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Build a Robot out of a Car?

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the why-the-heck-not dept.

Toys 264

SomeRobotGuy writes "A researcher in the U.K. is in the process of building an autonomous biped robot out of a Mini Cooper r50. Its functions are controlled by six computers running RTLinux and it's powered by an internal combustion engine. And the thing's not tiny, at over 10 feet tall! The site includes videos showing some impressive results."

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264 comments

Standard Bending Unit? (5, Funny)

mod_critical (699118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549444)

Now it just needs a loudspeaker and a recording of "BITE MY SHINY METAL ASS!"

Re:Standard Bending Unit? (1, Troll)

digital bath (650895) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549528)

The site includes videos showing some impressive results

Not any more! muahahahahaha

Re:Standard Bending Unit? (4, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549732)

You know, after all these years you'd think slashdot would have tried to come up with something that wouldn't cripple the web sites they link to, and cost poor unsuspecting people hugely increased bandwidth fees. For a website that always tries to position itself as siding with the independent, pre-commercial spirit of the internet, the Slashdot editors have a really lousy sense of ethics.

first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549448)

First Postxxxxxx

SHIT the TROLLTALK FORUM is OFFLINE... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549568)

0wn3d by ~_+SemaLtric+_~

see http://www.golala.com/forums/index.php?mforum=trol ltalk&act=idx for details.

Huh? (5, Funny)

TapTapTheChisler (691570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549450)

They could have picked any transformer and they pick BUMBLEBEE?

Autobots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549532)

wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the decepticons!!

Brkljacic -- dosen't that sound line the 'transforming' sound????

HA!

More than meets the eye... (1, Funny)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549451)

I dub him Bumblebee...

Re:More than meets the eye... (4, Funny)

Gary Yogurt (664063) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549476)

Actually he's Bumblebee's British cousin, Nigel. (He visited Cybertron during the short-lived Transformers sitcom.)

Re:More than meets the eye... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549565)

WOW.

This is creepy.

I had the Transformers theme stuck in my head for some reason. Just randomly popped in there.

So I started whistling it out loud, and I decide to check Slashdot.

And the first thing I see is a story about a Transformer model.

Wow.

transformers (0, Redundant)

gnumake (761373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549453)

Did this spark anyone else off to reminisce about transformers? "Autobots, Transform and roll out!"

Next up (4, Funny)

bartyboy (99076) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549454)

They should use a red tractor trailer to build Optimus Prime.

Re:Next up (1, Funny)

Epistax (544591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549517)

Optimus Prime is jewish?

(/nothing to see here, you don't get it>

Re:Next up (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549563)

Get it right. His name isn't Optimus Prime, Convoy [tformers.com].

Re:Next up (1)

Masami Eiri (617825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549627)

Except the show's original incarnation was in English, therefore the english names should be canon, at least for G1 (up until Headmasters), Beast Wars, Beast Machines (sadly), and I'm not sure, but maybe Armada (also sadly).

Re:Next up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549592)

Where's the tractor trailer going to slink off to when he goes into robot mode?

Build a robot out of a car? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549455)

Don't mind if I do. CMDR TACO has one! A TACO that is! And he commands iT NIGHTLY! FUCKDFkfldkfjadlkfj44 I FUCKING HATE SLASHDOT! NERDS! I don't want NERDS staying in my hotel! FUCK YOU ALL!

Transformers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549458)

More than meets the eye!

More than meets the eye! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549460)

Holy shit, it's Bumblebee! ~swoon~

I just love photoshop... (4, Insightful)

Richard N. Bush (759628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549461)

... and After Effects.

I think someone has robot envy :) (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549542)

Seriously though, this is by far the coolest robot I have ever seen in my life. Look at the stop test. That is something that I would be excited to see in a movie, moving in real life.

If this is hoax I am going to be so pissed.

apostrophe troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549462)

SomeRobotGuy writes "A researcher in the U.K. is in the process of building an autonomous biped robot out of a Mini Cooper r50. * It's * functions are controlled by six computers running RTLinux and it's powered by an internal combustion engine. And the thing's not tiny, at over 10 feet tall! The site includes videos showing some impressive results."

