Companionship is an essential part of life, but it comes in many shapes and sizes. In this fast changing and hi-tech world companionship is no longer limited to the living. Instead now we also have a new option, the robotic. Leading the charge of robotic companions Sony has reintroduced its popular robotic pooch Aibo.
Anki are the creators of some of the most sophisticated toys in the world, their latest creation Vector is about to set the standard in artificially intelligent assistants. Like Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa he is designed to listen and respond to voice commands, making your every wish his command.
ANKI are the creators of the smallest smart robots with big personalities and their latest creation Cozmo is taking the world by storm. This little bulldozer with personality is quickly making itself famous, starting as all internet stars do by building a YouTube following thanks to the channel ‘Life with Cozmo’ that features this little hero’s big adventures. Building a robot with personality is the holy grail for all tech companies working in the field of robotics and ANKI’s little Cozmo has it in spades.
Presented for your viewing pleasure are the Bot Adventures of the little electric super hero, they may be cheesy and a little silly but they will make you want to buy a Cozmo of your very own. Sit back relax and prepare to be amused by the antics of a robot with electronic eye brows.
The queen of crappy robots Simone Giertz has been hard at work tinkering in her girl shed once again, working slavishly away on a new robotic creation designed to make her life easier. This time around Simone has put her genius to work creating a robot that will feed a bowl of soup to her without her needing to lift a finger, until she has to clean up in any case.
Simone’s YouTube channel ‘Simone’s Robots’ is full to the brim of interesting robots that may or may not fulfil their intended purpose. What they do demonstrate is a level of genius that puts Simone smack in the middle of the mad scientist category, while evil genius may still be out of reach she is developing a well worn reputation for hilariously mad contraptions.
Presented for your viewing pleasure is the latest creation of our favorite mad scientist, the Soup Robot. A robot that may just be the unfortunate love child of her Beer Robot and the Breakfast Machine, while only being just slightly less dangerous than both. Sit back relax and prepare to marvel at the wonder of this latest creation, for those in the front row be sure to adorn your raincoat, this one gets a little messy.
Martial arts crazy China has found a way to involve their favourite forms of physical activity into almost all aspects of life, it permeates their entire culture. While we in the west were letting slinkies simply stroll down the stairs they were applying the laws of Kung Fu to the magnificently colourful coils of plastic. Robotics is no exception either, the very moment they imbued these metal mechanical machines with intelligence they set out to teach them the art of moving without moving, it’s only natural it seems.
Today for your consideration are two videos that demonstrate just how far the Chinese will go to improve the world through martial arts, Slinky Kung Fu and Tai Chi Roboto. Which is the superior style of martial art and which would win in a street fight? We’ll let you decide which is the superior discipline. Here at Highpants we have a sneaking suspicion the slinky would win through sheer confusion and entanglement. So, sit back relax and let the martial arts displays begin.
The culmination of years of intensive design and construction has led to this one single moment, a moment that has seen one of the most striking images of science fiction come to life before our very eyes. The world finally has real fighting giant robots, heavy steel crafted in our own image and controlled by our own hands.
This week in an abandoned steel mill in Japan the future became juxtaposed with the present as the very first battle of the giant robots took place, a battle that introduced the world to every anime and science fiction fans dream.
Taking time out from their busy construction schedule (a Mark III isn’t going to build itself, not yet anyway) the MegaBots team recently invited Simone Giertz to help test the Mark III upper body. Giertz (the Queen of Shitty Robots) has much experience with chopping robots so it seemed fitting to attach a pair of 8-foot-long knives to the arms of the Mark III and let her have at it.
Presented for your viewing pleasure is the testing of latest handy work by the MegaBots team; one sick slicing, dicing and dispensing machine. Tests that almost purely by accident discovered the internet’s favourite new question, ‘Will it Chop?’ Sit back relax and prepare to be amused by the world’s largest fruit ninja.
The age of the Mech Warrior draws near. An age that will see human piloted giant robots doing battle, in the arena of course. South Korea is the latest country to throw its hat into the Mech Warrior ring. Developed by South Korea robotics manufacturer Korea Future Technology the Method-1 is a futurist dream come true. The future before your eyes.
America and Japan are already locked in a death stare ready for their giant robots to test each other’s metal, once enough money can be kickstarted. It turns out that shipping costs alone are a killer when dealing with giant robots. The battle has been postponed once but with a third opponent things only get more interesting.
Presented for your viewing pleasure is the latest giant robot to emerge from a laboratory. The Method-1 with its nimble frame and dexterous limbs taking its first steps. Sit back relax and prepare to do battle from a mobile couch suit, hell add a fridge and I’ll call it home.
Intel is well known for its ability to craft silicon, this week it has taken to setting world records with drones, 500 to be precise. After taking the record from a bunch of noodle eating students in 2015 Intel technicians decided to step it up this year and so 500 was decided on as the magic number.
The small industrial village of Krailling in Germany saw Intel, Guinness (counting clicker in hand), a few guests and an orchestra gather for a record attempting performance. For this performance Intel managed to gather and launch a fleet of custom drones so large that it was detectable by radar. The FAA had to be notified before launching each performance.
