Somehow, robot stories, articles, feats, and photos always come to the fore. For me, they're right up there with things NASA. What follows are our beloved robots, from new to now ancient, and their raisons d'être. While I'm trying to stick to those that are important on an electronics basis, I couldn't resist throwing in a few Hollywood examples as well.
Why a two-part series? There were just too many examples to be included, so I've divided the subject matter up into recent robots (Part 1 for those announced just this year) and really ancient robots (Part 2). The only exception is the final slide in Part 1 from Max Maxfield's toy box. That could have fit in the next segment.
Just click on the link in each image's title for more information.
One of the more recent robots to launch is the UBR-1 by Unbounded Robotics, Inc. The goal was to bring to market an affordable robot that was still powerful. This one-armed assistant is easy to program, based on a mobile platform.
(Source: Unbounded Robotics, Eric Guibransen)
When I first saw this one, it looked like a cross between a Volkswagen engine, a rabbit, and a Costa-Rican bug, but OK...
Here's the only info available to date:
WildCat is a four-legged robot being developed to run fast on all types of terrain. So far WildCat has run at about 16 mph on flat terrain using bounding and galloping gaits. The video shows WildCat's best performance so far. WildCat is being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA's M3 program. For more information about WildCat visit our website at www.BostonDynamics.com.
Here's one that combines two of my favorite subjects:
The plan seems to be a rover/robot snake combo: The rover can cover the long distances, while the snake crawls on the ground. The combo also makes sense from a power basis. A cable will attach the rover and snake. The snake can draw power from the rover's abundant power source, and the cable can provide traction and communications.
This one is an example of a more practical and useful robot design:
Really... Is there more to say?