* ITS *

My cat's breath smells like cat food (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549464)

Get yourself a mare. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549519)

Her breath smells like grass or hay. Pretty nice.
And certainly more fun that a transformer robot that can't transform. And doesn't need 6 computers to run.

It's a nice bit of CG, it might be from MINI (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549467)

The site is well camouflaged to make it seem real. The CG work is well done. It wouldn't suprise me if this is a site created by MINI. They have a long history of non-traditional advertising. They have put a MINI in the stands at a Giants Baseball game. They put them into Malls on a platform with coin slots saying $16,995 in quaters for a ride.
There best known one was putting the MINI on the roof of a Chevy Suburban and driving it arround San Francisco.

It was also recently revealed that the Weekly World News article with BatBoy Stealing a MINI was a planted article by MINI USA.

Re:It's a nice bit of CG, it might be from MINI (2, Insightful)

MrBlue VT (245806) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549574)

Yeah, I mean I guess they are trying out of the box advertising, but stuff like this isn't so good. It suckers people who don't know what the state of the art is in robotics and don't know that what is displayed here is all fake. Now I'll have to see how many of my less technically adept (or frankly just gullible) friends send this link to me.

Re:It's a nice bit of CG, it might be from MINI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549611)

That is true but that's where advertising is these days. I remember having to explain to people that Christopher Reeve didn't get a miracle cure, it was just something put together at work in a flame bay.

Re:It's a nice bit of CG, it might be from MINI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549643)

I am horrified and outraged that the Weekly World News could be influenced like this. It is terrible when such a reputable periodical tarnishes it's reputation by printing things like this that aren't truthful.

Re:It's a nice bit of CG, it might be from MINI (5, Informative)

RajivSLK (398494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549683)

It seems that it is advertising.

A whois lookup on r50rd.co.uk returns the address:

6 darblay street
london
W1V 8DM
GB

A quick search for this address on Google reveals:

Martyn Gould Productions, 6 D'Arblay St, London, W1F 8DN, UK

On a page titled: "Film and Television - Post Production, Commercials"

Sigh (2, Insightful)

srcosmo (73503) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549480)

Fifteen comments and the server appears to have bit the dust.
Slashdot should come up with some automatic link-cacheing system or something...

Re:Sigh (1)

Rockenreno (573442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549514)

yeah, I noticed that too... poor weak server can't handle the meager attention it has got. What's it going to do when the herds come?

Poor publicity... (4, Funny)

Akki (722261) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549481)

For something claiming to be "the fastest Web server ever" [zeus.com]. It certainly doesn't seem to be standing up to a slashdotting very well.

Re:Poor publicity... (5, Funny)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549588)

For something claiming to be "the fastest Web server ever" [zeus.com]. It certainly doesn't seem to be standing up to a slashdotting very well.

Of course they are the fastest. They ran away.

Geez. (2, Funny)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549482)

That's great. Link to a small site with a bunch of medium mpeg files. Give them no warning. Has slashdot no shame???

Seems like it's become a custom around here to destroy small hobbyist sites. *sigh*

From what I got to see of it, it is truly awesome! The amount of work this guy has put into this project is just amazing. Makes me realize even more how much I want to get into the field of robotics.

Re:Geez. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549571)

It's not real. It's a fucking ad campaign. It decodes to "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine."

Re:Geez. (3, Interesting)

introverted (675306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549603)

Seems like it's become a custom around here to destroy small hobbyist sites.

I wonder if perhaps that's a sign that the small hobbyist sites are the only ones doing "cool" stuff anymore.

