12 Amazing Robots You’ve Never Seen
If there’s one thing that can de-stress a householder and take some burden off their shoulders, that would surely be a “robot.” Imagine a robot working on your command and cleaning your home, doing dishes, or any household chore you want. Although that day is still a long way into the future, inventions have already commenced so as to bring this far-fetched idea to fruition. Thanks to AI and certain techniques that have made high-tech companies create some impressive robots. Check out this list of some of the most amazing robots you’ve ever seen.
1 Robot Arm that Lifts Dumbbells
A Polish robotics engineer has created a synthetic robotic muscle arm and hand that’s capable of lifting 15.6-pound dumbbells. Instead of being AI-powered, this robotic arm operates on water and electricity, utilizing 200 watts of peak power.
Poland-based company Automaton Robotic has designed a synthetic arm and hand with fine motor skills. The company’s engineer, Łukasz Koźlik, has made this robotic arm to mimic the movements of the human body. Powered by hydraulics and electric power, this arm is capable of lifting dumbbells weighing 15.6 pounds.
The robotic arm can perform a wide range of movements despite having half the number of muscles as its biological counterpart. Each of its muscles is a pneumatic artificial muscle, or “McKibben muscle,” that uses hydraulic fluid such as water to fill a bladder that can contract and relax on command.
These muscles consume 200 watts at peak power and are impressively close to a biological arm. As for now, the synthetic arm lacks a strong finger-bending muscle and left-to-right wrist movement. However, it can easily move fingers from left to right without using any muscle. (1, 2)
2 Gordon, the Robot that is Controlled by a Rat’s Brain
Scientists have designed a robot with a brain stitched together from 50,000 to 100,000 active neurons of cultured rats to figure out the functioning of a biological brain. The robotic model may also help combat neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Consisting of a brain stitched together from cultured rat neurons, the robot Gordon is designed by scientists at the University of Reading. With 50,000 to 100,000 active neurons, Gordon’s brain will help scientists know how memories are stored in human brains.
Kevin Warwick, one of the robot’s key architects, removed the nerve cells from rat fetuses and laid them in a nutrient-rich channel across an array of 60 electrodes. According to the scientist, this multi-electrode array (MEA) acts as a medium between the machine and living tissue. Its role is to receive electrical impulses from the brain and carry them to the robot’s wheels, and also receive impulses delivered by sensors.
This robotic brain is housed in a special temperature-regulated unit. It just uses a Bluetooth radio link to communicate with its “body” and has no additional device controlling it. Being the world’s first robot to be controlled by living brain tissue, Gordon is one of the most amazing robots out there. (source)
3 Motobot, the Robot Rider
Motobot is a humanoid robot developed by Yamaha Motors to autonomously ride a bike around a racetrack. It has the potential to operate the motorcycle’s controls with little to no modifications. This motorcycle robot rider will be able to make certain decisions, such as choosing the best lines around the track, in the near future.
Although the idea of driverless cars is not new, Yamaha is pushing the concept ahead with the help of its robot-ridden motorcycle. The prototype of the robot that autonomously drives the bike is called “Motobot.”
This motorcycle-riding humanoid uses various actuators to perform riding operations and actions similar to human riders. Once fully developed, Motobot will challenge MotoGP world champion, Valentino Rossi. The designer company states that the bike robot rider will have the potential to ride an unmodified motorcycle at speeds over 200 kilometers per hour.
Motobot will be employed primarily to test rider support features as well as to improve rider safety. Going forward, machine learning and machine position recognition techniques will be used to enable the robot to make its own decisions when on track. For instance, the autonomous Motobot will be able to pick the best lines around the track. (1, 2, 3)
4 Crab Robot
A British film producer of nature documentaries uses crab robots fitted with spy cameras. The robot currently works on capturing insider footage of the Christmas Island red crabs’ annual mass migration to the sea.
John Downer, a popular nature documentary director from Britain, has used a crab robot to capture footage of red crabs on Christmas Island in Australia. The footage showcases the migration of the region’s red crabs that takes place annually between October and December. During the migration, millions of crabs travel towards the shore to mate, leave behind eggs, and then return to the forests.
The crab robot fitted with a “spy camera” has captured the rare moments of this “epic” event. The footage has helped the filmmaker see the details of how red crabs wander through forests, cross major roadways, and finally make their way to the sea during the mating season. (1, 2)
5 Robot Patrol Dog
American robotics design company, Boston Dynamics, has created a robo-dog named Zeus that works as a patrol dog. In 2021, Zeus inspected the wreckage site after SpaceX’s rocket prototype, SN10, exploded following a successful landing at Boca Chica in Texas.
Boston Dynamics, an American engineering and robotics design company, has developed a robot dog that SpaceX has renamed “Zeus.” This “spot” robot works like a patrol dog helping investigate sites as it did at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in Texas after the rocket prototype SN10 exploded after landing successfully.
After the explosion, the life-like machine went to the test site ahead of the space agency to help officers investigate the wreckage. The four-legged, yellow-colored, robo-dog patrolled the rocket’s landing site looking for any potential hazards.
The robot dog is known for cleaning up sites and retrieving objects. Another great feature of the robot is that it can map and sense the surroundings, both indoors and outdoors. Zeus can also open doors, climb stairs, and avoid obstacles. According to articles on the web, it is priced at $75,000. (1, 2)
6 iCub, an Iron-Man-like Robot
The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Italy’s Genoa has come up with a robot called “iCub” with superhero Iron-Man-like capabilities. This 3.4-foot-tall robot that’s designed to support sophisticated manipulation skills is capable of rescue operations in places hit by natural disasters and those where drones and humans can’t reach.
Engineers working at Italy-based company Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Genoa have developed iCub, a robot Iron Man for rescue operations. Just like the Marvel superhero, it has systems in its hands that allow for power and direction control. The robot stands at 3.4 feet tall, the size of a five-year-old child, and can crawl, walk, or sit up.
Despite being so small, its hands are capable of performing a variety of high-end manipulation skills. The robot has free arms that can manipulate tasks such as handling heavy objects hassle-free. Equipped with propulsion engines, the “Iron Man” can also get over giant obstacles on different types of terrain.
The tiny humanoid robot designed to fly like Iron Man is built to carry out rescue operations in case of natural disasters. Its small size and flying ability allow it to reach places inaccessible to humans or drones. iCub is controlled remotely to remain effectively indoors and able to function outdoors at the same time. It runs on algorithms that also help monitor its landing and orientation details and ensure vertical take-off. (1, 2)
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