• Because there weren't enough Ro-bats in the world

    “Biomimetic miniature flying platforms” appears to be the theme this week. Just a few days ago we saw a hummingbird robot meant to hover in and out of buildings, and now there’s this ro-bat being put together at North Carolina State University. Here is my question: were there not enough bats in the world already? Read More

  • Hummingbot UAV hovering in slow motion

    I’m concerned that before long, every critter out there will be replaced by a biomimetic robot surrogate. With BigDog, LittleDog, mechafish, swifferbot, and the robo-ant already on the march, it won’t be long before the pleasant tweet and buzz of nature is replaced by the noise of servos and tiny guns. The latest fiend to come out of DARPA human-extinction research money is this… Read More

  • Kobe Gigantor robot monument to rival life-size Gundam, weigh much more

    I think we adequately covered the life-size Gundam statue in Odaiba, but apparently that was just the beginning. Kobe has decided that it needs its own monument to an anime robot (what recession?), and they’ve chosen as the object of their adoration Tetsujin-28, AKA Gigantor. Of a similar height to a Gundam mecha but significantly… more stout, the Gigantor statue will stand 59… Read More

  • Jesus Recommends: this little rolling robot

    Before you get excited, I should probably state for the record that the headline is totally fake. There’s no way to tell whether Jesus actually recommends this robot &mdash he’s just holding it. He might not like it at all. But if that’s the case, I would have to respectfully disagree with him there, because this little robot looks like a lot of fun. It’s a… Read More

  • Man's arrest for Barrel Monster stunt exposes ridiculously high barrel pricing

    Have you ever driven down the highway when there’s construction work going on and wondered who makes all the money from selling the orange barrels used to block off lanes? That’s a lot of barrels. So many barrels, in fact, that a student at NC State in Raleigh, North Carolina helped himself to three of them and constructed this most-excellent Barrel Monster. Read More

  • I, for one, welcome our new prosthetic robot arms

    The Department of Veterans Affairs is testing a fancy new prosthetic arm developed in conjunction with DARPA, the folks that brought us the Internet, and Deka Research, founded by Dean Kamen, creator of the Segway. Unlike a traditional rigid plastic arm, or God forbid a metal hook, the Luke Arm — a reference to Luke Skywalker’s artificial hand from Empire Strikes Back —… Read More

  • Dustbot: a real-life Wall-E you can text

    Assuming you are European and never have more than a head-sized bag of garbage to throw away, this Dustbot appears to be the perfect trash-related companion. I believe the idea is that an army of these things will lurk in every city and constantly collect garbage, eliminating the need for garbage trucks to come to every home. It navigates via GPS and can be summoned by a text message… Read More

  • CrunchDeals: Roomba 535 for $150

    If you’re a stickler for clean floors (note: I am not) but you can’t afford a live-in maid to clean them every day (note: I can not) and you’re not afraid of robots (note: I am, deathly) then perhaps you need a Roomba. Read More

  • EATR defense robot scrounges for its own food

    This is pretty old but I thought I’d put it out there in light of recent movements by our future robotic overlords to become autonomous. The Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR) by RTI has a built-in foraging system that can harvest biomass as well as fuel like gasoline, propane, coal, and solar energy on the go. It powers itself with a combustion engine and can hunt out and… Read More

  • Advances in robotic breakdancing overshadowed by Cosby Shuffle

    I don’t want to speak for everyone in the entire world, but breakdancing robots will always be welcome to pop and lock anytime, anywhere as far as I’m concerned. While the little guy in the above video shows off some pretty sweet headspins and does the splits, most of his routine consists of a pretty spot-on impression of Bill Cosby dancing in the opening credits of early episodes… Read More

  • Tiny "Ember" military robot navigates curbs with ease

    This excellent little critterbot is far smaller than the other robots in use by the military, and is being considered as a way to scout possibly-hostile buildings and areas. I was skeptical of its usability until I saw its little flippers come out and get it up that curb. It looks simple but it was probably very difficult to get the weight and center of gravity right on this little thing. Read More

  • Swifferbot drags its microfiber belly across your floor

    Oh god oh god! Household monsters are becoming real! This biomimetic slugbot is meant to pick up dust around the house, but it reminds me more of low-level enemies in NES games than any of its robot helper contemporaries. The Fukitorimushi (“wipe-up bug”) is an autonomous robot like a Roomba, but it moves in a freaky inchworm style. The funny thing is, it would be creepy enough… Read More

  • Deep-water exploration robot looks scarier than is probably necessary

    Most deep-underwater devices are round and inoffensive; why does this one need to be so sinister? In fact, it’s reminiscent of a certain other robot which occupies an antagonistic relationship with mankind. Not sure what I’m talking about? Here’s a hint: “woah.” Read More

  • Video: Hold me closer, tiny robot dancer

    Something about the world’s smallest humanoid robot dancing in front of its own certificate is both heartwarming and hilarious. Even the rude metal riffs just add a layer cuteness. Read More

  • Swiss robo-DJ demonstrates future of AI-human symbiosis

    The headline makes it sound a little more sinister than it is, but that’s really the gist of it. QB1, a robot created by Swiss group OZWE, is essentially a next-generation music playing machine. While things like Pandora and Genius playlists are changing the way people interact with their music within the confines of the traditional OS, OZWE wanted to change the way we interacted with… Read More

  • Robotic ocean exploration to extend to space

    Chris German, Chief Scientist for Deep Submergence at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution here in Massachusetts, has been busy finding undersea volcanoes with the help of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). With more than half the planet’s water exceeding depths of two miles, mapping the sea floor is no easy task. What’s more… Read More

  • iRobot NOT working on autonomous killing machines

    Doug Aamoth here in Boston at the 2009 RoboBusiness Expo with some fodder for the “Robots Will Eventually Rise Up and Kill Us All” debate. No matter which side of the argument you support, if you’re someday killed by an autonomous robot it won’t have been made by iRobot. Read More

  • Creepy killer robot children on the loose

    CB2, Child-robot with Biomimetic Body, is slowly learning how to recognize facial expressions. He’s already taught himself how to walk by observing humans do it. Hopefully no one’s using a machete around this thing, else we’re all in really big trouble. Read More

  • Robot helps Japanese avoid pollen

    Weather News, a Japanese weather company, has created 500 spherical robots that sense pollen content in the air and report back to the mother pollen ship with potential allergen levels in different spots around the world. The robot then transmits data to mobile phones and online apps, ensuring that the sararimen won’t sneeze into their fifteenth beer before stumbling home to a… Read More

  • Mecha-fish to populate the ocean, nibble at silicon reefs

    Don’t you people see what’s happening? They’re taking over! First our pets, then our fashion models (expensive pets essentially), and now… our fish? Well, if you’re planning on replacing the world’s natural organisms with your own silicon creations (as the machines certainly are), then it makes sense to start small. Self-replicating micromachines… Read More