Behold the awesomeness that is the Mantis Hexapod or Mantis Walking Machine, a hydraulic powered hexapod walking machine created by Matt Denton and his team at Micromagic Systems. After four years of design and development, the Mantis is the largest all-terrain operational hexapod robot in the world.

"Mantis runs off a 2.2-litre, 50 horsepower turbo diesel engine, and it stands 2.8 meters (9 feet) tall. It can be piloted directly or controlled via wifi. Functionally, it can manipulate objects (like pushing a trailer) or fold itself into a truck bed.

As of now, Mantis walks around at the achingly slow pace of 1 km/hr. Its navigational software has to rely solely on the information given to it by its legs as they touch the ground. Future versions will likely utilize visual systems, allowing Mantis to evaluate the topography of its environment in advance.”

If you’re looking to host a truly memorable occasion, considering a career in supervillainy, or simply want to scare the pants off your curmudgeonly neighbour(s), the Mantis is available for private hire, custom commissions, events, and sponsorships.

This video was shot during field tests in May and October 2012. Click here for more Mantis videos.

[via io9]

Amit Drori and Tel Aviv-based designer Noam Dover created an awesome menagerie of robotic animal sculptures, which are powered by servo motors and remote-controlled by puppeteers, for theatrical production entitled Savanna, A Possible Landscape, which premiered in 2011.

Head over to Laughing Squid to watch a couple short videos of the production.

Photos by Noam Dover and Michal Cederbaum

Why fly when you can wheel yourself around on a little blue buggy? Andrew Gray, a University of Florida electrical- and computer-engineering student, designed this incredibly awesome Bird Buggy for his parrot named Pepper, who cleverly steers it with a joystick held in his beak. This creation of this ingenious device came about because Pepper hates to be left alone and makes a great fuss whenever it happens.

"Our parrot, when he’s left alone, screams. It’s ear-piercing even if you’re several rooms away." To alleviate the squawking, Gray built a small cart Pepper can drive easily with his beak. It’s a distraction to give the grey plumed bird something to occupy his time. Sure enough, Pepper took to cruising around on four wheels, driving the small, boxy blue buggy by way of a beak-steered joystick control. Suddenly the bird is a whole lot quieter.

What’s more, the Bird Buggy uses cameras and a homing device mounted in its docking station, to park and recharge itself if Pepper decides to abandon his ride.

[via Neatorama and Wired]

This incredibly awesome and wonderfully creepy Robotic Spider Dress is the result of a collaboration between Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht and Austrian software developer Daniel Schatzmayr. The dress features arachnoid legs mounted on the wearer’s shoulders that move whenever the dress senses nearby movement. 

Schatzmayr’s obsession with hacking hexapods, along with Wipprecht’s established ability to craft fashions that defy convention resulted in this nightmarish hybrid reminiscent of the Borg Queen’s unsettling robot spine host body. As a Halloween costume, the Robotic Spider Dress would win every time, but as a piece of fashion, it might actually be an early look at practical robotics-enhanced garments.”

[via DVICE]

Source dvice.com

"You have to hand it to these Japanese universities: There is no end to the strange [awesome], and perhaps imaginative, things they are willing to research. The latest comes from Keio University, home of the poster you can make out with, which has developed a set of robotic eyes and mouth fitted to rings. The researchers involved go on and on about this being a breakthrough form of communication, ignoring the obvious truth that they wan to turn your hand into a Furby.
Like the aforementioned make out poster, the mechanics behind the robotic rings are remarkably straightforward. Each ring has a wirelessly controlled electromagnet, which the user triggers to make the eyes and mouth open and close. The researchers say that they want to work toward making the rings behave “more like a character,” which presumably means they would function autonomously.”
Masayasu Ogata, who is involved in the research, discussed the reasoning behind this form of human-robot interaction thusly:

Until now, robots have usually communicated with people from a distance. That’s also true of pet robots like AIBO, and androids. Until now, robots haven’t been attached to the human body. We’ve designed this ring-shaped robot as an entertaining communication device, like an accessory that’s fun to wear, to help wearable robots progress beyond the research stage.

Want to see the robotic rings in action? Check out the video here! 
At the very least, hand puppetry will never be the same again.
[via Geekosystem]

"You have to hand it to these Japanese universities: There is no end to the strange [awesome], and perhaps imaginative, things they are willing to research. The latest comes from Keio University, home of the poster you can make out with, which has developed a set of robotic eyes and mouth fitted to rings. The researchers involved go on and on about this being a breakthrough form of communication, ignoring the obvious truth that they wan to turn your hand into a Furby.

