Domestic Robots and Other Great Bot Videos

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Dec. 9 2011 6:01 PM

The Week's Most Amazing Robot Videos

Every Friday Future Tense rounds up the best robot videos of the week for your viewing pleasure. This week’s videos feature bots capable of climbing, dancing and even helping out with household chores. 

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The Flight-Like Bot

This robot takes flight simulation to new heights. The Universal Motion Simulator at Australia’s Deakin University has a huge industrial robotic arm that can generate up to six Gs of force. That kind of power is tough to find outside of a fighter jet. While pilots in training are spinning around, they see a full 3D display in their headsets and computers monitor their vital signs. The experience seems like it's pretty close to the real thing.

The Buddy Bot

The previous iteration of Aldebaran Robotics’s Nao robot danced onto the Internet with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The next generation is here: Nao Next Gen improves on its charming predecessor with more advanced voice recognition and response, faster face and object recognition and swifter steps. Hopefully some new dance videos will surface soon.

The Climber Bot

Standing and walking are still difficult tasks for many robots—but this Android is taking big steps forward in advancing bot mobility. Developed in Japan by Muscle Corporation, it uses just five motors for all its movement and was created in only three months. The bot was apparently a big hit at last year’s World Expo in Shanghai: It was seen scaling the walls outside Japan’s pavilion.

The Bot Bonanza: 

London’s Science Museum organized Robotville, an exhibition of European robots, to show how these machines can help us in our daily lives. The collection shows mechanical hands, surgical aids, explorer bots and therapy tools currently in development. A fun fact from the video: 2011 marks 90 years since the first recorded use of the word “robot.”


Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Adam Sneed is a researcher for Future Tense at the New America Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @atsneed.

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