From HAL 9000 to Futurama‘s Bender, robots have carved out their own place in people’s hearts and minds.
The best part? They’re not just fictional things. They’re here on this earth today and serve a wide variety of functions.
But some robots are a little cooler than others. We’ve gathered a list of our favourites, so check it out.
This thing traveled through space, landed on Mars, and started exploring. The NASA team turned on its hazard avoidance system and let the rover move on its own. It moved slowly, about 1.5 meters per minute, but it was operating totally under its own guidance.
For going where no man had ever gone before and ultimately getting marooned on Mars, we honour the Sojourner Rover as a totally cool robot.
Lego introduced its rudimentary robot-building kit in 1998, but it only got better each year. The same way that conventional Lego bricks allow you to build basic objects in little time, Mindstorms allowed you to build simple robots very quickly.
For making robotics accessible to an entire generation of young people, we deem Lego Mindstorms a cool robot.
Yes, it was a pogo-sticking robot. It had tremendous balancing capability, and if you want to see (an unfortunately low-res) video of it in action, click here.
For its over-the-top means of getting from A to B and all the technology that went into it, the Raibert Hopper is very cool.
In 1966, Shakey was the first mobile robot that was able to perceive its environment and move with reason. It had programs for 'seeing,' 'reasoning,' and 'acting.'
For being a tremendous breakthrough in artificial intelligence, Shakey is a pretty cool robot.
The Digger D-3 drives into landmines on purpose. It dismantles them with a vicious rototiller device in front.
For saving soldier's lives and looking great while doing it, the Digger D-3 is one cool robot.
Unimate was the first industrial robot, swinging into action in New Jersey in 1961 to move die castings and weld them onto auto bodies. It was a dangerous job that could've cost human workers lives and limbs, and even subjected them to exhaust fume poisoning.
For saving lives and reducing manufacturing costs, Unimate was a cool robot.
AIBO is a robotic pet dog that can 'see' with an onboard camera and respond to spoken commands. It's totally autonomous, learning on its own and responding to external stimuli. It was unfortunately discontinued in 2006, but it definitely wedged its way into the public consciousness.
Does your landlord not allow pets? Then what's his stance on electronics?
For being adorable and intelligent at the same time, AIBO was a cool robot.
Roomba will vacuum your house while you sleep. That should be enough said right there.
For saving us from having vacuum and leaving more time for us to do whatever we want, Roomba is absolutely a cool robot.
With DARPA funding, Boston Dynamics has built a mobile robot that looks like a cross between and dog and a horse. that moves so efficiently that it's almost freaky. Watch the video below to see how the robot reacts to being pushed over!
For being a tough-as-nails pack animal from the future, Big Dog is one cool robot.
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