used in the actual Interstellar film. Continue reading for the video and more information.
Festo is known for their biologically-inspired flying robots, but these butterflies are definitely the most beautiful. They are all autonomous, using independently controllable wings to steer itself and fly pre-programmed routes. Ten high-speed (160fps) infrared cameras mounted in fixed positions around their flight area continuously track the butterflies to keep them from crashing into one another. There's also a pair of active infrared beacons on each butterfly that replace the round reflectors found on many indoor quadcopters. Each robot may only have a 50cm wingspan and weigh a mere 32g, but they carry two servo motors to independently actuate the wings, an IMU, accelerometer, gyro, compass, as well as two small 90-mAh lithium-polymer batteries. The wings are covered with an ultra thin elastic capacitor film and are paired with thin carbon rods for structure. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny school pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a breathtaking sun halo.
We have seen the future of handwriting robots, and it's "Bond". To start, users submit a handwriting sample online, which then the software analyzes to identify how you form each letter of the alphabet, along with things like the slant and spacing of your writing. Next, you choose a blank card from the Bond website whenever you want to send someone special a note and send the typed text you want to have written, along with the recipient's name and address. The company's 11 robots, or at least one of them, will then write the text in the card, which will subsequently be mailed. If you happen to lose a check (or checkbook) around company headquarters, we recommend voiding it immediately. Continue reading for a video and more information.
You could either stick with ordering from real human waiters, or try out autonomous drones at Timbre @ Substation, a live music restaurant and bar, in Singapore. Developed by Infinium Robotics, these autonomous drones can be used to deliver drinks and even food dishes. Flying back and forth from the kitchen to a special drop-off area, they were created to take the grunt work out of having to transport dishes. Continue reading for a video and more information.
Here's a first look at Spot from Boston Dynamics, a 160-pound, electrically-powered robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It has a sensor head that helps it navigate rough terrain and is capable of balancing itself after being kicked or pushed. Boston Dynamics' founder, Marc Raibert says: "We're still doing the same kind of work, working on dynamic robots that can operate in a variety of circumstances." Continue reading for a video and more information.
Imagine walking into a restaurant and being able to customize a burger directly from an app on your phone, with it being delivered to you in just minutes. That may soon be a reality thanks to Momentum Machines' automated burger machine. According to the company, making burgers costs restaurants $9-billion a year in wages for the United States alone, and in addition to the monetary savings, an entire kitchen can be replaced with a much smaller, self-contained stainless-steel box. This machine would see raw ingredients go in and up to 400 custom-made burgers come out per hour. Continue reading to see Epson's automated burger machine and for more information.
For a cool $1-million, Kuratas, the Gundam-inspired rideable robot by Suidobashi Heavy Industry, can now be yours. This machine is equipped with a gatling gun capable of shooting 6,000 BB bullets a minute, which starts firing when the pilot smiles. It can be controlled either through the one-man cockpit or with a data-enabled smartphone. Unfortunately, as of right now, it only ships to the Kanto region of Japan, and is advertised as a kit, which means you should have a Japanese-reading engineer on-hand to help you piece things together. If you're extremely wealthy and want one at all costs, these two caveats will be trivial. Continue reading for more images of the actual robot and a link to its product page.