It's used to mow the steepest hills, according to Jim Miller, director of SU's physical plant. In an SU video, Miller said the decision behind the purchase was worker safety on the steep, sometimes slippery banks.
If you're thinking this is a great way to mow the lawn while sitting on your deck having a beer, you might want to think twice, though. Similar mowers start at $15,000.
Watch the Spider spin its web of grass clippings right here.
Just when you think robots are about to take over the world, they go and do something like this.
The DARPA Robotics Challenge was held this past weekend, with numerous teams “vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters.”
Turns out they had a few disasters of their own as well.
IEEE Spectrum created a compilation of robot falls from the first day of the finals, and while this is pretty funny to watch in itself, one YouTuber took it a step further and mashed it up with some WWE commentary turning it into Internet gold.
“As much as nobody wanted to see a robot fall, everybody wanted to see a robot fall,” wrote IEEE Spectrum on their blog.
The course involved the competing robots trying to open doors, turn valves, drive cars and climb over rubble.
Team KAIST from South Korea took home the top prize with the fastest time, and here’s their robot, DRC-Hubo, stepping up to victory. It was built with wheels on its knees to help protect it from taking a tumble.
“These robots are big and made of lots of metal and you might assume people seeing them would be filled with fear and anxiety,” said DRC organizer Gill Pratt. “But we heard groans of sympathy when those robots fell. And what did people do every time a robot scored a point? They cheered!”
Meanwhile, nothing can stop the beasts from Boston Dynamics, so while these falls are funny, the threat is still very real.
To get a running jump, the robot plans out its path, much like a human runner: As it detects an approaching obstacle, it estimates that object’s height and distance. The robot gauges the best position from which to jump, and adjusts its stride to land just short of the obstacle, before exerting enough force to push up and over. Based on the obstacle’s height, the robot then applies a certain amount of force to land safely, before resuming its initial pace.
It was able to successfully conquer hurdles up to 18-inches tall while going about 5mph.
Here’s a less threatening video of the cheetah running across some grass, but don’t be deceived by the innocent-looking prance.
A woman in South Korea recently found herself battling one of the vacuum robots after it tried to eat her hair instead of cleaning the room.
From the report:
On the day of the accident, she turned on her robot vacuum as usual, and laid down flat on the floor to rest, leaving the robot to do its job. The robot vacuum came around her relaxing on the floor, and suddenly sucked her hair into its nozzle. The vacuum stopped running one to two minutes after the sudden hair intake.
It’s unclear why she would lay down on the floor next to the thing in the first place and not expect to have this happen.
She suffered only minor injuries and the emergency responders said the vacuum sensed her hair and thought it was dust.
You know those annoying boxes on websites that ask you to type hard-to-read text as a security precaution against spammers and bots? And then after 3 failed attempts you just throw your computer out the window instead?
Well their days might be numbered.
Google has announced that it has developed a new method of proving that a user is a real, live human being.
"No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA" - as it's being called - simply asks if you are a robot, and then you click a box if you are not.
According to Google:
Our research recently showed that today's Artificial Intelligence technology can solve even the most difficult variant of distorted text at 99.8% accuracy. Thus distorted text, on its own, is no longer a dependable test.
To counter this, last year we developed an Advanced Risk Analysis backend for reCAPTCHA that actively considers a user's entire engagement with the CAPTCHA—before, during, and after—to determine whether that user is a human.
If you are a robot… well then you need to stop, right now. Bad robot.