Bowling, industrial robot style

If you like things like coil gun armed robosapiens, then you’ll thank [Aaron] for sharing his teams quest for the ultimate in stupid robot tricks. They hauled a 2800 pound industrial robot to the desert and used it to toss bowling balls… at an innocent RV. To top things off, they even lit one on fire. He even had to call the manufacturer up and sweet talk them into telling him how to speed up the robot so they could throw the balls even harder. The fire I can understand, but I’ve got no explanation for the roman gladiator or the bunny suit. Videos embedded after the break.


  1. andrew says:

    uh… link please?

  2. aperson says:

    ditto. link?

  3. Dammit. Fixed.

  4. andrew says:

    no worries, my apologies for sounding a bit jerk-ish in my previous comment. anyway i must say that is one awesome set up, i love their (quasi?) 3D trajectory program, not to mention the footage from that HD camera “rental” :)

  5. greg says:

    Awesome! Man that was so funny. The true way robots were intended to be used.

  6. Frogz says:

    this is jackass meets mythbusters
    well done!

  7. herbicide says:

    I can imagine the conversation:

    “$ROBOT_COMPANY, how can I help you?”

    “Hi, I’m using one of your robots to throw bowling balls an an RV, only I’m not getting enough range… Can you tell me how to get some more ‘oomph’ out of it?”


    Great hack.

  8. floe says:

    nice hack! according to local university legend, some dumbasses in a robotic class once managed to send a position command with a negative z component to one of these robots, which then tried to smash through the floor and finally tore itself out of its mounting.. so beware ;-)

  9. Greg says:
  10. Jordan says:

    That university legend is true.

    What happens almost yearly is people smashing through tables because of wrongly inputed Z components.

  11. jim says:

    firing carrots at bunny was a nice touch. painful, too

  12. Mike M. says:

    If only our robotic arms did that in the factory I work at. Best we can do is sling boxes of toothpaste from side to side.

  13. Digital says:

    That sir, was quite possibly the most awesome use of an industrial robot ever!

    I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  14. Nanan says:

    I have seen the “University Legend” thing a few times. The first year kids often times ripped up tables and broke the robot’s concrete anchor bolts out of the ground. Fun times, people who do this usually are not aloud to touch the coding for their group from then on.

  15. phnx says:

    But really… What else are you gonna do with an industrial arm? “Uh… how can we make it go faster?”

  16. Adriana says:

    Looking pretty Hot Eli!!

  17. Optimus Prime + 1 says:

    very entertaining

  18. Dirk says:

    i want an industrial robot to play with.

  19. Marco says:

    “What happens almost yearly is people smashing through tables because of wrongly inputed Z components.”

    Not necessarily a negative Z component, but I remember having to input angles for the base motor and if you did not properly reset the robot to a well known initial position then all angles will be off. Yes- there were deep scratch marks in our table because of it…

  20. Kelsey says:

    Robert Williams (c. 1954 – January 25, 1979)

  21. Brotherred says:

    It almost looks like a Cloose robot welder. I used to run some of those.

  22. O Mattos says:

    The making of that video looks like it must’ve cost quite a bit (borrow a robot, rent a generator, transport etc.) – who pays out that much for a hack-a-day and youtube video??

  23. srilyk says:

    That’s freaking amazing. I still think I prefer the Wiimote controlling the sword…

    Yay for using fun toys in ways they weren’t intended (yeah, right!)

  24. Chris Hayes says:

    What a woosies to throw with such tiny objects – look for the movie of the trebuchet slinging pianos and a car! No sissy generator needed!

  25. Jack says:

    Wow…wild video!

  26. Nice post. Liking this blog going to have to bookmark it.

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