OT:Geez. (4, Insightful)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549703)

That's great. Link to a small site with a bunch of medium mpeg files. Give them no warning. Has slashdot no shame??? Seems like it's become a custom around here to destroy small hobbyist sites. *sigh*
I agree that this might inconvenience many small sites, and in the case of those who (for whatever awful reason) have bandwidth overage charges instead of an auto-cutoff it might even put them in the poor house. However the current /. system works pretty well, especially when a subscriber takes it upon themselves (throwing caution and probably several legalities to the wind) to mirror the content or Google caches the site so we can at least read the text. And for quite some time on the Internet the reality is that any site, on any subject, anywhere geographically, can be /.'ed by MANY different news/aggregator sites if they link to it. And with the high content value on small sites that concentrate on a single subject (esp if it's the original author/design team/etc's site) there is a much higher probablility that it will be selected to be /.'ed by the world at large. Of course hardly anyone at these small sites actually considers that they might get blasted by a "friendly DDOS", and even the ones who think/pray for the attention of a giant like /. probably don't go the extra bit and make sure their sites can either withstand it or fail gracefully (without the aforementioned bandwidth overage charges). Seems to me some of these "build a basic website" primers need to add a section on ALL the various things that can happen to even hobby websites; not only /.'ing but also defacement, etc.

Of course I agree it's a problem, just giving my thoughts on the situation...

Jonah Hex

Wow... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549489)

20 comments and slashdotted already

hmm.. (1)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549500)

It would be way cooler if it was a transforming robot.

Transformer? Please. Battlemechs Rule! (2, Funny)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549649)

No way man! A BattleMech is way cooler than any fruity ass robot that transforms into a refridgerator. Put a .50 cal on it, some recoilless rockets, maybe a laser or two and send it out looking for Osama bin laden.

Slashdot effect (1)

pholower (739868) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549508)

/. effect has taken over, none of the pictures can be seen now. Does anybody have a mirror site by chance?

This reminds me of a good story actually (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549511)

Today, I was lifting an old carpet, as we have a damp problem. Underneath there were hundreds of slugs and worms. My wife and I picked up about 40 slugs and put them in a pair of my wife's panties. I then put the panties on. The feeling was amazing. I got a huge erection and I could feel them sliding over my glans, and round my balls. Eventually I could feel one going up my bum. I knew I would come soon, so I let my wife tie me up, with my hands and feet speadeagled and attached to some furniture. She then took the panties down and about 15 of the slugs were crawling over my cock and balls. I came, spurting out loads of cum all over the poor things, but still couldn't move. My wife then took the other slugs out of the panties and placed them on my cock. She was careful to put some of them right on the opening of my cock, which was now covered in a mixture of sperm and glistening goo from the slugs. She opened up my arse and tried to put one in there too. I got hard again quite quickly as I thought of these slimy little things crawling over me. I imagined them biting me. One seemed to be trying to enter my uretha and this caused me to come again.
That was 4 hurs ago. My cock is now very itchy, but I am about to give them another "feed".

If this is meant to be a joke.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549518)

what is the joke ? I dont get it.

And the winner is.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549522)

I would hate to be the other robot when this thing makes it to battle bots.

./ one of the good guys. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549523)

That server just got a healthy DDOS /. bodyslam.

Decepticon Millennium Copyright Act (4, Funny)

SunPin (596554) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549531)

Clearly, this is an unacceptable use of an automobile.

Re:Decepticon Millennium Copyright Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549545)

Now THAT was a clever one liner. Mod points should be coming your way

Strange things indeed.. (2, Interesting)

brain1 (699194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549536)

This thing looks like a cross between a Gundam and Robocop. I think that Jesse James should have built this on Monster Garage. OK. Now what does it REALLY do?

Bad idea here (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549546)

Bad idea here, no not creating a robot out of a mini. No the bad idea was creating something that resembled a transformer and not hosting it on a well configured webserver on high end hardware with lots of bandwidth. See what happens is slashdot gets wind of such a thing, and with many geeks having fond memories of transformers, the next thing you know the fire chief wants to have a word with the CTO. Bad idea.

Could Be Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549548)

I could be wrong but shouldn't the topic be, "Build a Robot out of a Car"? Seriously people, Fridays no longer an excuse for these errors.

Imagine.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549550)

a beowulf cluster of these puppies!

