Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Best Robots of 2009

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the best-of-show dept.

Robotics 51

kkleiner writes "Singularity Hub has just unveiled its second annual roundup of the best robots of the year. In 2009 robots continued their advance towards world domination with several impressive breakouts in areas such as walking, automation, and agility, while still lacking in adaptability and reasoning ability. It will be several years until robots can gain the artificial intelligence that will truly make them remarkable, but in the meantime they are still pretty awesome."

cancel ×

51 comments

Obligatory (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541142)

Can you fuck it?

Re:Obligatory (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541198)

The walking girl or the blob-bot?

Firtst of all, (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541514)

CYPERNETIC ORGANISMS.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541496)

Robosexual

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30542710)

Robophile

Re:Obligatory (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542394)

They modded the AC down, but is it really wrong to posit that sex will once again be the big driver of new technology?

Some day one of these robot design teams to wander across the RealDoll site, and funny quips will lead to rough sketches which will lead to a small simulation being written in someone's spare time which will lead to...

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543058)

which will lead to...

A robot you can fuck as it welds cars together on the assembly line?

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543672)

Sex has never been the big driver for new technology or we would have much more, better and cheaper sex toys available. Also vhs would not have become the standard since it was technologically inferior to betamax and video 2000

Evolution (2001) (1, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541190)

In the movie Evolution with David Duchovny and Orlando Jones, the Earth was "seeded" by alien life forms. What happened next was an evolutionary explosion with the alien life mutating at a rate far beyond the rate of normal Earth life. Things like primates and birds and even dinosaur-ish creatures developed and proliferated.

However, in the race for evolutionary supremacy, it wasn't these super-advanced life forms that finally won out. Rather it was the amorphous blob which did little except consume and grow.

Even here in the "real world", humans may be considered the apex of evolutionary development, but consider how outnumbered we are by bacteria, insects, and other small, hardy life forms that swarm everywhere.

Now extrapolate that observation to robots. Yes, there are impressive implementations of technology and these things seem really great at what they do. But human-like robots are only one genus. There are others that are much more successful in the wild, like botnets. These intelligent agents swarm together, proliferate on their own, have complex behaviors, and number in the hundreds of thousands.

Evolutionarily-speaking, botnets are the most successful robots of any year.

Re:Evolution (2001) (2, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541338)

I'd say that germs flourish because they worry just about sustenance, whereas us humans are always fighting and warring and generally trying to succeed by making everyone else fail.

Re:Evolution (2001) (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541452)

That's retarded. Germs devour and destroy each other as much or more than humans do. The difference is that germs are cheaper and faster to reproduce. Germs can go through several generations over the course of a week, so they're able to evolve much more quickly than larger animals and fill ecological niches more quickly and more efficiently. In addition, their population can explode over a very short time period. This means that when they find a resource they can exploit, they exploit it quickly and completely.

Forget the bullshit ideal that nature is loving and humans are brutal and warlike. Wherever there's a resource shortage there's fighting, whether it's humans or animals. The only difference is that humans can moderate it more effectively and then feel bad about it afterwards.

Re:Evolution (2001) (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541618)

My point was that germs (and, well, animals in general) do it for survival.

Humans do it for sheer domination.

Re:Evolution (2001) (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541624)

No, humans do it for resources...

Almost every single war ever fought was due to resources.

Re:Evolution (2001) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541794)

No, humans do it for resources...

Almost every single war ever fought was due to resources.

Right! It you can oppress or destroy a religious group, race, or nationality WHILE you take their shit, well that's just a bonus.

Re:Evolution (2001) (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543052)

Well, it's just the war of memes which feels much like viruses and bacteria, entirely cut-throat, utilizing the biological systems of other organisms. Some buck the trend to work together eventually forming multi-cellular creatures (societies).

Wee! Fractals!

Re:Evolution (2001) (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30548164)

Which is what I was getting at.

If there wasn't a resource shortage, humans would still fight.

Re:Evolution (2001) (3, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541896)

My point was that germs (and, well, animals in general) do it for survival.

Humans do it for sheer domination.

Yes, domination of resources and territory that allow the individual and his tribe to prosper. Groups of humans work with each other to out survive other groups of humans working with each other, just like any other animal [youtube.com] . This behavioural pattern (instinct) to form competing tribes is found everywhere in nature from bacterial colonies to moon landings. The instinct "just is", it is neither good nor evil as it's responsible for bullets from an enemy, bandages from a friend and, no condoms from the pope's tribe.

IMHO the most remarkable thing about modern homo-sapiens is that an individual can belong to multiple tribes simultaneously. To my mind this very recent evolutional trait is what makes us unique.

