BigDog is basically a dynamically stable quadruped robot created by Boston Dynamics (acquired by Google) with Foster-Miller, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Harvard University Concord Field Station. It measures 3-feet long, stands 2.5-feet tall, and weighs a hefty 240-pounds, about the size of a small mule, hence the nickname robotic mule. Continue reading for more fascinating facts.
At first glance, this appears to be a creepy crawly normally found scuttering around your home, but it's actually a robot. This miniature cockroach, which movie autonomously at speeds up to 12-inches per second, has been fitted with photosensitive sensors and could be equipped with cameras. As you can see in the video above, its movement is similar to that of the Blaberus giganteus cockroach found in South America. Continue reading to see this robo-roach in action.
First came BigDog, now Google has introduced a smaller "Spot" robot dog, which can run, climb stairs, all the while being kicked. The 160-pound machine is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. A sensor on its head helps it navigate over rough terrain - and to spot when humans, or another robot dog, is nearby by, allowing it to follow its owner and run in formation. It's designed to follow a soldier for 20-miles while carrying 400-pounds of their kit, and if it tips over on rugged terrain, Spot will immediately be able to right itself. You control Spot with a game-like controller, and one soldier has likened the experience to "playing Call of Duty". Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including a virtual walking tour of the USS Enterprise.
DARPA has just unveiled an experimental robotic landing gear system that replaces standard landing gear with four articulated, jointed legs that are able to fold up next to the helicopter's fuselage while in flight, and are equipped with force-sensitive contact sensors in their feet. During the landing process, each leg extends and uses its sensors to determine in real time the appropriate angle to assume to ensure that the aircraft stays level and also to minimize any risk of the rotor touching the landing area. "The equipment-mounted on an otherwise unmodified, unmanned helicopter-successfully demonstrated the ability to land and take off from terrain that would be impossible to operate from with standard landing gear," said Ashish Bagai, DARPA program manager. Continue reading for a video compilation of DARPA Robotics Challenge FAILS.
Boston Dynamics' Atlas is basically a bipedal humanoid robot constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum and titanium. It stands approximately 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, weighs 330 pounds (150 kg), and is illuminated with blue LEDs. Atlas is equipped with two vision systems - a laser rangefinder and stereo cameras, both controlled by an onboard computer - and has hands with fine motor skill capabilities. Its limbs possess a total of 28 degrees of freedom. Atlas can navigate rough terrain and climb independently using its arms and legs. Continue reading for another video and more information.
Beachbot is essentially an autonomous robot that was designed at the team at Disney Research in Zurich, Switzerland. The robot is capable of drawing incredible large-scale sand images using a rake mechanism as it moves through the sand. It was recently shipped to Disney's Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World to draw a stunning image of Walt Disney himself. "Beachbot can make many different kinds of drawings, but one thing it's good at is drawing face images," said Paul Beardsley, principal research scientist at Disney Research Zurich. Click here to view the first image in this week's geek life gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of someone who actually used iPhones as brake pads on a Porsche 911.
We have seen the future of Tesla car charging, and it's a snake that automatically plugs itself in after you park. That's right, once installed, you'll simply just have to pull into your garage and park. The snake-like charger will automatically extend itself toward your Tesla Model S's glowing charge port, slide in and then start charging the battery. Continue reading for a video explaining more about the new "Ludicrous Mode".
The WORX Landroid is a robot lawn mower that comes fully programmed out of the box for easy set-up and use. Thanks to the ability to set a custom schedule, it can cut grass 7-days a week while you sit back and relax. It can navigate narrow passages, cut slopes up to 20 degrees, and uses a shock sensor system to mow around obstacles. Get one here now. Continue reading for a more in-depth demonstration video and information.
Daniele Benedettelli has created a wearable, Pacific Rim-inspired LEGO exoskeleton that can be used to wirelessly control a smaller Cyclops MK II humanoid robot. While wearing the suit, you can command the robot to carry out various movements, such as bending their arms or waving goodbye, by simply moving. The smaller robot you see is based on a pair of LEGO Mindstorms NXTs, six motors and Bedettelli's very own custom Android smartphone app. How does the movement work? Well, the robot is connected via Bluetooth with an Arduino fitted to the back of the suit that transmits motion signals. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos of today, including one of a person who watched too much Fast and Furious.
When a miniature tank meets an advanced weapons system and robotics, you get the MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System). It's basically a 3-foot tall, remote-controlled ground vehicle that can assist in anything from camera surveillance disarming IEDs to keep soldiers out of harm's way. The MAARS can move at 7 mph and travel 800-1000 meters from its controller. It has a seven cameras for driving, situational awareness, and for the weapon that can operate in daytime or thermal modes. MAARS is armed with an M240B machine gun and four M203 grenade launcher tubes on a 360 degree rotating turret. It carries 450 rounds of machine gun ammo and four grenade rounds. Grenades can include sponge, buckshot, and tear gas for less-lethal purposes, and explosive and airburst for lethal purposes. Each tube is loaded individually, allowing lethal and less-lethal capabilities to be available and selected when needed. If weapons aren't needed, they can be replaced with a manipulator arm that can lift 120-pounds, which is enough strength to pick up 155mm artillery rounds. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos of today, including a genius who solved a 7x7 Rubik's Cube in record time.