The Salto-1P Robot is a small monopedal robot that looks happy as heel as it jumps for joy. It’s either happy or crazy; I’m not sure which. It is capable of continuous high-power hopping and it takes that job seriously.
The video here demonstrates a new control algorithm that can land Salto-1P’s foot at precise locations on the ground like jumping on stepping stones or playing one-legged hopscotch. It’s pretty impressive stuff. I can imagine a tiny robot like this relentlessly hopping after you and never ever giving up until it catches you. And then, of course, it will probably hop into your chest, stabbing you, as it hop-stabs you over and over again.
In fact, put a knife foot on this thing and let it play five-finger-fillet with your hand. This little crazy ‘bot is frightening on so many levels. It just seems so happy, but is soooo creepy. Stuff like this makes me fear for our world. If you pay attention to the beginning of the video it says, “This work is supported by Army Research Office Grant…” Oh man. This thing is obviously designed to kill. Hop and kill. Then hop and kill some more. Oh man.
You can read more about how Salto-1P works its hopping magic in this paper by its creators Justin K. Yim and Ronald S. Fearing.
After dropping a stunning "Parkour" video for its humanoid Atlas robot earlier today, Boston Dynamics followed up with this more subdued look at a commercial application for its technology. In a video similar to lab tests we've seen before, this sens...
How about a game of chutes and ladders? Uh, I mean snakes and ladders. Look, snakes are nature’s creepiest creation and robots are man’s creepiest creation. So naturally, scientists had to combine them both for maximum terror. While we’re at it, let’s make these robotic creepy crawlies climb ladders, cause you know, we wouldn’t want humans getting away.
Seriously though, a snake is a great design for robotics. They can slither in and out of small spaces to look for damage in structures or rescue someone trapped under rubble, plus they can handle all kinds of terrain. But just because we can do it, doesn’t mean we should. Because now researchers have taught robot snakes to climb ladders. There goes your second story escape plan.
Researchers from the Kyoto University and University of Electro-Communications have developed a robot snake that can bend and twist its segmented body, allowing it to slowly wrap itself around each rung as it climbs a ladder.
Good job researchers. Now, where are we going to go to escape robot snakes? I built a treehouse specifically to escape them and I just know that when I go up there next, now I’m going to find a bunch of robot snakes up there reading dirty mags, which is my job.
There are plenty of toy robots out on the market, but few are as endearing as the upcoming Anki Vector. Its big bright eyes are most reminiscent of the Pixar character Wall-E. But as cute as its Wall-E-like personality is, it doesn't mean much if the...