Re:Evolution (2001) (2, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541928)

s evolutional/evolutionary.

Re:Evolution (2001) (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30545058)

To my mind this very recent evolutional trait is what makes us unique.

If by "very recent" you mean "sometime in the past million years" you would be correct. Humans practice exogamy (mating outside our kin group) much more aggressively than other social primates, and this is the basis of our remarkable social flexibility.

Troops of humans have rich structure as well, as do troops of other social primates, such as chimps and bonobos, although we don't know nearly as much about them because we are killing them off too quickly. This combination of exogamy--which blurs the external boundary--and strong internal boundaries allows the kind of social flexibility that modern humans have. So while there is nothing very evolutionary in the Darwinian sense about the development of multiple troop affiliations, the behavioural basis for it is definitely a recent thing.

Re:Evolution (2001) (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542208)

FWIW, some bacteria can divide about every 20 minutes given enough nutrients. Add a high mutation rate and you can see what our immune system is up against.

Player Project (4, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541282)

Support this: http://playerstage.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] So we don't have to fight the closed systems like we did with the PC. Really, robotics is going through its early DIY stage, where most interesting stuff is built by hand using lots of modified parts. Anything we can do, as it moves into mainstream products, to keep the DIY rights to open the hardware and change the software if we want, helps our future freedom.

Re:Player Project (1)

gemada (974357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541550)

that will just make it easier for the robots to become our overlords

Re:Player Project (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542532)

Support this: http://playerstage.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] [robot OS] So we don't have to fight the closed systems like we did with the PC.

What do you have against Microsoft Cylon 6.0?
       

Re:Player Project (1)

El Nigromante (1059332) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543186)

Hello,

I have recently tested this proyect (Player + Gazebo). The idea is interesting, but it seems latest versions are quite in beta state.

Borg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541460)

You will be assimilated into the collective, Resistance is futile, please provide your IP for the a efficient injection of nanoprobes to inter the collective consciousness, we are borg your are borg, join us.

As Mom would say... (1)

daeley (126313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541482)

I love each and every robot most of all!

Re:As Mom would say... (1)

iqeaten (961308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543936)

So do I. This is pretty awesome. I have a real question for anyone out there who 'knows' about these things. What would I have to learn to be able to design one of these? What kind of education? What kind of technology?

Video for drop outs (1)

Paspanique (1704404) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541578)

see why factory workers should be terrified for their job security.

Actually, it's marvellous material to be showed to reluctant teens. Seeing that manual labour will most probably disappear in the next decades could help some of them...And you know what they say...if only one is saved ,the whole process would be worth it(Of course they will not take into account the others that will just loose faith in humanity).

Re:Video for drop outs (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541654)

manual labour will most probably disappear in the next decades

Technically, it should, politically and in actuality you will see more.

Unionized, government street sweepers won't stand for mechanical sweepers that take their jobs.

There will be laws against robots - the reasons will be because they are not "green", or they are not "safe", or whatever.

Progressive thinking (3, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542286)

"Unionized, government street sweepers won't stand for mechanical sweepers that take their jobs."

Belive me the guy driving a street sweeper would defenitely prefer to be designing them.

The industrial revolution's success is based on the premise that automation allows society to progress. OTOH, it's basic failure is the current tradgedy of the commons. At fifty I have lost several jobs due to technology/social changes but I've made a good living from changing things with technology, and however small it may be I am changing society with this post.

The last time I was on a factory floor was the 80's, which in itself was quite a step up the food chain from a twenty-something "trailer park" day labourer with a wife and a kid. I recall reading at the time that the UK "metal workers(?)" union after months of fruitless negotiating had put a work ban on qualified fitters and turners performing any task that took less than X minutes to cycle (such as the metal press I was working in Australia). Their rationale was that any task that was that repetitive could be performed using a "one of a kind machine" by the same fitters and turners. This kind of thinking used to be called progressive [wikipedia.org] , regardless of who it comes from.

Unions, Government and Big business (UGB) are all nessacary evils unless you can find somewhere to chase furry things with a stick and not be noticed, although don't expect to live much past your next severe tooth/throat/lung infection. When two or more of the "tribes" in UGB start swinging at each other the little guy is invariably trodden on in all the commotion. Yet like the abusive "parents" that they are, they will all tell you they love you dearly, it's the other parent who want's to, as Bill Cosby would once put it; "shoot you in the face with a bazzoka".

"This is where the problems begin. Like a fragile naked human pyramid, we are simultaneously supporting and resenting each other. We bitch out loud about our soul-sucking job as an anonymous face on an assembly line, while at the exact same time riding in a car that only an assembly line could have produced. It's a constant contradiction that has left us pissed off and joining informal wrestling clubs in basements." - David Wong, "The Monkeyshere" [cracked.com] .

