Tuesday, April 29, 2008

a robot fixes itself? beats those little dancers

Hot on the heels of yesterday's post about those (uninspiring) dancing Sony robots, I've found another robot video that's much more impressive in terms of functionality. (I'll kick this robot habit soon, I promise)

The folks at UPenn have created a robot that'll reassemble itself after it's been kicked apart.

The YouTube video comes in at just over 3 minutes, but you get the gist of things at the 60-second mark. I almost fast-forwarded to the end, but they blessedly sped things up at the 90-second mark to reduce the overall time by at least half, I'd guess. See for yourself:

And while this particular robot is a rather crude structure and there's a bit of rigging going on in how gently it was kicked apart, it's not too difficult to envision the trajectory of improvements on this kind of robotic ability.

The latent sci-fi geek in me just got a little giddy.

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