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Advanced Robotics: Flying Machines and Puzzle-Solvers

Every passing day, robots are learning more and more. Each day, our computerized counterparts are becoming smarter. Just think about it: in the time you spent reading this blog, robots just mastered another key to their evolution.


Japan’s Ministry of Defense unveils the worlds first flying robotic orb.

Those Magnificent Flying Machines
You’ve probably seen walking robots. Well, now joining their ranks are flying robots. Recently the Japanese Ministry of Defense (JMD) introduced a orb that could fly through the air. The orb has a eerie similarity to the flying robots in The Matrix – or the hovering interrogation droid from Star Wars.

The robot hovers, floating through the air like a bird, spinning and turning on a dime — just like the robots that chased Neo. For now, a remote operator controls the orb. And thanks to on-board gyroscopes, the robotic sphere that weighs less than a pound stays afloat with ease. According to JMD, the robot was made for rescue and reconnaissance: “It can take off and land anywhere. This machine will be able to reach places that were hard to access by air before.”

The flying machine costs around $1,400 and is made from parts you could probably buy at your local Radio Shack.

Problem-Solving Robots
If that video weren’t enough to demonstrate how far robots have come, here’s another. How about a robot that has been trained to master the great intellectual feat known as solving Rubik’s Cube? “RuBot” is programmed to scan and analyze a Rubik’s Cube — and figure out the quickest, most efficient way to solve the classic mechanical puzzle:

Rubiks Cube, which was invented in 1974, is now solved with ease by RuBot. 

As robots become more powerful, the question ultimately becomes, “How can I keep robots from taking over my town?” Unfortunately, there’s no clear answer to that question. Robots have found their way into almost everything you come into contact with on a daily basis, from hospital surgery to traffic lights. The best thing to do is to try to help the robots now in hopes that your assistance will be appreciated later…after they take over.

Join The Robot Revolution
But why fight them? Join them! Learning how to take control of robots has never been easier. With LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robotics kits, for example, you can build a variety of robots, including specialty ‘bots that perform complex tasks, such as climbing a rope.

At Digital Media Academy computer camps, students in the Adventures in Robotics course not only learn what makes robots tick; they also build robots and battle ‘em, too. After a busy week in which each student has been individually issued their own LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robotics kit, campers pit their best battling bots against each other in a Sumo robot competition (just like the robots in Real Steel).

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments

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