Time Magazine recently posted a photo essay of some of their favorite robots. The article was composed in response to the recent release of the Pixar film Wall-E, and features some of the cutest, most cuddly automatons in the world. We were more interested in the most functional ones, huggability notwithstanding. See some of these Hack a Day veterans after the break.
One of the ones that caught our eye is the Shadow Robot Company’s The Shadow Hand we first posted in 2005. Despite its name, this robot was not designed for evil, but to be the best available robot modeled on the human hand. It is composed of a system of more than 40 air muscles, which are flexible devices made of a rubber tube surrounded by a flexible plastic mesh. The Air Muscles provide the pulling force needed to clench and unclench the hand.
An even more advanced robot is the anthropomorphic HOAP-3 (PDF file), which can walk, talk, and look good in one of those tall chef hats. What’s more, the robot can be taught to perform simple tasks; in the video, a team of researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland taught the HOAP-3 to mix eggs in a mixing bowl by simple demonstrating once how it’s done.
A chef robot may be impressive, but robot clergymen simply blow our minds. That’s the best way to describe Tiro (site is in Korean), a robot that was used to officiate the wedding of one of its creators. Tiro is designed to be a general helper robot, and is capable of playing back audio, moving on its own, carrying objects in its arms, and displaying various facial expressions on its LED face. All these abilities make Tiro well-suited to complete basic social tasks, although we’re not sure whether they’re all ordained ministers or if that’s only true for the one pictured above.
Check out some more lovable and functional bots at the read link below, and see if your favorite robot made the list.
[via Shake Well Before Use]