DARPA?? (2, Funny)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549551)

i wonder if it would qualify for the Darpa competition. I think it would be an interesting twist if it did.

Re:DARPA?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549661)

They are too busy eating cheese sandwiches to care about some grant money. But it would be a cool side project.

Kudos to you!

FAKE! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549558)

Watch the "Battery Test" video, if that isn't CGI then I'm a monkey's uncle.

Re:FAKE! (4, Informative)

sakusha (441986) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549658)

You're right, it's a dead giveaway. Notice the guy holding the clipboard, the lighting is camera left since the clipboard casts a shadow on his chest. But the fake CG shadows from the "robot" indicate the model was lit from the camera upper right. And none of the background objects (i.e. the cart) casts shadows anywhere near as distinct as the "robot."
Come on fakers, don't you know that your lighting has to be consistent between composited layers?

The real scoop (2, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549560)

The site is well camouflaged to make it seem real. The CG work is well done. It wouldn't suprise me if this is a site created by MINI. They have a long history of non-traditional advertising. They have put a MINI in the stands at a Giants Baseball game. They put them into Malls on a platform with coin slots saying $16,995 in quaters for a ride.
There best known one was putting the MINI on the roof of a Chevy Suburban and driving it arround San Francisco.

It was also recently revealed that the Weekly World News article with BatBoy Stealing a MINI was a planted article by MINI USA

Next Project (5, Funny)

Catnapster (531547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549561)

Take an F-15 and turn it into Starscream.

Or, optionally, find a thirty-foot-long alien ray gun and turn it into Shockwave.

Don't forget Unicron! [imdb.com]

Mod Parent Down (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549584)

While this is some cool CG it really doesn't mean that his hoster needs a DDOS attack on port 80. I mean really.

Obviously fake (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549596)

Just take a look at the photos - clearly this is fake, done with CG. Look at the tires on the wheels - it's like they didn't even try.

Go Autobots! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549605)

Just don't give away any secrets in the process of bragging...

It's Not Real (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549607)

There is nothing but fluff on that site. The "sketches" have the stink of marketing all over them. Now, whenever I see a Mini Cooper, I'll be reminded of their pathetic "me too" attempt to get some attention. At least Honda's Cog ad actually entailed some technological brilliance and real work to make happen. All this does is raise the question of where the line should be drawn when it comes to making false claims of research and development in order to get free advertising. Isn't that illegal? What's the difference between what Mini is doing and what we'd think of a drug company that fabricated a bunch of bogus "technology" to imply that it had a cure for cancer for the purpose of getting free advertising?

Yeah, I guess I don't like the feeling of being duped by a marketing department.

Re:It's Not Real (0)

Ozone Depletion (738650) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549654)

didn't a drug company do that? I could have sworn there was a commercial with christopher reeves walking. or maybe it was a charity...

Winner already known (0, Offtopic)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549614)

I think the DARPA team did this, it's the Hummer thingy. And I said this in the DARPA thread, the DARPA "contest" is a sham, there is only one vehicle that can win, and it seems to be funded by guess what? Defese contractors. Suprise.

Robot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549617)

My car is already a robot, isn't it?

doesn't matter, whatvever (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549629)

My bum smells like cheese, does anyone know how to fix it?
bipedrobot
10 feet tall

I liked it better (3, Funny)

aexandria1 (748486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549634)

when they called it KITT. All they need now is a couple of LEDs on the front of the car and William Daniels in the trunk.

Slashdotted already! (2, Informative)

xandroid (680978) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549638)

Here's the image [68.54.119.43] on the one page I could access. Below it was the text:

"Here is r50r without the protective bonnet plate. I was a bit hesitant to post this because you can see some of the details of my mechanics. But I don't think it gives away too many secrets."

Re:Slashdotted already! (3, Informative)

xandroid (680978) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549674)

I was lucky enough to get the actual article a second later, too -- link [68.54.119.43]

Mini-bot uses shoulder wheels for balance (0)

jeoin (668566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549640)

I think that the mini coopers are fake. I have never seen anyone really get out of one, they are spys for uncle sams blue blooded kin and seek to control world by stealling all the parking spaces .5 at a time..

