Robots

Giant Robots

Posted 20 Feb 2006 at 02:14 UTC by Rog-a-matic Share This

We usually think of robots as small devices being tripped over by humans or sparing with an Iguana, but giants are becoming more commonplace. RoboSaurus terrifies crowds with 60,000 lbs of car-crunching actuators. The seven-jointed Canadarm2 designed for the space station weighs in at 3600+ lb and almost 60 feet in length. Lindz Lawlor's Electric Giraffe, while not worthy of a Power Rangers cameo, was certainly the largest bot at the 2005 RoboNexus. The storm surge barrier arms in the Netherlands and the Australian coal mine dragline are large enough to manipulate nature itself. There are also strange contraptions like Animaris Rhinoceros Transport that are just waiting for an embedded ARM so they can wreak havoc on their tiny cousins. One thing you'll notice in common with all these - none are autonomous. Some use sensors to make simple decisions or repeat actions of an operator, but most are simply remote controlled machines designed to be extensions of humans. I guess once a machine gets large enough to tear down a house, kill more than 50 people, or challange a system of government, humans are unwilling to let software take the reigns. Nevertheless, these are all worthy of a lengthy stare. I'm sure there are many more so please chime in.

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