Robots, I guess, are really big on Easter. What has led me to this conclusion is the sheer volume of vids that have cropped up this week. So, let's just see how many videos (not all Easter related, by the way) we can cram into one single post. Aaaaaand, GO!
I think the TurtleBots at Clearpath Robotics need to have their dates reset, 'cause they're a wee bit early on the Easter egg hunt:
Unknown to the human employees at Clearpath, our robots decided it was high time they partook in the fun of Easter celebrations. Imagine our surprise when we arrived at work to find all available surfaces covered in eggs and an Easter egg hunt in full swing. In a characteristically cheeky move, one of our more personable TurtleBots took it upon itself to play Easter Bunny and hide eggs around the office for the other TurtleBots to find. The TurtleBots were thrilled and spent all morning locating and collecting eggs and only slightly disrupted the productivity of the human employees in their search. When one employee cautiously asked to join the egg hunt, the Easter Bunny TurtleBot made threatening gestures with its robotic arm and responded "bee-boop, bee, bip!" Clearly this event was meant for artificial intelligence only.
My question: what's in the eggs? LiPo batteries or something?
Zenta has been working on his Morphex spherical transforming hexapod thing, and in a minor miracle of creative programming and servo use, he's managed to get it to roll itself along the ground:
If you're impressed, consider tossing a vote Zenta's way to help him win the Boca Bearings 2012 Innovation Competition.
We don't know who EDF Energy is, or anything about their Blue +Price Promise, but watch this promo video and see if you recognize the main character:
This as-yet unnamed cousin of Keepon will be showing up in a couple more ads over the next few weeks, and rumor* has it that in one of them, he gets eaten by a lion.
*A rumor I started just now.
Ever wanted to see a Qbo totally naked with its guts hanging out? Me neither, but this time-lapse video of a Qbo being constructed from scratch is pretty cool to watch:
UMass Lowell has an awesome robotics program, and they want you to know it. How do we know it's sweet? Because they've got a Microsoft Surface table to mess with:
My brother/nemesis Spencer* got a tour of the Navy's new Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research, which features a desert, a rainforest, and more than one place that's on fire:
*Spencer Ackerman and I are not actually related, unless there's something that Mom and Dad aren't telling me...
And what better way to wrap things up than with an animatronic tour of the inner workings of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (yes, it's an old vid but I first saw it this week and couldn't resist adding it here):
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.