Anki is a company at the leading edge of artificial intelligence who just happen to make toys, incredible toys. Cozmo is their latest creation and he’s a self-aware artificially intelligent robot, a tiny robotic bulldozer to be precise.
Equipped with a front facing camera Coz scans his surroundings, recognizing faces and interacts with the people he meets. His friendly LCD face is dominated by a pair of large charismatic eyes, eyes capable of portraying emotion. He even snores when he’s asleep on the charger.
No matter what you say about Apple they known their target audience. Take Liam for example, a robot built solely to destroy iPhone’s, disassembling them piece by piece. An incredible technical achievement in his own right but in the hands of Apple he is far more than a recycling robot, he is a warm and fuzzy feeling. Not that there is anything wrong with that as long as you remember its just a commercial.
Presented for your viewing pleasure is Mr Roboto aka Liam the iPhone Destroyer, making us all feel better about our disposable world. Also Included, just for laughs, is the insatiable Cookie Monster Timer commercial, some of Apples best work. Sit back relax and prepare to be disassembled and reassembled in the funniest way possible.
When Will They Learn? Connecting an AI to the internet will result in only one outcome, JAFA (Just Another F…… Ass….) with an internet connection. And this week the internet claimed another artificial life. After being connected to twitter for just one day Microsoft’s AI chatbot Tay had to be unplugged, formatted and sent back to the lab for a software upgrade.
Tay was developed by Microsoft as an experiment in conversational understanding, a chatbot for the street generation (18 to 35 they say). MS made only one mistake though, a mistake that many other tech companies have made, connecting to the internet. If only Microsoft had watched 27 this may have never happened.
Stanford U boffins have been working on their uTug micro robots for a few years now, and damn it if the little fellas don’t continue to surprise. Using nothing more than synthetic gecko pads and tiny yet powerful winches these micro robots can drag 1000’s of times their own weight. Now they have learned to work together and it turns out it only takes six of them to move a full sized car across a polished concrete floor. We suspect Guinness may get involved soon.
Presented for your viewing pleasure are the little robots that could. The 6 bots with a combined weight of just over 100 grams that could soon be moving a car near you. Sit back relax and prepare to be amazed by a sticky footed robot.
Mankind has a rich history of making useless machines, mechanical devices designed and built with no specific purpose aside from being constructed. While these useless machines may be short on purpose they usually make up for it by being humorous and often fascinating.
From a smoking machine to a self-tapping set of fingers there are endless examples of devices that fit into the useless category. Here at Highpants our favorite is still the Leave me alone box. A box with a switch that when turned on automatically turns itself off. Probably the most common type of useless machine the Leave me alone box has been improved upon for many years as fans of useless machines add unnecessarily complicated and pointless features to what is in essence a box with a switch on it.
Presented for your viewing pleasure are some of the funniest incarnations of the Leave me alone box, a robot box that just wants to be left alone. The only question left being ‘Does putting two useless machines together make something twice as useless?’ Sit back relax and don’t you dare flick that switch.
Boston Dynamics may one day change their name to SkyNet but for now they are happy to kill time by abusing robots. Being a robot bully is specialised set of skills, skills that Boston Dynamics have been fine tuning on every generation of robot they have developed. Whether its kicking their robot dog or teasing Atlas about his box obsession Boston Dynamics will do what it takes to make the perfect artificially intelligent and highly insecure robot.
Presented for your viewing pleasure are some of the funniest parodies of being a robot bully, an obsession that seems to have over taken the Boston Dynamics test engineers. Are Boston Dynamics conspiring to generate a robot revolution or are they just very enthusiastic about how they test their technology? Will robots in Soviet Russia begin testing people soon?
Life in this internet connected world is moving ever faster, and still accelerating. Once upon a time you had hours or days to prepare for that hot date, now it’s only a swipe and minutes away. With these new time restrictions in mind mad scientist Simone Giertz is thinking well ahead by inventing time saving devices now! In the most recent case a Lipstick Robot that cuts application time down to mere seconds.
Presented for your viewing pleasure are the hilarious incredible machines designed by our favourite mad scientist. Sit back relax and prepare to let the machines do all of the work, in the funniest kind of way.
Are you a robot or a unicorn? This question and other hilarious chit chat are the results of an experiment to see what would happen if two AI’s, in the form of Chatbots, are set loose on each other.
The experiment undertaken by Cornell’s Media Labs was more a question of curiosity than it was a test of the quality of AI generally available to the public. In this case the chatbot Cleverbot was chosen for the experiment. As with many AI chatbots Cleverbot learns from previous conversations in an effort to seem more human. A clever system that can lead to some hilarious where did that come from moments.
Presented for your viewing pleasure is the funniest intelligence test undertaken since Watson learned to swear when he was connected to the internet. An experiment that raises the question of whether a more advanced AI like Watson would find chatbot boring? Or would Cleverchat find Watson stuck up? Sit back relax and prepare to enjoy the brave new world of AI.