Robots are no longer a fantasy of the future. For centuries, humans have been hypothesizing about robots. Now, technology is advancing at such a fast rate that our fantasies (or nightmares) are becoming true. Robots are, whether or not we like it, going to continue to be more involved in our lives. So we might as well welcome our robotic overlords. Here are twelve GIFs of some very cool robots that exist today.
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.
According to a recent study by BBC Radio's statistical literacy program More or Less, the tallest stable LEGO structure would be comprised of 375,000 lego bricks and stand 3.5km (2.17 miles) high before the brick at the base of the tower finally gave in to the weight. The current world record for the tallest LEGO structure was set in 2011 by Sao Paulo's multi-colored monolith made from 500,000 bricks that is 102 feet and 3 inches tall. Hat tip goes to BoingBoing.
The G-Cans Project (formally known as the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel) is the world's largest flood water drain facility located 50 meters below ground in the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan. Built between 1992 and 2009, the massive underground tunnel system is equipped with four jet-powered turbines and five gargantuan water silos that can drain floodwaters at an impressive rate of a 25-meter swimming pool per second.