Adam Savage received a Spot quadruped robot from Boston Dynamics earlier this year, and he can’t get enough of it. This time, he turns it into a rickshaw driver of sorts, and since Spot is still remote-controlled, it requires adjustments to its out-of-the-box software in order to better complete its task. Savage spent around 5-days building this “steampunk-Victorian funeral” rickshaw, with most of that time going into the harness for Spot to pull the rickshaw along. Read more for the video demonstration and additional information.
Photo credit: Disney / Marvel
Disney first revealed at the D23 Expo this past summer that Imagineers were working on a new experience with Spider-Man at Avengers Campus coming to Disney California Adventure park this summer, but now we know that it is going to be in animatronic form. The robot of sorts is going to have articulating robotic joints capable of web slinging when launched with a bungie mechanism. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Researchers at Cornell University have developed soft fluidic actuators that can move, grip and sweat to keep cool. A robotic hand made from these flesh-like materials is capable of cooling itself three times faster than humans and horses. Current soft robotics destabilize as the temperature rises, but these new robots are programmed to perspire so they can operate in extreme heat. Read more for two videos and additional information.
At first glance, the Kubota X appears to be some type of military robot equipped for battle, but in reality, it’s just a fully autonomous tractor. It uses artificial intelligence to drive itself and then choose the appropriate action — tilling, seeding, etc. — based on weather data and growth rates in real-time. Lithium-ion cells and a solar array power four motors attached to track-like crawlers that can be independently controlled for extreme precision. Read more for a video and additional information.
Here’s a first look at Vyommitra, a half-humanoid spacefaring robot being developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to function on-board the Gaganyaan, a crewed orbital spacecraft. The robot was first unveiled to the public on January, 22 2020 at the Human Spaceflight and Exploration symposium in Bengaluru. Read more for a video demonstrating some of its capabilities.
BBC hid cameras inside 36 robot animals to give viewers a close-up view of wildlife for their “Spy in the Wild” TV special. The animals included a baby gorilla, sea turtle, jaguar, humming bird and pygmy elephant. Each one was equipped with a concealed camera to film animals in their natural habitats. Read more to see an alpha silverback gorilla accepting a robotic baby spy into his family.
An 18-meter-tall Gundam robot is set to debut at Gundam Factory Yokohama this fall, a 9,000 square-meter facility set to open at Yamashita Pier. This 25-ton machine will be on display for around a year, starting on October 1st, complete with 24 fully functional joints. This facility will consist of two areas: a 25-meter-tall Gundam-Dock that will serve as its maintenance site, and a two-story building with shops and event space. Read more for a video and additional information.
Matt Denton (UK) of Wickham, Hampshire, UK has built the largest rideable hexapod robot that measures 2.8 m (9 ft 2 in) tall and 5 m (16 ft 4 in) in diameter. This six-legged vehicle is officially called Mantis and can be driven from inside its cockpit or operated remotely by WiFi. The beast weighs in at 1.9 tonnes (4,188 lb) and is powered by a 2.2-litre Perkins turbo diesel engine. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: ETH Zürich | Stefan Weiss
Researchers at ETH Zürich have developed an ultrasonic gripper that can pick up and manipulate small objects without even touching them, thanks to acoustic levitation. In other words, it uses ultrasonic waves to enable robots to handle fragile items, like precision watch parts. Currently, the prototype consists of a lab-bench robotic arm and a pair of 3D-printed semi-spheres. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Adam Savage’s Tested introduces new member to the family: Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot. In addition to this outdoor adventure, he’ll be conducting builds and projects with Spot, integrating it into the workshop as well as taking it in the field to see exactly what it’s capable of. The first thing he did is test Spot’s capabilities at an outdoor training course. Read more for the video and additional information.