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Robotic Penguins

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the unending-march-of-the-penguins dept.

Robotics 118

Corporate Troll writes "Robotic penguins were unveiled by German engineering firm Festo this week. Using their flippers, the mechanical penguins (video) can paddle through water just like real ones, while larger helium-filled designs can "swim" through the air. The penguins are on show at the Hannover Messe Trade Exhibition in Germany. Each penguin carries 3D sonar which is used to monitor its surroundings and avoid collisions with walls or other penguins."

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uh-oh (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683075)

I hope these penguins don't start hassling me about Linux.

I've tried it- it was a pain in the ass. Leave me alone!

Re:uh-oh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683093)

Are you sure the pain in your ass wasn't Cmdr. Taco's cock? It's a common problem for first time linux users.

Re:uh-oh (-1, Troll)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683195)

I believe he's been a mac panzy for years running.

Oh, don't kid yourself: *NIX people LOVE that! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683225)

"Are you sure the pain in your ass wasn't Cmdr. Taco's cock? It's a common problem for first time linux users." - by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 23, @12:20AM (#27683093)

"Yo Quero Taco Bell"? The "Taco Blaster's" (lol) only giving them what they want (or rather, lol, NEED)...

(It always seemed that many *NIX people LIKE that 'pud-up-the-poop-shoot' stuff (especially the MacOS X 'strange lads'))

Sp. upon seeing that you have noticed this pattern also? Well, apparently, this is also the case with many a "Linux Penguin" around here as well, lol...

I think they like the sensation (what w/ all the "sheeple" group-think & "I wanna be accepted & in the 'in-crowd @ /. too, so I will join the karma chasing bandwagon' here on this website, it would not surprise me one bit))

Re:uh-oh (2, Funny)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683813)

I hope these penguins don't start hassling me about Linux.

They're penguins. It is in their nature to hassle you about Linux.

Heck, they're computerized penguins! There is no escape! >:D

But... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683083)

...Does is run linux?

(We all knew this was going to be asked!)

Re:But... (5, Funny)

Sensible Clod (771142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683145)

Must also insert reference to Tux.

Now imagine if someone could get Windows to run on it. That would be funny.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683291)

Could we get Tux and Ted into a cage match?

Re:But... (1)

Bootarn (970788) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684055)

Oh noes! Ballmer's private army!

What sweet irony if they were programmed to attack Red Hat HQ.

Forget it man. We're toast. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684191)

Forget about throwing chairs. With his penguin Zeppelins he'll be able to drop desks and filing cabinets on his foes.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27684573)

Must also insert reference to Tux.

Now imagine if someone could get Windows to run on it. That would be funny.

Forget it, nobody's going to develop robotic flying Windows.

Re:But... (1)

FernandoBR (1011821) | more than 5 years ago | (#27685919)

...Does it have lasers?

Greetings! (0, Redundant)

j235 (734628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683109)

I for one would like to welcome our mechanical delphinid overlords.

Now we need a robotic shark.... (5, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683129)

(frickin' laser sold separately).

Re:Now we need a robotic shark.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683233)

Imagine the military applications for something like this. Now we can invade Antarctica.

Re:Now we need a robotic shark.... (1)

TheDugong (701481) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683435)

Or Germany could finally attempt Operation Sealion, with a twist anyway.

Re:Now we need a robotic shark.... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27685121)

By your name, I guess you'd know about such things. I suppose you're a manateese with himself.

Re:Now we need a robotic shark.... (2, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683475)

(frickin' laser sold separately).

Which is a good thing since at 1:37 they discuss the He penguins and claim "A micro-controller gives the penguins free will to explore this space"

Armed machines with free will never turns out to be a good thing for humans in the movies.

Re:Now we need a robotic shark.... (2, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683543)

Which is a good thing since at 1:37 they discuss the He penguins and claim "A micro-controller gives the penguins free will to explore this space"

Fortunately, the added weight of the laser will require H instead of He. That tends to complicate their experimentation.

Re:Now we need a robotic shark.... (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683759)

Yes, give them lasers to destroy the constraint blocks.

Re:Now we need a robotic shark.... (1)

scottrocket (1065416) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683783)

Still, one of, if not the most graceful robots I have ever seen in operation (the He floaters); and one of the few youtube videos I'd want to watch a second time, and probably will!

Re:Greetings! (1)

SalaSSin (1414849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683713)

delphinid??? you mean Spheniscid??

This is the future.. (5, Insightful)

Lorienthin (1439867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683157)

I am still relatively young and without children..but is the purpose here that when we systematically destroy actual penguins' habitat I can still show my kid this robot and say "Well, they used to swim kind of like that"....

