NASA and MEGABOTS team up to build Giant Fighting Robots. And defeat the Giant Fighting Robots of JAPAN
Finally, there's a crowdfunding campaign for people who want to watch giant robots fight to the death.
MegaBots Inc. — a Boston-based company that builds huge, human-operated, fighting robots — launched a Kickstarter campaign on Aug. 19 to raise money to develop a huge, gun-toting robot, in preparation for an upcoming "duel" with a similar "battle bot" from Japan.
In June, the MegaBots team took to YouTube to challenge its one and only competitor, Suidobashi Heavy Industry of Japan, to a robot duel. Suidobashi's founder, Kogoro Kurata, accepted the challenge a week later, but with one condition: He wanted the duel to be a "melee." In other words, the bots aren't just going to stand across a field from each other and shoot paintballs; they'll go to head-to-head, fist-to-fist, toe-to-toe and all that good stuff.
USA CHALLENGES JAPAN TO GIANT ROBOT DUEL!
In the video posted by MegaBots, two American flag-clad men describe the Mark II as "12,000 pounds [5,443 kilograms] of gasoline-powered fury," capable of firing 3-pound (1.4 kg) paintball cans at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour (161 km/h). But the folks at Suidobashi seem ready for the challenge. In a video response released on July 5, Suidobashi's founder, Kogoro Kurata, dons a Japanese flag and makes it clear he's not going down without a fight.
RESPONSE TO ROBOT DUEL CHALLENGE.
Tesla unveils Snakelike Robot Charger for Electric Cars
Last week, the company released a video on its YouTube channel that shows a snakelike robot slithering toward the charging port of Tesla's Model S electric car. The bot appears to connect with the port without any help from humans and, presumably, stays there until the car is fully charged before slithering away (though the 36-second-long video doesn't show all that).
Robots Can Assemble Themselves
MIT's M-Blocks are robot cubes with no external parts — the plan is to create modular robots that can change their geometry to take on any task.
Bug Bots! These Insect-Inspired Robots Can Jump on Water
"We have revealed the secret of jumping on water using robotics technology," co-senior study author Kyu-Jin Cho, director of the Biorobotics Laboratory at Seoul National University, told Live Science. "Natural organisms give a lot of inspiration to engineers."
The first robot that was able to jump on water was built in 2012 by engineers at Harbin Institute of Technology in China. However, unlike the new tiny strider-bot, the older robot is six inches long and about 1,000 times as heavy. The older jumping robot also has a different design. It uses six paddle-like feet made out of water repellant nickel foam, which allows it to balance and float on the water, as well as hop 14 centimeters high and 14 inches forward.
Koh’s strider-bot is the first ever to use surface-tension dominated jumping like real water striders. The simple design of the robot also allows it to be made at relatively low cost.
Google's Human-Shaped Robot takes Firts Walk Outside
ALSO, MEET A ROBOT DOG WITH AN ARM FOR A NECK
Jump-Bot! New Hybrid Robot Has Soft 'Skin' But Hard 'Guts'
SOFT 3D-PRINTED ROBOT PROPELS ITSELF WITH EXPLOSIONS
Pneumatics fuel the jump. First, one more more of the legs inflates, angling the robot in the direction it wants to go. Then the robot releases oxygen and butane inside its soft belly. With a spark, this explodes, sending the belly blasting outwards, hurtling the robot into the air
Researchers Create Robots Capable of Evolving
Robots are made, they are not born. Or are they? At the University of Cambridge, scientists have created a "mother robot" that can not only build smaller robots, it can also select the fittest among them for survival, and re-arrange the rest.
The robot mother would build 10 children, and see how far they moved in a given time. The fastest were kept as they were, while the slower ones were scrapped and redesigned. At the end of the experiment, the fastest robots in the brood were twice as fast as the best robots from the first generation.
