Meet Tim. Tim is about to get his head shaved by a robot.
This is, for the record, perhaps notthe most vicious robotic barber that we've ever seen, and Tim should be very glad that he isn't a sheep. And though he volunteered for this, he looks a bit terrified about what's going to happen to his head, and once you see the result, you won't blame him:
Tim old buddy, mad props for taking one for the team. Go buy yourself a nice big hat, you've earned it.
Performing this procedure is a "Multi-Arm Unmanned Ground Vehicle" from Intelligent Automation Inc. (IAI), a Rockville, Md.-based R&D firm focused on AI applications. Its three arms provide more degrees of freedom than can be safely used by a human remote operating hair-butchering implements, but they're probably great for the tasks that the robot was actually designed for, which include backpack inspection, tool handling, shovel manipulation, door breaching, knot tying, and tackling IEDs.
The death-defying stunt in the video (Tim clearly has nerves of steel and a skull comprised of a material somewhat harder than steel) was to raise money for St. Baldrick's Foundation, to help fund the search for cures for childhood cancers. Apparently, you can donate to them without having a robot attack you with clippers, and you can learn more (about both the robot and the charity) at the links below.
[ IAI ]
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.