Re:This is the future.. (1)

Ordonator (1539087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683301)

Turns out Bladerunner wasn't too far off.

Re:This is the future.. (2, Funny)

memorycardfull (1187485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27686877)

Do Germans Dream of Electric Penguins?

Re:This is the future.. (2)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683463)

Indeed, a recent study predicts their near extinction by 2100 [washingtonpost.com] . Of course, this is an extrapolation over an incomplete set of data - but probably still a matter of concern.

Re:This is the future.. (1)

tecnico.hitos (1490201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683607)

And if environmental changes don't kill them till there, we will send our superior penguin robot army.

Re:This is the future.. (5, Interesting)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683549)

While I agree with you in principle, have you ever actually seen a penguin in nature?

Re:This is the future.. (4, Informative)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683797)

In Australia, you see them all the time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Penguin [wikipedia.org]

You can even sometimes see them surfing at the beach :) (although what they're actually doing is chasing schools of bait fish inside the waves)

Re:This is the future.. (3, Informative)

davidphogan74 (623610) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683871)

Great link. The geek in me of course loved seeing:

Linus Torvalds, the original creator of Linux (a popular operating system kernel), was once bitten by a Little Penguin while on holiday in Australia. Reportedly, this encounter encouraged Torvalds to select Tux as the official Linux mascot.[12]

Fuck me. After those first few posts /. went full circle there, I think.

Re:This is the future.. (4, Funny)

dargaud (518470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684207)

I've seen plenty of penguins [gdargaud.net] and even been bitten by one: came out behind me as I was chatting with a friend, decided I was in _his_ path and bite me on the knee tendon while hitting me very hard with his bony flippers. I jumped 10 feet in the air. He ended up as a football before I could think about it. I had a limp for a week but he just walked away (fat is very good protection...)

Re:This is the future.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27684575)

Linus Torvalds?

Re:This is the future.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27687301)

jumped 10 feet in the air. He ended up as a football before I could think about it. I had a limp for a week but he just walked away (fat is very good protection...)

Obviously the real reason he bit you was so he could finally experience the sensation of flight the seagulls are always going on about.

Re:This is the future.(copying & extending) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27685997)

"Linus Torvalds, the original creator of Linux (a popular operating system kernel)" - by davidphogan74 (623610) on Thursday April 23, @03:04AM (#27683871 Homepage

It's funny how folks never seem to note that it was NOT "done from scratch", but, instead, let's state the actual truth for once: The truth that Linux was actually built up off of MINIX foundations!

(See subject-line, because it has the extension to it it needs, to tell the actual truth here, for once).

People say "Microsoft steals ideas", which IS true... but then again?? So does Linux, & the proof of that's from its very foundations/underpinnings.

(That said? Well - I guess the old adage is true, that "good artists copy, great artists steal".)

Re:This is the future.. (2, Interesting)

mederjo (899667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684317)

I live in New Zealand and have had blue penguins swimming around me a few times when I've been surfing. I've also seen the tracks they make through the bush on the way to and from their burrows, they can walk a surprisingly long way and climb pretty steep hills. I haven't seen them at night on the tracks but my mother has. I have seen them in their burrows though, on an island which is a scientific reserve. The burrows are man-made and have lids you can look off to peek inside :-).

I've seen a couple of other types of penguins in the wild too.

Re:This is the future.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27686691)

Same here... that is in Cape Town, South Africa

Re:This is the future.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683955)

They're common on beaches in Australia. I've seen hundreds of penguins here.

Not every Slashdotter is a pasty pale shut-in.

Re:This is the future.. (2, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684891)

Penguins are unnatural on account they ain't mentioned in the Bible. Look it up!

Well, first off you're reading /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27685507)

That means odds are you can't find your way out of your parents basement to find a female that's willing to procreate with you in the first place. So I wouldn't worry about having to explain such things to your "children".

They already invented this (2, Funny)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683177)

while larger helium-filled designs can "swim" through the air.

It's called a blimp.

Hell-o-o!! (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684263)

These are "penguin shaped".

That key innovation went right over your head, didn't it?

Re:Hell-o-o!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27686099)

Not that they don't look cool and all, but whose bright idea was this anyway?
"To master energy efficient flight we'll look to nature. We'll learn from the graceful flight of birds, like say ... Oh, I don't know, penguins?"

The obvious question (3, Funny)

mrbene (1380531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683183)

Which distro do they run?

Re:The obvious question (5, Funny)

Alan426 (962302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683229)

"Just smile and waive, boys. Smile and waive."