Re:Video for drop outs (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30545114)

There will be laws against robots

And those laws will work as well as all the other laws that tried to hold back technological improvements in productivity. You can tell how well those laws worked by noticing the number of garments you're wearing that were manufactured on a hand loom.

Drossel von Flügel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541800)

I hope in 2010 someone makes a Drossel von Flügel robot.

female manga style hottie robot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541870)

OK, how many of us immediately scrolled down to the female manga style hottie robot?

Re:female manga style hottie robot (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542566)

They should have given her strawberry-colored hair and bigger tits that wiggle on their own. It might embarrass the academic types, but sales would've gone thru the roof.

When all the smartphone programming jobs dry up, pornbot programming will be the Next Big Thing.
       

Ok, I want one. (2, Interesting)

iron spartan (1192553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541878)

The Adept Quatro was very impressive. I'd love to see the vision system that it was using and will have to show that vid to my employer to see if I can get them to buy one.

If there is a breakthrough in portable power generation, then we will see an explosion in mobile robotics development.

Cost? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542700)

I'm wondering how much it costs, initial costs, and maintenance (including support+repair contracts).

Basically: is it cheaper than a factory worker in a 3rd world country?

http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=185 [bunniestudios.com]

In some cases where it is cheaper, they do use a mix of robotics and humans in China:
http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=186 [bunniestudios.com]

BTW some of the factory food there looks quite decent to me:

http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=190 [bunniestudios.com]

Fish, vegetables, egg and I do eat stuff like pig intestines and kidneys (and like it if it's done nicely), so that sort of stuff isn't a problem for me - doesn't need to be disguised in a sausage/patty/nugget. Yum ;).

Whatever happened to... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541888)

Whatever happened to the Cool Robot of the Week site? It hasn't been updated in years.

Annual??? (2, Funny)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542406)

Whatever happened to the Cool Robot of the Week site?

For that matter, why is the Singularity Hub engaging in an annual roundup of the best robots of the year? Wouldn't they argue such a roundup would only be useful on an exponentially accelerating schedule or something? You'd think they'd practice what they preach...

Asimo Pathfinding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541942)

Most of those were pretty cool, the Asimo one was ridiculously simple though (relatively, at least). The hard part is getting a mechanical device that can execute such precise movements as software orders, not throwing a simple pathfinding algorithm on a laptop and cheating with an overhead camera to issue the orders.

Re:Asimo Pathfinding... (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542362)

Spoken like someone that has no experience in either..

The robot is the relative easy part. The simultaneous control algorithms are the hard part.

Not robots but just dumb machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30542052)

Rather than call them robots, the devices in the article are more correctly labeled dumb machines.

Re:Not robots but just dumb machines (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542368)

If that were the case, then there would not be any such thing as a 'robot'. They currently *all* are dumb machines.

The definition of a robot is a mechanical device controlled by software. There is no implied intelligence or independent decision making.

Re:Not robots but just dumb machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30542594)

No, in fact a robot must have sensors and make decisions based on those sensors to actuate motors . A machine controlled by software without decision making or sensing is more properly called an "automaton."

Re:Not robots but just dumb machines (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543552)

True, but what I'm saying is just because a machine performs an action based on sensors doesn't make it intelligent. My toaster pops the toast out when the darkness of the bread from a photo voltaic cell matches the setting on the dial. This does not make it intelligent (nor a robot actually). The original poster argues they shouldn't be called robots since they are not making independent intelligent decisions.

Lame (1)

Lije Baley (88936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542390)

Looks like I'll be working alone for quite a while yet.

Obvious summary to the rescue (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542490)

"It will be several years until robots can gain the artificial intelligence that will truly make them remarkable,"

No, really? Where have we heard this before? I don't think that anyone was under delusions that robots were really going to become self-aware this year.

Re:Obvious summary to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30546048)

No, really? Where have we heard this before? I don't think that anyone was under delusions that robots were really going to become self-aware this year.

Oh but they did 4th of August 1997, you haven't just yet noticed it.

The best robot is uncovered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30542852)

The best robot is the one I've built, but no one has yet covered that he's a robot...mwahahahahaaa!

Military robot? I would buy Dash, robotic roach (1)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 4 years ago | (#30565234)

The cockroach robot “dash” is so much better suited for military deployment than the “mini tractor” trat irobot made. And it being made cheaply out of cardboard (and folded flat) means you can afford to release 1000’s of them, and, basically don’t need any human troops on the ground.

http://singularityhub.com/2009/12/22/a-review-of-the-best-robots-of-2009/comment-page-1/#comment-11906 [singularityhub.com]
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...