Hot Robotics Posts

News: Carnivorous Furniture Eats Flies and Mice for Energy

PETA wouldn't consider James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau's ingenious flypaper clock very eco-friendly, but I might beg to differ. The clock doesn't require any electricity or batteries. Instead it captures flies and converts the bodies of the dead insects into energy. Eight dead flies makes for roughly twelve days of power. Not bad.

News: Arabian Camels Tortured By Remote Control Robot Jockeys

In the wealthy oil man's world of Arabian camel racing, the tradition of using child jockeys has been replaced with the use of small robo-jockeys in recent years. But after finally ridding the game of the mistreatment of children, the sport is now under scrutiny again. The Dubai police have discovered a new feature illegally added to the torturous, whip-endowed robots: hidden stun guns.

News: Polar Bears Play Bloody Game of Soccer With Snowball Spycam

Blizzard Cam, a 40 mph mobile spycam on skis, spies on a group of adorable polar bears (um, minus the blood stained faces) as they devour a pile of remains. Operated remotely, Snowball Cam is released from the Blizzard if scientists detect the bears may attack the device. The decoy can roll across most terrains (even up hill), and easily distracts the bears into a game of soccer. From a BBC TV program on polar bears.

Bacarobo 2010: Video Highlights from This Year's "Stupid Robot Cup"

Can a robot be dumber than a toaster? For the answer, look no further than Bacarobo—a yearly contest that showcases and celebrates and the world's dumbest, most adorable robots. Each year, ten robots vie for first prize. Each year, only one bot wins. Who took the title of Top Blockhead in this year's competition? That's something you'll want to see for yourself:

How To: Make a somersaulting robot

In this tutorial, we learn how to make a somersaulting robot. You will need: a gear box, 1.5 v DC motor, battery holder for AA, and a few gem clips. First, glue the gear box onto the battery holder and then glue the motor shaft in. Next, glue the gem clip on the pistons of the gear box. From here, add a broken eraser to the gem clips. Next, add another jumbo gem clip to the motor and you will get to play with it! This is a fun little robot to play with, enjoy using it and making it do tricks!

How To: Build a robot that delivers beer

In this tutorial, we learn how to build a robot that delivers beer. Are you tired of asking your children to bring you a beer when needed? This robot will help you out in no time! Now, to do this you are going to need to make the base of the robot. This includes following the directions off of the site: ifirobotics. You can also just order the parts from there and then put it together yourself. After you put this together and have all the circuits and wires connected, tests it out! If it work...

News: IBM's “Watson” Supercomputer Demolishes World's Top Jeopardy Players

A testament of man vs. machine will air on February 14th, 15th, and 16th when IBM's supercomputer "Watson" is pitted against the world's fiercest Jeopardy players, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, for a chance to win a cool $1 million. It took researchers four years to build Watson, a machine mastermind the size of ten refrigerators and equipped with complex algorithms capable of decoding the complexities of the human language (no small feat). Watch below as Watson kicks ass in a practice round ...

News: Is This All-Robot Band Better Than the Beatles?

Will the bot band be to 2017 what the boy band was to 1997? You be the judge! In the videos below, two such groups offer electro-mechanical renditions of the B-52s' "Rock Lobster" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Creator James Cochrane writes, "What do you get when you combine retro computer parts and an up and coming robot band? The Bit-52s! This idea has been simmering in my mind for the last couple of years and after many months of procrastinating it is finally complete. I was also motivat...

Some Dissembly Required: Researchers Teach Robot to Lie

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology recently set about creating what might aptly be described as a baby Decepticon — a small, semi-autonomous robot vehicle that purposely engages in deceptive behavior to achieve its ends (in this case, winning a game of hide and seek). Worried? You needn't be! The project also seeks to examine "the ethical ramifications of creating robot's [sic] capable of deception." Phew!

News: Uncle Sam, the All-American Robot Snake

Don't be fooled by the fancy monocle: this servo-powered serpent is as American as Apple Computers. So American, in fact, that his creators at Carnegie Mellon decided to christen him Uncle Sam. Boasting more points of articulation than a GI Joe, Sam's hobbies include crawlin' in the dirt and climbin' trees.

How To: Change the channel of the AI-01 Robot

In this video, we learn how to change the channel of the AI-01 Robot. First, you need to find the channels that are on the back panel of the robot. After you do this, turn the robot off, then turn it back on. Then, press both sides of the buttons together. After this, you will press the left button to choose the number and then press the right button to choose the team. After this, you will press both buttons together and then grab the remote. Select the channel on the remote by doing the sam...

News: The Future of Pancakes

Here's another latest in robotics: researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) have developed a robot that flips pancakes. The most interesting aspect of the project is the use of kinesthetic teaching, in which the user "trains" the robot by example. The user grasps the robot's limb, and guides it through the motions the user would like it to adopt. This bot takes about 50 trials to get it, but in the end succeeds. Previously, I Want a Robo-Chef in My Kitchen.

News: Bicycle-Riding Robot Puts Pedals to the Metal

Robots have a long-standing obsession with tandem bikes. The first song ever sung by a computer? "Daisy Bell." If you don't recognize the title, you might nevertheless recognize the song's famous refrain: "But you'd look sweet/Upon the seat/Of a bicyle built for two." That was 1961. Fast forward nearly forty years and robots aren't merely singing about bicycles built for two, they're riding them. Take Joules, for example:

News: A Pet Butterfly That Lives Forever

Everybody loves butterflies. What's not to love? They're beautiful. But extremely fragile. Touch a wing, and the butterfly is immediately weakened, if not rendered completely flightless (BTW, if you happen upon this situation, we have just the HowTo for you).

News: Hello Emily. Goodbye Pamela Anderson.

There is little design artifice to this device. This EMILY (Emergency Integrated Lifesaving LanYard is a $3500 robot-lifeguard purchased for Malibu lifeguards. Remote-controlled and capable of 28 mph, product testing confirms that EMILY just might be smarter than David Hasselhoff and more buoyant than Pamela Anderson.

HowTo: Take Photos in the Wild Without Getting Mauled

Robots are great for performing tasks that are otherwise too dangerous for man (e.g. dead body extraction bot). BeetleCam is a cute little bot that takes all the danger out of wild life photography. Controlled remotely from a Range Rover about 50 yards away, BeetleCam ventures where no sane photographer dares to go (at the feet of a charging elephant, say). "We thought that Elephants would be an easy subject for BeetleCam’s first outing. We were wrong… we quickly learned that Elephants are wa...

News: I Want a Robo-Chef in My Kitchen

This year's FOOMA International Food Machinery and Technology Exhibition had a few robots I wouldn't mind hanging around my kitchen. The sushi-bot's hand is amazing... if only it could make the sushi, not just transport it. Oh well. There's always next year.