ECCERobot, robot bartender, and machine vision: The best bot videos of the week.

Best Robot Videos of the Week: The Terrible Robo-Bartender

Best Robot Videos of the Week: The Terrible Robo-Bartender

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
April 20 2012 4:11 PM

Best Robot Videos of the Week: The Terrible Robo-Bartender

Every Friday, Future Tense rounds up the best robot videos of the week. Seen a great robot video? Tweet it to @FutureTenseNow, or email us.

This week, we see how the world looks to robots and meet a bot that can’t hold its drink.


The Bot’s View
Have you ever wondered how a robot sees the world? This short video by Timo Arnall peers inside the minds of machines to show how robots make sense of what’s around them. In a New Aesthetic style, we see the world we know as inputs that amount to a meaningful sense of sight for a robot. And while those individual inputs might not mean much to us humans, the more we learn about robotic vision, the better we can design to share with machines. As Arnall writes on his blog, “the visual expressions of machine vision” can be quite beautiful. “Something about the crackly, jittery but yet often organic, insect-like or human quality of a robot’s interpretation of the world. It often looks unstable and unsure, and occasionally mechanically certain and accurate.”

 Via Wired.

The Skeletal Bot
Roboticists all around the world are working to make humanlike robots, but ECCERobot stands out for its focus on re-creating the mechanics of the human body. Created by Owen Holland at the University of Belgrade, this design is based on human bone and muscle structures (though someone must have miscounted the eyes). The plastic bones come together to mimic human joints which, combined with a complex system of muscles, give the robot a wider range of motion than what we’re used to seeing in humanoid robotics. The purpose, as explained in the video, is to make a bot that’s better suited for interaction in a human environment. At this point, it’d also make one killer Halloween prop.

Via Co.Design.

The Bad Bartender Bot
Here’s a welcome reminder that robots aren’t ready to take over the world. This robo-bartender does its only job in the worst way possible, and that’s even before it falls apart. Flickr user squacco posted the video, saying, “On account of the fact that my Japanese beer-pouring robot friend is a beer-pouring robot friend…, I thought I’d share a can of beer with him. I probably won’t do it ever again, though.” Good call, squacco.


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.