Thursday, 4 December 2008

Exoskeletal (Junction At The Railroad Delayed)

If I were a writer for a rubbish tabloid I'd be obligated to open with the line "It could be something from a Gundam episode...". Thanks to blogging I've been able to not only take a shot at tabloids in my opening line, but use a title from a Mars Volta lyric too. God bless The Internet.

Toyota's I-Foot

Anyway, I never knew this, but Toyota developed the I-Foot in 2005. It's one of a variety of robotic vehicles that have been coming out over the last few years. Unfortunately we probably won't see any of these in the West due to the lack of a significant mecha-obsession.

I-Foot controls

Its top speed is only 1mph, but it's nimble enough to climb staircases. Albeit staircases with huge stairs. Its agility and cat-like grace of movement were illustrated at the Tokyo Motor Show, where they got it to dance. Here's a clip:

By contrast, the Land Walker is terrifying. It may be clumsy, rickety and only fire tennis balls, but it's freaking massive. It genuinely looks slightly like an AT-ST:

Don't know who makes the Land Walker, but apparently it costs $315,000.

I wrote previously about a robot that you jack into your brain, and it turns out it was developed two years ago. It also turns out you don't jack it into your brain, it just reads the electric signals from your skin and anticipates what your next moves will be, making it even more terrifying than before. Here's a video explaining how it works, with some of the best Engrish subtitles ever:

That concludes this robot-roundup.