NASA is seriously considering terraforming part of the moon with robots
The Robots Shall Inherit the Moon
Announced on July 6 2015, NASA is moving ahead with funding to study several ambitious space research projects, including one that would transform an inhospitable lunar crater into a habitat for robots — and eventually, human explorers. Located on the moon’s South Pole, Shackleton Crater isn’t just prime real estate for terraforming experiments, it’s Optimus Prime real estate. NASA wants to fill the crater with solar-powered transformers, and then use the fleet of robots to turn the crater into a miniature hospitable environment.
Robots Face Off in DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals
At the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, robots built by teams from around the world are preparing to face off in a competition that tests their ability to assist humans during a simulated natural or manmade disaster.
During the challenge, the teams attempted to complete eight tasks within one hour: driving a utility vehicle, exiting the vehicle, opening a door, drilling a hole in a wall, completing a surprise task, walking over a pile of rubble or clearing a path through debris, and walking up a short flight of stairs.
CHIMP as a bi-ped: Carnegie Mellon University's CHIMP robot takes a "walk" on two legs, which roll on treads like a tank, during a test event.
KAIST operates tool: South Korean team KAIST's robot, DRC-HUBO, operates a tool during a test even.
KAIST behind the wheel: Team KAIST's robot prepares to drive a Polaris vehicle during testing, a task that will be part of the finals in Pomona, California.
WPI-CMU prepares for stairs: The robot from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Carnegie Mellon University readies itself to climb stairs, another competition task.
Momaro removing debris: Momaro, the robot from Germany's University of Bonn, clears debris from a simulated disaster site in a test event.
IHMC tackling rubble: Florida's Institute of Human and Machine Cognition team robot, Running Man, makes its way over a field of rubble during a test event. (Images credit: DARPA)
The competition, hosted by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was inspired by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. After the tragedy, human workers were unable to go in and shut off a valve to prevent a gas explosion; but if they had been able to send in robots to do the job, the worst of the disaster may have been prevented, according to DARPA officials.
Here is a full list of the competitors (in no particular order):
21. TEAM TROOPER — Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Troy, New York; Philadelphia. Robot name: "LEO" (Atlas).
22. TEAM VALOR — Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia. Robot name: "ESCHER."
23. TEAM VIGIR — TORC Robotics, Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt, Germany; Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia; Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon; Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Leibniz University, Hanover, Germany. Robot name: "Florian."
24. TEAM WALKMAN — Italian Institute of Technologyand University of Pisa, Genova-Pisa, Italy. Robot name: "WALK-MAN."
25. TEAM WPI-CMU — Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts; Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Robot name: "WARNER" (Atlas).
Robots show glimmer of Self-Awarness
Scientists at The Rensselaer AI and Reasoning Lab (Rair) in New York conducted an experiment on three Nao robots.
The robotic trio was composed of three old Nao models, but the experiment that was conducted on them was extremely novel — and so were the results.
The robots were programed to think that two of them had been given a “dumbing pill” that would make them unable to speak (actually just a button that silenced them). However, they didn't know exactly which two of them had been silenced. When the robots were asked to answer which two had been given the pill, all of them tried to respond: “I don’t know.” Since only one was actually able to utter the words, it heard its own voice and recognized it wasn't among the two who had been silenced. That robot then responded: “Sorry, I know now. I was able to prove that I was not given a dumbing pill.”
Not only are the Nao bots polite, the test requires them to accomplish very basic forms of self-awareness. Each robot must be able to understand the question, as well as to be able to recognize its own voice. They must also be able to infer that if they were able to speak, they weren't one of the robots who had received the “dumbing pill.”
The test is a variation of an induction puzzle called “The King's Wise Men.” In the puzzle’s scenario, a king decides who will be his new advisor by calling three of the wisest men to his court to participate in a contest, which he promises will be fair. He tells all three wise men that he's putting either a white or blue hat on their heads, but the color of each hat can only be seen by the men not wearing it. The King goes on to tell the men that at least one of them is wearing a blue hat. The first wise man to figure out the color of his own hat becomes the new king’s advisor. In fact, the solution is that they're all wearing blue hats.