This would be cooler if... (4, Informative)

rasafras (637995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549651)

...it were real. This is basically a less cool version of the VW bug transformer video, which can be found here [wozzers.co.uk] (sorry about the format). The creator of the video has an interview here [botcollector.com], though the original site is down.

I'm surprised this slipped through, editors.

Did he build a Robot out of his webserver too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549672)

if so then it explains why the website is missing.

This is the obvious result... (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549705)

Of watching way to much Junkyard Wars... I wanna see this bad boy compete in any robot competition... the intimidation value alone should insure victory...

Genda

Bad post, bad edit, SNAFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549706)

Michael, Timothy, Cliff, CowboyDumb et al,

"Editors" EDIT stories for grammar, syntax and facts.
That's why they get the moniker "Editors".

Reply From Builder (Colin Mayhew) (2, Informative)

nherc (530930) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549707)

I just came across a reply from the creator regarding its authenicty [google.com] on Google Groups:

From: Chris S. (123@123.com)
Subject: Re: Robot built from a Mini Cooper?
View: Complete Thread (9 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: comp.robotics.misc
Date: 2004-03-11 13:08:35 PST

I'm not so sure. I really want to believe this thing's for real, but I
have some serious doubts. Here's the response I got from Colin Mayhew,
the robot's inventor:

Colin Mayhew wrote:

>I can assure you that the Cooper project is a real and
>very tangible one. Your suspicion is perhaps
>understandable because the leaps we've made are rather
>significant compared to the current state of
>commercial AI. As Mr. Clarke wrote in Technology and
>the Future, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is
>indistinguishable from magic." What's important to
>remember in this famous quotation is not that the
>technology becomes magic, but rather that technology
>seems magical only to those who don't understand the
>details or are not knowledgeable of the history of a
>technology's development. It's for that reason that
>I've placed notes online and have included videos from
>different stages of the project. Have you seen videos
>of people interacting with the Kismet robot? That
>robot uses a fairly simple emotional model, yet people
>bond to it and treat it as a 'living' creature! It has
>become something magical from bits of aluminum and
>electrons whizzing inside silicon. Your experiences in
>the research sector I'm sure have shown you how
>disconnected the public can be from the realities of
>technology. There are autonomous machines (be they in
>medicine or oil well drilling) so removed from our
>daily lives that when we finally learn of them, we are
>shocked and amazed---far more so than had we followed
>the gradual steps and wrong turns the engineers made
>developing and finessing the technology. This project
>is real, and it, and the systems I've developed for it
>are going to change the way we live our lives. The
>most recent software revision I've tested on the robot
>has some powerful reasoning capabilities, a large step
>more powerful and versatile than that employed on the
>robot when I recorded the videos you may have seen
>online. They are perhaps powerful enough to seem like
>magic, but both devil and the angel of creativity are
>in the details. Soon enough, these little creatures
>will be animating the robots all around us and making
>our lives safer and more fulfilling.
>
>Regards,
>Colin
>
>
> --- "Chris S." wrote: > Is your
>Mini Cooper powered robotic biped a real
>
>>project? Your site
>>seems detailed enough, but the videos look
>>suspiciously like computer
>>generations. Either way, it's an entertaining feat.
>>
>>Sincerely,
>>Chris S.

Take it for what you will. I just can't believe someone built something like that essentially alone in just a few years. It just does too much and it moves too fluidily. For instance watch the video where it stops a run-away Car [r50rd.co.uk].

Mr Mackey Says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549718)

Robots are bad mmmmkay...

kids you hear me? I said robots are bad mmmkay.

They can step on you and stuff mmmkay

monster truck shows (1)

nuckin futs (574289) | more than 10 years ago | (#8549725)

part of the monster truck show is a transformer, and they've been doing it for years. it's not quite as good as the mini, but it's the same concept.

Yes but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8549737)

Can it dance?

Robotics 101. It is not a robot unless it can dance.

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