Automatons on Tap

Explore and interact with a world of robots through IEEE Spectrum’s first iPad app

Photo: Bridget Collins

Brought to you by the editors behind IEEE Spectrum’s award-winning Automaton blog, the Robots iPad app (US $5, available on iTunes) is a celebration of mindful machines. Using hundreds of photos and videos, the app has detailed entries for 126 of the most notable robots built from 1961 to today. The first industrial robot, Unimate, the Mars rover Curiosity, and Honda’s Asimo are included, alongside a host of other machines from 19 countries.

Yes, we’re shamelessly tooting our own horn here. But we’re proud of this app, because it captures the passion that animates Spectrum’s robotics coverage and distills it into a rich collection that goes beyond our day-to-day reporting. The highlight of Robots is its collection of interactive graphics. These allow users to rotate a robot through 360 degrees or see it perform an action, such as having NASA’s Robonaut lift weights. The interface is structured so that someone with a casual interest in robotics can easily find plenty of entertainment (such as rating the creepiness factor of various androids), while robot mavens can drill down for things like power requirements.

Robots is also updated daily with news from Spectrum, and it even includes advice on getting started in robotics, with audio contributions from leading roboticists like Rodney Brooks and Colin Angle. If you, or someone you know, loves robots, this is the app to get.

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