Friday, January 1, 2016

The robots of 2015

It seems to have been quite a year in robotics.

Robots of greater and greater sophistication appear to arrive on a monthly basis, greeted by people with a predictable mixture of fascination and "Oh my God! SkyNet!" Here is a list of ten such robots from the past year and my own picks for the most interesting:

First off, there are Kurata and Mk II. They're built for an all-out robot duke-a-roo in a tournament similar to the old silly show, Robot Wars. Therefore the resemblance to Gundam and other Japanese mecha is not coincidental.

Pepper (above) has limited artificial intelligence and the ability to recognize emotion on human faces. Apparently they're selling well.

Geminoid, a robot with its own IMDb page. A film director had this robot play a full, speaking role. Think about it. The robot won't get tired during multiple takes. Doesn't need to be paid scale, either.

ATLAS, blogged plenty about this one. Nuff said.

DARPA/MIT Cheetah, the robot whose structure and AI are designed to mimic the fastest mammal in the animal kingdom. At one point it was unable to make its way up stairs or sloped ground.
That defect has been eliminated.

hitchBOT. Read about what happened to it and then try arguing to me that humans aren't scum.

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