MIT engineers John Romanishin and Kyle Gilpin have invented a new type of modular cube robot – the M-block – that can propel itself forward with the aid of a spinning internal 20,000rpm flywheel, leap, climb and snap using magnets onto other similar bots to form larger arrays. MIT News sez:
Inside each M-Block is a flywheel that can reach speeds of 20,000 revolutions per minute; when the flywheel is braked, it imparts its angular momentum to the cube. On each edge of an M-Block, and on every face, are cleverly arranged permanent magnets that allow any two cubes to attach to each other.
The most successful performance to date of Boston Dynamics’ Wildcat robot – funded by US military tech developer DARPA’s M3 programme – a wireless, free-roaming version of the headless Cheetah (which can run faster than Usain Bolt).
The prototype, which can bound, gallop, corner and reach a top speed of 16mph (25.7km/h), has a few minor teething troubles to sort out but should be ready to hunt down and kill all humans any day now.
Are you partial to the moodily-lit robots at all?
If so, you may like one or both of these robo-related sci-fi shorts currently on the Vimeo staff picks list:
Tonight I Strike by Dan Gaud in which a big brother desperately tries to find his abducted little sister.
And Dr Easy by Shynola (the prologue of a planned feature film based on the novel ‘The Red Men’ by Matthew De Abaitua) in which a holed-up man with a gun is approached by a medical robot sent in to negotiate with him.
Smoking Robot (graphic design students Lewis Gray & Esra Guldal) say:
Obsolete tells the story of a robot starting work in a decrepit toy factory. Trapped in the factory all its life it is curious about the outside world, watching a bird through the factory wall each day. When it mistakes a toy on the production line for the bird one day it sets the robot’s escape in motion.