Robots Transform and… Dance?

Updated: Mon 6 Mar 2006 by Chief Gadgeteer.

This is a very cool example of how far robotics have advanced in the last few years. This is a video demonstration of a ‘transformer’ robot. Yep, just like in the cartoons. It’s quite a smooth, fluid transformation too. Count me impressed.

Yet another robot demonstration, it’s of 4 Sony robots that put on a synchronized dance routine. It starts off slowly, but about midway, they really start to get into it. It’s a bit eerie watching this. I keep waiting for them to pull out huge weapons from their backpacks and shoot up the audience a la Robocop.

Robots also can act like sure-footed pack mules. BigDog is a four-legged robot built by Boston Dynamics. There is a video of the robot in action. BigDog operates via internal force sensors that detect the ground variations and compensate for them. The active balance is maintained by four legs, each with three joints powered by actuators and a fourth “springy” joint. All the joints are controlled by an onboard PC processor. The project is sponsored by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who want the robotic pack mule to assist soldiers in terrain too tough for vehicles. Ground-based soldiers often need to carry 40 kilograms of equipment.