Like the aforementioned make out poster, the mechanics behind the robotic rings are remarkably straightforward. Each ring has a wirelessly controlled electromagnet, which the user triggers to make the eyes and mouth open and close. The researchers say that they want to work toward making the rings behave “more like a character,” which presumably means they would function autonomously.”

Masayasu Ogata, who is involved in the research, discussed the reasoning behind this form of human-robot interaction thusly:

Until now, robots have usually communicated with people from a distance. That’s also true of pet robots like AIBO, and androids. Until now, robots haven’t been attached to the human body. We’ve designed this ring-shaped robot as an entertaining communication device, like an accessory that’s fun to wear, to help wearable robots progress beyond the research stage.

Want to see the robotic rings in action? Check out the video here

At the very least, hand puppetry will never be the same again.

[via Geekosystem]

This unsettling being is Hugvie, the huggable robotic pillow-phone. Invented by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University, Hugvie has a heartbeat and internal vibrators meant to make it seem more human-like as you put your arm around it imagining it’s the person to whom you are speaking who is actually hundreds of miles away.

"The concept of enhancing long-distance phone conversations between loved ones isn’t new. Kissinger, the long distance kiss messenger, and the kiss transmission device invented by other Japanese researchers have also tried to make long-distance conversations more personal by making the protagonists feel closer to each other. Hugvie is basically a robotic pillow with a human shape that acts as a port for your mobile phone. It’s got its own heartbeat and internal vibrators that react faster and stronger, depending on the tone of the conversation. It sounds like an interesting device, but a lot of people find it just a little bit creepy.

Right now, the Hugvie isn’t the most advanced robot to come out of Japan, but professor Ishiguro, who has made a name for himself by creating human-like androids, believes he can take his Telenoid technology further, by turning Hugvie into a robot with an internal frame and lots more sensors and vibrators. This would make the pillow-phone much more realistic and also send the hugs long distance; when you hug the pillow, the Hugvie on the other end would move accordingly. But even in the current state, the robot pillow is believed to become a hit with families, lovers, and elderly people taking to far-away relatives.”

Visit Oddity Central to watch video of a couple people happily cuddling with Hugvie.

From the Department of Awesome Technological Innovations comes the imminent obsolescence of the wheelchair:
This is the TEK Robotic Mobilization Device (RMD), a transport vehicle for the paraplegic/disabled that allows them to move around in a standing position. The advantages over a traditional wheelchair are immense, including: better cardiovascular health from the standing position, the ability to make eye-to-eye contact instead of always being looked down upon, the independence to reach high and low (it can lower to a sitting position as well), get on and off the john/in and out of bed yourself, as well as a significantly smaller footprint for ease of navigating tight areas. The device comes in five sizes and started shipping in Turkey last week for around $15,000. 
Head over to Geekologie to watch a video demonstration of the TEK RMD.

From the Department of Awesome Technological Innovations comes the imminent obsolescence of the wheelchair:

This is the TEK Robotic Mobilization Device (RMD), a transport vehicle for the paraplegic/disabled that allows them to move around in a standing position. The advantages over a traditional wheelchair are immense, including: better cardiovascular health from the standing position, the ability to make eye-to-eye contact instead of always being looked down upon, the independence to reach high and low (it can lower to a sitting position as well), get on and off the john/in and out of bed yourself, as well as a significantly smaller footprint for ease of navigating tight areas. The device comes in five sizes and started shipping in Turkey last week for around $15,000. 

Head over to Geekologie to watch a video demonstration of the TEK RMD.

"Robots are awesome – that’s a fact. At one point in their life, just about everyone has wanted a giant robot they could pilot. Thanks to Japanese manufacturer Sakakibara Kikai, you can give your kids that experience with the Kids Walker. This mech lets your kids zip around the driveway pretending to shoot space aliens, or whatever other giant robot fantasy they might have. As an added bonus, this thing may help put your kid on the path to a promising career in robotics – that’s a pretty sweet bonus!"
[via Incredible things]

"Robots are awesome – that’s a fact. At one point in their life, just about everyone has wanted a giant robot they could pilot. Thanks to Japanese manufacturer Sakakibara Kikai, you can give your kids that experience with the Kids Walker. This mech lets your kids zip around the driveway pretending to shoot space aliens, or whatever other giant robot fantasy they might have. As an added bonus, this thing may help put your kid on the path to a promising career in robotics – that’s a pretty sweet bonus!"

[via Incredible things]