A snakebot recently crawled up my leg. The engineers sort of grinned while I grimaced, wondering if I should try to attack it or cry for help, an impulse that comes from watching too many scifi movies, I guess. I expect most robots to destroy me, but these snakebots are designed to do the opposite. And they could change robotics as we know it.
It’s a totally unfair fight since this Yaskawa Bushido industrial robot arm basically stole all of master swordsman Isao Machii’s moves and is not human, so it can be programmed and won’t get tired, but it’s really fun to see man vs machine swinging swords to see who can slice things best with diagonal cuts, rising cuts, horizontal cuts and a thousand cuts.
Not content with creating a robot cheetah that can run and jump over obstacles at astonishing speeds, researchers at MIT have also developed this incredibly tiny origami robot that can not only fold itself, it can also walk, swim, and then destroy itself when it’s no longer needed.
Robots vs robots. Transformer vs Transformer. Terminator vs Terminator. Robot fights are awesome spectacles that are packed with blinding explosions and rumbling sound effects and unbelievable special effects that they’re perfect to watch in a big, loud and dark movie theater.
We love to marvel at the advanced robotics projects funded by the US Department of Defense because they’re so impressively—if clumsily—getting around and doing stuff like real humans. Motherboard’s latest documentary is an important reminder that today’s nerdy research will create the weapons of tomorrow.