Meet some amazing robots that are too expensive for hobbyists to buy or make. The have one thing in common: they will blow your socks off!
Atlas does a backflip!
For the most impressive robots in the world, look no further than Boston Dynamics, whose robot menagerie includes Atlas. Boston Dynamics was owned by Google for a while but now belongs to SoftBank.
The leg-wheeled Handle
OK, so that's a clumsy phrase, but it's great to see that Boston Dynamics has at last started making robots with wheels - such a great invention. Well, they kept the legs too - you'll see what I mean. So is this the shape of our future overlords? Don't watch this if you get nightmares easily!
The Most Advanced Robots In The World (?)
One of the robots you saw in the above video was Atlas v1, and you can see him again in this BBC video.
The Atlas robot in the above movie made a fool of itself in the 2015 DARPA emergency recovery challenge (see 'not so amazing' below). So Boston Dynamics developed a smaller, lighter version of Atlas - very cool, as you can see in this video:
I'm always afraid that one day, when robots rule the planet, they will come across videos of robots being abused, as in the above video, and will be tempted to treat humans just as badly...
Atlas doesn't always perform well. Here he is in a bad mood (actually, he looks a bit drunk):
There's a problem with the 'Atlas' robot you saw in the previous videos: it uses too much power to be able to run for a useful length of time. Meet Durus, an ultra-efficient robot, 10-20 times more efficient than Atlas v1. It should be able to operate for about 5 hours on a single charge.
In January 2015 Boston Dynamics released a video of their latest robot called Spot, a smaller and quieter (battery-powered) version of Big Dog:
US Navy scientists have unveiled a prototype fire-fighting robot. The Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) is the size of a human and is capable of detecting fires. It can withstand higher temperatures for longer periods than humans.
Hubo is a South Korean Robot designed to assist in disaster recovery. Perhaps uniquely, it has a neat ability to switch between a biped mode for rough surfaces and a wheeled mode for smoother surfaces. See the BBC video.
Hubo (above) won the 2 million dollar first prize in the DARPA emergency recovery challenge of 2015 by completing 8 simple challenges (drive a car, drill a hole etc) in the fastest time. Only three robots out of 23 were able to complete all the challenges, and many of these very expensive robots ended up eating dirt...
Yes, these football-playing robots are amazing. Amazingly bad, that is...
Mimu is a Japanese HRP-4C robot, considered to be the most life-like female android robot on the planet. Judge for yourself as she dances and sings for you! Fortunately she doesn't have sexy legs yet, so you should be able to tell which one is Mimu...
Heinz is working to develop a robot that automatically distributes tomato ketchup...
How robots evolve (Not really)
EV3 Robot sets new world record for Rubik cube*
Did I say expensive? This robot, unlike the others on this page, is very affordable. This video shows a robot setting a new world record for the solving of a Rubik cube by a robot made from mainly Lego EV3 parts. Cube Twister can solve randomized cubes in about 2.2 seconds, on average, smashing the previous record held by Cube Stormer 3 which could only manage about 3.5 seconds. The most amazing thing about Cube Twister is that it doesn't run the normal Lego EV3 software, it runs instead EV3 Basic which was developed in 2015 to allow Lego roboticists to learn textual programming, the kind used by professional programmers. Learn more about EV3 Basic on my site EV3Basic.com.
A rock band made of heavy metal
Yes, the German rock band Compressorhead consists of four robots. They enjoy playing hits from Led Zeppelin to Motorhead.
Petman was designed to test clothing that protects against chemical warfare but he also has very human-like motions. See him at work HERE.
World's biggest walking robot
Zollner Elektronik’s dragon made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest walking robot: 16m in length, and 8m in height. I'd love to see a robot like this in our school playground, wouldn't you?