11 Weird Robots We’re Truly Delighted With

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Boston Dynamics

Robots these days seem to be designed to support all sorts of human activities. They can carry heavy loads; perform repetitive and tedious tasks; supplement humans in stressful jobs; crawl into hard-to-reach spaces for research, medical applications, or disaster recovery; or be consumable substitutes in life-threatening situations, such as military combat.

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So are they really weird? Or are they just the future? There are so many different types of amazing bots out there that the list could go on for pages. Here are 11 of our favorites.

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    It sounds like science fiction, but these injectable nanobots can travel inside a human body after being injected using an ordinary syringe.

    Designed at Cornell University, the tiny, four-legged robots could one day deliver drugs directly to wounds or tumors. Currently they only run on solar power, so they cannot be used inside a body, but that could change. Researchers say they could be powered using magnetic fields or ultrasound, and Cornell researchers are now working with engineers at the University of Pennsylvania to develop “smart” versions that will include controllers, sensors and clocks.

    About a million little guys can be made from a specialized 4-inch silicon composite wafer, since each is only 70 microns long, or about the width of a thin human hair.

    As you might have guessed from its name, the SlothBot is extremely slow, collecting vital environmental data, such as temperature and carbon dioxide levels, from the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Georgia. But there is a reason behind his apparent laziness. Its quiet, languorous locomotion helps the robot avoid suspicion and fulfill its mission, Associate Editor Courtney Linder wrote in May 2021. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers designed the little robot with wide eyes to find out what pollinates a genus of rare orchids found in the Ecuadorian rainforest.

    SlothBots are an inconspicuous solution to replace annoying netting in a natural setting. Noisy humans use hanging nets to study plants and animals. The silent robot uses an array of sensors to collect environmental data. It could help conservationists cross-check this information with what they already know about high-altitude insects, or provide new clues about the tiny insects that pollinate flowers high up in mountains.

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    Initially designed as an emergency rescue robot, the humanoid robot Fedor, or “Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research”, was instead co-opted by Roscomos, the Russian space agency, in 2019. Its mission: to test a new system emergency rescue aboard a Soyuz 2.1a rocket, a risky setting better handled for Fedor than a human being.

    He would learn to connect and disconnect electrical cables using “standard items ranging from a screwdriver and wrench to a fire extinguisher”, according to Alexander Blochenko, director of the Russian space agency. Fedor was to fly to the International Space Station, where he would be an astronaut assistant, especially during risky spacewalks.

    Once he got to the International Space Station, however, it quickly became clear that Fedor’s long legs and clumsy hands weren’t suited to space walks or grabbing handrails in weightlessness. Its mission was therefore abandoned, but Roscomos plans to improve Fedor’s design for a potential future mission.

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    4

    Indian semi-humanoid space robot

    The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is another space agency that plans to send a semi-humanoid robot named Vyommitra into space by the end of 2022 on an uncrewed mission. The robot is expected to be aboard the Chandrayaan-3 uncrewed mission to the moon. Vyommitra is bilingual and has a human face.

    It will be able to issue warnings if the environment in cabin conditions becomes uncomfortable, so humans will be better equipped to overcome problems before heading to the moon themselves. She will be able to operate switch panels to control the capsule and sit in human-like positions, and she has a social function where, in the future, she can recognize and chat with other astronauts. .

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    The researchers who developed these “xenobots” called them “the first living robots”. Made from a cross between stem cells from a frog’s heart and frog’s skin, they’re each millimeter-sized ‘programmable organisms’, says computer scientist and science expert Joshua Bongard. robotics at the University of Vermont who co-led the research.

    Scientists from Tufts University, the University of Vermont and Harvard University first engineered frog embryos with computer algorithms. Their designers hope to learn more about cellular communication through this type of design. “Additionally, these types of robot-organisms could hold the key to delivering drugs into the body or greener environmental cleaning techniques,” writes associate editor Courtney Linder. They can wiggle towards a target, self-repair, and push small objects to a central location, all on their own.

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    These robots really move. They can actually do parkour: jump across chasms, climb stairs, jump over obstacles, and run on a balance beam. Boston Dynamics robots named Atlas may sound cool, but they’re meant for more than that.

    “Ultimately, pushing the boundaries of a humanoid robot like Atlas drives hardware and software innovation that translates to all of our robots at Boston Dynamics,” the company said in an Aug. 17, 2021. blog post. If they can perform all of these activities seamlessly, their technology could be applied, for example, to rescue robots that must climb trees to reach a fallen person, or to a hospital robot that can quickly self-correct itself. he drops a patient. medication.

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    This four-legged robo-yak can supposedly carry as much cargo as two real yaks, according to a tabloid linked to the Chinese Communist Party. It certainly resembles a yak, with its spindly four legs and barrel-shaped body. However, his abilities can be overstated, as this video indicates. It looks like China wants to use the robot to support ground troops, not just to transport supplies.

    world times, a Chinese tabloid with ties to the Chinese government, claims it can carry up to 160 kilograms (352 pounds) and travel up to 6.21 miles per hour. This cited the Chinese Communist Party news site, People’s Daily, saying that the robot was “the biggest, heaviest and most capable off-roader in the world”. But the video appears to show he was having trouble with rough terrain.

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    More promising is the US Army’s robot dog, which combines a quadruped robot with a sniper rifle. Don’t worry, it can only fire when ordered by a human operator. It contains an integrated sniper rifle capable of engaging targets at a distance of three quarters of a mile. The service could operate this robotic weapon system remotely.

    Crucially, he would only engage targets with a human’s permission, writes Kyle Mizokami, a military and defense writer. “Vision 60“has characteristics very similar to PlaceBoston Dynamics’ internet-famous robot dog, based in Waltham, Massachusetts (see next slide), but designer Ghost Robotics says Vision 60 will eventually have the ability to sprint at 9.84 feet per second, or 6.71 miles per hour.

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    You could actually buy one of Boston Dynamics’ famous robot dogs, called Spot, in 2020 if you wanted to make $74,500. For current pricing details, you will need to consult the company.

    This good boy, with his distinctive sunny yellow limbs, can take over in dangerous situations and help out when needed. He has worked on an oil rig, at decommissioned nuclear sites, on construction sites and even helped medical workers triage possible COVID-19 patients in a safe manner. Spot has even been used in creative projects, like dancing on stage and performing at theme parks.

    If you are considering buying one, keep in mind that Spot is not intended for home use and is not recommended for use with children.

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    Using lasers, this agricultural robot eliminates 100,000 weeds per hour. There “Autonomous weederstands out from other robots in its class because it uses high-powered lasers to zap pesky germs into oblivion. And because the bot uses thermal energy to eradicate weeds, rather than physical intervention like tilling, the machine doesn’t disturb the ground below. That means lower farming costs, more herbicides, and most importantly, happier, healthier crops, writes editor Caroline Delbert.

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    Meet Jon. He visited comedy clubs in California and Oregon to hone his stand-up skills. But this funny guy is a robot, whose performance is part of a research project at Oregon State University that seeks to explore new ways to improve human-robot interaction.

    Because social robots, like Anki’s toy robot Cozmo, and autonomous agents like Alexa increasingly infiltrate daily life, researchers Naomi T. Fitter and John Vilk wanted to better understand how robots can use humor to communicate with humans, writes associate editor Courtney Linder. .

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