Re:The obvious question (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27685611)

Ooh, I know this one. The question is "What were the instructions given to the prosecutors considering whether CIA operatives should be charged for waterboarding?"

Re:The obvious question (1)

kaaposc (1515329) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683453)

Isn't it a sticker "Slack inside" there on their feet?..

Re:The obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683469)

Probably the Slovenian Pingo. :)

Re:The obvious question (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683995)

The computer screenshot shown was of OSX.

Festo makes very nice tools, too (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683207)

Festo makes the best power woodworking tools I've ever seen.

I for one... (-1, Redundant)

sRev (846312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683215)

welcome our cute and cuddly robotic penguin overlords!

Watch out Batman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683237)

Obviously The Penguin is behind this

Wow (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683241)

Generally it's rare for me to see a job I'm truly envious of but those were some of the coolest projects I have ever seen, and to be paid to do that..

Holy crap! (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683267)

When did Slashdot start doing images in non-extended summaries? Talk about a leap into the future.

Re:Holy crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27685595)

When the Robotic Penguins With Lasers were recruited to defend against Atlantean insurgent terrorists.

Sorry, forgot to take my crazy pill today.

Future plans (1)

prehistoricman5 (1539099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683275)

So when does the whale-shaped space probe come?

Re:Future plans (2, Informative)

paulofthejungle (1448397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683929)

wouldn't work in space, the fins need something (eg. air) to push against

Re:Future plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27685525)

>wouldn't work in space, the fins need something (eg. air) to push against
Missed the point, though I think the original poster meant a cylindrical probe that just happened to talk to whales, not whale shaped itself.

Just imagine ... (2, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683305)

...a Beowulf cluster of these.

Re:Just imagine ... (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27686411)

What do they call that? A flock?

New "stealth" predator drone? (5, Funny)

CompassIIDX (1522813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683317)

while larger helium-filled designs can "swim" through the air...

WTF?

Army Guy: "Hey kids, see the cute penguin?!"

Youngster: "But, mister, why is it flying around, shooting lasers out of its eyes at those Muslims?!"

Army Guy: "Penguins do that sometimes! ...Run along now."

Re:New "stealth" predator drone? (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683851)

:P

Watch the video, it's really wild looking, and not even remotely usable for military application.

Re:New "stealth" predator drone? (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27685917)

Watch the video, it's really wild looking, and not even remotely usable for military application.

This is the dumbest thing I've seen anyone say all day, but it's early yet. You might get lucky, and get bumped up to #2 idiot.

There is nothing in this world which cannot be used for military applications. Period, the end.

If you don't think that swarms of autonomous robots can be used for military purposes, you are not smart enough for slashdot. And that's not saying very much.

Eyes (1)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683373)

Hey, sweet, they have fickin' laser beams for eyes ^_^

Thought this story was about RMS (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683405)

I'm so disappointed! We haven't had a story about Stallman for ages now!

WTF ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27684675)

Robostallman ?
Why ? Just why ?

Are UWV's replace the sub? (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683455)

So like the way the UAV will probably replace (or mostly replace) the manned plane. Will these 'UWV'replaced manned subs?

Re:Are UWV's replace the sub? (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683485)

So like the way the UAV will probably replace (or mostly replace) the manned plane. Will these 'UWV'replaced manned subs?

Probably not, since water readily absorbs radio waves.

Re:Are UWV's replace the sub? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683647)

No radio waves required, they're _fully automated_ attack penguins.
Just make sure they know who's who.

Welcome (0, Redundant)

gsmalleus (886346) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683457)

I wish to extend a warm welcome to our new robotic penguin overlords

The year of... (5, Funny)

elite1789 (1245036) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683487)

Robotic Penguins? Skip the desktop -- 2009 will be the year of the Linux Apocalypse.

Re:The year of... (1)

ChimneysCantTalk (1453299) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684087)

When you can't beat Windows on a software battle, go hardware!

When will there be a Tamagotchi version of these penguins btw? It would be like a silent (and cute) world domination

How Happy Are Their Feet Now? (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683555)

I get the sneaking suspicion that Disney is going to buy a whole fleet of these things and create a Happy Feet show at Disney World.

An entire army of dancing robot penguins with glowing eyes is the stuff nightmares are made of. Thanks, Germany!

Happy Feet was not Disney (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27685501)

I get the sneaking suspicion that Disney is going to buy a whole fleet of these things and create a Happy Feet show at Disney World.

Not all G- or PG-rated animated films with talking animals are produced or published by The Walt Disney Company. March of the Penguins was distributed by Warner. Happy Feet was also Warner. Surf's Up was Columbia. What was Disney's penguin movie called?

