September 16, 2013

I, Automaton

Here are a few robotic-themed posts from Tumbld Thoughts. The first (Mechatronoids -- Artificial Muscle-heads) gives my take on the difference between robotics and mechtronics. The second (Spock vs. Spock vs. Autonomous Control) is a face-off between three kinds of highly-logical intelligence. Scroll down the page to see who wins.

I. Mechatronoids -- Artificial Muscle-heads

What is the difference between artificially intelligent (AI) robots and mechatronics? The informal answer: while some forms of AI are trying to get into University [1], bio-inspired mechatronic devices are fighting it out in the ring. 

This video of the Otherlab's bopem popem robots at this year's Google I/O conference is a nice example of pneubotics (soft robots [2] controlled by air pumps) in action. For more information, see this Synthetic Daisies feature on the OtherLab from December 2011 [3].

II. Spock vs. Spock vs. Autonomous Control

Here are clips from a rather lengthy Audi advertisement featuring a comical duel of Spock vs. Spock. Playing 3-D chess on their iPads is only the beginning. Featuring a cameo by the self-driving car from the Dynamic Design Lab at Stanford.

For more, check out the Audi Spock Challenge on YouTube. And speaking of autonomous machines, check out the DARPA Robotic Challenge, featuring RoboSimian from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL).


[1] Strickland, E.   Can an AI get into the University of Tokyo? IEEE Spectrum, August 21 (2013).

[2] For more information on soft robots, please see the Popsci soft robots tag.

[3] Alicea, B.   Tour of the OtherLab. Synthetic Daisies blog, December 1 (2011).

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