Beggar Robots

I am not sure if this is authentic, but the concept is fascinating. It seems to be the work of Slovenian “contemporary visual artist” named SaÅ¡o Sedlaček.

The Beggar Robot has access to areas normally off-limits to beggars, such as shopping malls and community events, where the richer members of society more often frequent. The hypothesis is that this part of society is only able to show some sympathy towards the marginalized if they communicate from a safe distance and via a technological interface. The project tests and exploits the advantages of robotic interface by bringing the Beggar Robot to public spaces in different countries and adapting it to the local context and local language, to beg in the name of the poor.

“Big Dog” Quadruped Robot

Pretty amazing!

Boston Dynamics has just released a brand new video of their DARPA-funded Big Dog robot. Big Dog, the older brother of the Little Dog robot we covered a while back, is meant to be a “pack mule” for soldiers some day. Behind Big Dog is some pretty cool force-controlled technology. With its quadruped gait it can regain balance if it’s kicked, handle rough terrain like rocks, and climb inclines up to 35 deg.

In this new video, in addition to some footage from previous videos, you can see it handling slippery ice, slopes in deep snow, and demoing its new walking gait. About halfway through is the ice part — this thing is better than I am at regaining balance. There’s also a demo of it carrying a 340 lb load, much heavier than it has managed in the past.

via Automaton.