Cue "Head-Mounted Laser" Jokes in... (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683573)

3...2...1...

(Or "Robot Penguin Overlord" Jokes.)

Re:Cue "Head-Mounted Laser" Jokes in... (2, Funny)

MishgoDog (909105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683737)

Ummm you're a bit late... I think your counting should be closer to -32,768

What did it say? (1)

ratzmilk (137380) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683629)

In the video, when the pengiun is facing off with the diver, did I see it mouth "Sarah Connor?"?

Safe to say (1)

Lysdestic (1191833) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683677)

I think it is safe to say that these will never ever take over the Arctic.

Too Complicated.

Obligatory (0, Redundant)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27683801)

I, for one, welcome our new robotic tux overlords =D

Robotic Penguin Army (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683873)

The bear cavalry [zonelevelup.com] is well and truly fucked.

Air Jelly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27683969)

They also have this incredibly graceful flying squid: http://www.festo.com/cms/de_de/5890_6299.htm

Can't the collision avoiding tech be used in cars? (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684093)

A lot of lives would be saved...

In the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27684101)

In the USA the fuckers would carry lazorz

Cost (1)

worip (1463581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684277)

The head (almost an arm) movement of the artificial penguin is extraordinary - a very elegant design. It must be cheaper, lighter and more robust than a "normal/classic" jointed arm.

Pedantry: Penguins don't paddle (5, Interesting)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684505)

Paddling is drag-based propulsion (i.e. the animal uses the drag from moving a paddle in the opposite direction to produce thrust in the direction they are moving). Paddling is not very efficient because it requires a recovery phase to reset the paddle. This is how most quadrupeds, such as muskrats, polar bears, even humans, swim.

Penguins use lift-based propulsion from pectoral oscillation, or literally flapping their wings, just like the birds that they are. They generate thrust from the forward component of the lift produced by their wings depending on the angle of attack. This is much more efficient, as there is no recovery phase and so thrust can be produced almost constantly. This is how penguins (both real and the robots) and sea lions swim. Seals, whales, and dolphins use the same type of propulsion, but use their flukes or rear flippers instead of their pectoral flippers.

Just to be pedantic, but for some reason, the idea of penguins paddling bothers me. :-/

Re:Pedantry: Penguins don't paddle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27685655)

Who knew both penguins and Pamela Anderson had both mastered the art of "pectoral oscillation".

Hackintosh (1)

ArcticCheetah (1537823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684621)

Anyone else noticed the developers were using Mac OS on what looks like a PC? Come on Apple sue them! What are you waiting for?

Re:Hackintosh (1)

vlad30 (44644) | more than 5 years ago | (#27685049)

Anyone else noticed the developers were using Mac OS on what looks like a PC? Come on Apple sue them! What are you waiting for?

All there was was a screen and a keyboard mac mini were sold on the premise you would use your screen and KB from your pc no hack required.

I FOR ONE (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684843)

Welcome our Robotic Penguin Overlords

Re:I FOR ONE (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27685491)

Relax, dude. Penguins are birds and birds are supposed to fly.

Heaven help us though if Festo experiment with pigs.

Gunships? (1)

Blackdognight (1329141) | more than 5 years ago | (#27684971)

Did the helium ones remind anyone else of the gunships from HalfLife 2?

Penguin bot-net hybrid risk possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27685011)

Are the penguins pwn4bl3? Imagine tens or hundreds of thousands of infected penguins in a bot-net attacking en masse, the horror, the horror..

Re:Penguin bot-net hybrid risk possibilities (1)

nevdullc (732342) | more than 5 years ago | (#27685033)

Yes, Only for penguins running 'doze, of course. lol

Flying Penguins (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27685243)

Video from The BBC [youtube.com]

Sharks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27685799)

Won't sharks just eat them, or at least mangle them before realizing "not food"?

Submit (1)

eos3fan (1309791) | more than 5 years ago | (#27686355)

All your penguins are belong to us!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? (1)

BigBlueOx (1201587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27686617)

Is Germany really so boring that the only things that these guys can do to entertain themselves is by building bionic octopii, robotic jellyfish and flying robotic penguins?

I can see the bionic octopii and flying robotic penguins but robotic jellyfish?? Is there, like, a need for those?

Did the German ISPs block all the scat-porn websites or something?

$6,000,000 Penguin (1)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27686961)

Though with inflation being what it is, and the American dollar increasingly valueless relative to more stable economies...$6 Million dollars doesn't buy what it used to.

In any case, I always knew penguins would rule the Earth.

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