Some time ago, we announced the nomination for the Top Ten Coolest Robots of 2010. You voted and now the results are in. Let’s have a closer look at the ten lucky robots and find out which one is the big winner.
#10 Google Car and Bae Systems Taranis Tied
These two robots are tied in the number ten ranking with the same number of votes.
The Google car is definitely cool and very promising in the future. It is now possible to envision a near future where all cars will be autonomous and will provide humans with an optimized transportation service that will fit our needs while remaining efficient, fast and not prone to accidents, traffic jams, and law infringements. Imagine if a car could come pick you up in the morning whenever you are ready to leave, bring you to work while you catch-up on the latest news, read emails or simply take a nap, and then be available to transport any other human in the nearby area.
The Taranis Drone by BAE Systems leads to a less Utopian future. Being an autonomous combat aircraft, it (along with a few robofriends) would be able to potentially destroy entire cities in a perfectly autonomous and efficient way.
#9 The DFRobotShop Rover
The DFRobotShop Rover is not autonomous and has no destructive capabilities, but it certainly is cool. At 89.99$, it is currently the most affordable programmable mobile robot, and it is Arduino-based too! It can use Arduino Shields in order to gain new capabilities such as wireless communication, GPS, solar power, etc. This robot allows children and adults to learn about robotics and to ultimately create their own customized robot.
#8 Raytheon XOS 2
The XOS 2 from Raytheon is the real life response to the Iron Man suit from the comics and movies. By using this exoskeleton, human soldiers can gain super-human strength and endurance. This suit might be our only hope to defeat the robots when the Robopocalypse arrives.
#7 Boston Dynamics Little Dog
The Little Dog is one of the best creations by Boston Dynamics. As its larger predecessor, it is able to navigate rough terrain by quickly adapting its legs motion and learning how to overcome new obstacles. This shows the dog’s artificial intelligence is remarkably adaptive and fast. This type of locomotion will be excellent in extreme conditions (such as exploring Mars).
#6 Kawada HRP-4
The latest addition to the Kawada HRP family is certainly one of the coolest robots. The HRP-4 is slim, fast, strong, and looks definitely slick. Its smaller proportions allow it to perform more delicate task and to move more elegantly without hitting objects. It is likely that this kind of robots will be helping humans in the future with their everyday tasks.
#5 University of Pennsylvania Aggressive Quadrotors
These robots are definitely mean. The (quad/hexa/octo)copters are the most aggressive UAVs out there, especially since researchers from the university of Pennsylvania programmed them to perform crazy aggressive manoeuvres. These robots clearly show how much more accurate and fast machines can be when compared to humans. Besides being super impressive and scary, they could have more useful applications such as aerial photography, surveying, and taking pictures of bikini models.
#4 Willow Garage PR2
The people at Willow Garage put together one of the most advanced, useful, and developer-friendly robots. The PR 2 is runs the popular and open source ROS (Robot Operating System) and has been seen perform many everyday tasks successfully. Even the proverbial fetching a beer from the fridge is not out of reach for this robot. Although this robot would be immediately useful in a normal household, we may have to wait until the price comes down from the current 400 000$ level before we can see it in mainstream use.
All robots so far are extremely cool, useful and quite simply awesome. But which robots can beat them all? Find out more after the break.
#3 Evolution Robotics Mint
Although this robot is not able to fetch you a beer, the Mint from Evolution Robotics can be very handy around the house. It can wipe and mop hard floors systematically in order to keep them clean in the most efficient way. It is also incredibly silent, which makes it a top choice for pet owners. More and more, domestic robots make their way into people houses, and this trend is confirmed by the top ranking this robot was able to earn despite of its more modest constitution (when compared to multimillion dollar robots for instance).
#2 Aldebaran Nao
The Nao form Aldebaran Robotics has so much sheer cuteness that it is not surprise to see it so high in the ranking. Besides avoiding the uncanny valley remarkably well, this robot is also very capable and smart. It can behave autonomously and can be easily programmed in order to accomplish new tasks. This is why this robot is so popular among researchers. Below you can witness the Nao going up the stairs by using his laser hat.
#1 The XV-11 from Neato Robotics
The Neato XV-11 wins the title of Coolest Robot of 2010. This smart robotic vacuum cleaner was released early this year, and already it has earned lots of popularity. Humans love this robot mainly because of its powerful vacuum capabilities and its smart navigation system. Thanks to these features, the robot can efficiently and thoroughly clean a house in a systematic and fast way.