We caught some video of these minuscule robots getting off a subway, and we’re intrigued. What are these little dudes doing on the train? Is there some sort of convention in town we should know about? Yet another robot dance party where we didn’t quite make the guest list? Are they heading home after a long day, or getting out for a night on the town? Or have we come so far that robots are now just every day working slobs like you and me, trying to squeeze time for a cup of coffee into their morning commute? We know there’s more than meets the eye here, and we’ll tell you more about it in the coming days. In the meantime, though, check out the video after the jump and let us know what you think!
You can be sure we’ll be bringing you more on this one as it develops. In the meantime, enjoy a slideshow of some of our favorite recent developments in robot technology, as well as a few we’re looking forward to learning more about in the next couple of days.
No. 1 | Kuratas Mech
This Japanese mech -- known as Kuratas -- is available for purchase, and has officially rocketed right to the top of our Christmas wish list. Featuring a BB-shooting cannon activated by its pilot's smile, how could you not want one of these? We're smiling (safely) just thinking about it.
No. 2 | Biped Robot
We don't know what this robot is doing on an airport runway. Get out of there, dude! That plane looks like it's about to take off, and that's not a safe to be, even with your abnormally powerful robot frame.
No. 3 | Robot Surgeon
Surgeons across the world are bringing robots into the operating room to assist in delicate operations and make ever smaller and more precise incisions that can speed up healing times for patients. Most surgeons haven't received a ton of training with these robotic assistants, though, and they could take some tips from avid gamers, many of whom showed promise in controlling the finely-tuned robots in a recent study.
No. 4 | Tightrope Walking Robot
Balance isn't a problem for this robot, which can walk a tightrope with more grace than we usually muster just walking down the hall to the bathroom. While we can think of more practical skills to master than tightrope walking, it's hard to think of abilities that would be more impressive than this.
No. 5 | Cab Robot
This robot looks like it's doing its level best to flag down a cab, a task all too often beyond us. Good luck getting a ride back to Brooklyn once the bars have closed, buddy! We don't even believe a robot could do that...yet.
No. 6 | 3D Navigating Quadcopter
This quadcopter is taking a flight around the campus of Cornell University, avoiding obstacles by visualizing its own surroundings in real-time 3D like something out of a sci-fi novel. Except it's happening in real life, and thus way more awesome.
No. 7 | Pet-Proto
DARPA's latest humanoid robot Pet-Proto, is getting better at navigating things like stairs and narrow hallways. That might sound easy to you -- after all, you probably walk up stairs every day -- but these complicated motions are just the sort of thing that robots will have to master to become more common in everyday life.