Amazing robots 2
This mouse robot has already spent a minute exploring this maze and will now attempt to complete the maze in record time!
The US army now has more than 10 thousand robots working alongside soldiers, such as Big Dog:
Cute and cuddly and amazingly insect-like (rather than dog-like), Little Dog does a great job navigating rough terrain. Another DARPA creation (research arm of US Army).
A bionic kangaroo?
Biomimetics is the science which looks at designs in the natural world, and then tries to copy them for the benefit of humans. A team of engineers in Germany has produced a bionic kangaroo, capable of jumping and then recovering its balance. It is also able to recover energy when jumping, storing it for use in its next jump. See the BBC report HERE. For a bionic drone bird, see this BBC video.
The main appeal of the Nao would be its relative affordability compared to the other robots on this page and the fact that it is French, showing that innovative robot designs are not entirely dominated by the US and Japan.
An improved version of the Nao, the Nao Next Gen:
Like the Nao, Pepper is made by the French company Aldebaran, which says "Pepper is the first humanoid robot designed to live with humans. Pepper is a social robot able to converse with you, recognize and react to your emotions, move and live autonomously. Engaging and friendly, Pepper is much more than a robot, he’s a companion able to communicate with you through the most intuitive interface we know: voice, touch and emotions."
Probably the world's most famous robot, Honda's Asimo robot keeps adding new features but usually follows carefully choreographed routines and thus is lacking in intelligence relative to many others (ad):
I was amazed by the coordination of these helicopters:
Not sure the mondopider above would impress your girlfriend? The Kuratas might have an even better chance of impressing her, if you can afford the 1,353,500 USD price tag:
The IEEE Guide to Robots
This guide ranks dozens of robots according to popularity or creepiness.
This virtual music-playing robot is so complex - surely no one will ever try to actually make a real one...
Well, someone did...
Radio Controlled helicopter
Again, not really a robot since it doesn't think for itself, but nevertheless AWESOME.
At 2.5 billion dollars, this has to be the most expensive robot ever built! Currently beginning a two year exploration of the surface of Mars, this is a true robot in every sense - it has many sensors and motors, a lot of intelligence and a very high degree of autonomy (Curiosity can't be operated by remote control for it takes 15 minutes for radio signals from Earth to reach Mars).
Click HERE to visit the amazing JPL site that helps you learn about every part of the rover with simulations and even lets you drive across the surface of Mars!
And finally, the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo. Not proper robots as above, but quite spectacular nevertheless...