The MIT Biomimetics Robotics department unleashes its pack of frisky miniature cheetah quadruped robots – each weighing about 9kg and capable of all manner of not-yet-killing-all-humans-but-let’s-face-it-its-just-a-matter-of-time shenanigans.
Cheaply-purchased robots rebooted to dance in time to Jingle Bells?
The machines are apparently “enhanced with intelligence” inserted by ‘boffins’ [led by Dr Emanuel Popovici and Dr Michele Magno (yes) of University College of Cork’s Electronic Engineering department.
Dr Popovoci and Dr Magno were inspired by the challenge laid down by Joanne O’Riordan at the UN to the scientific community to build better robots.
Tom McCarthy of UCC sez:
Due to the wide variety of disabilities, special customised interfaces are needed for each person based on their individual situation. The complexity of building such systems can vary according to the level of disability, and can become very expensive as a result. These factors can limit drastically the access to toys.
The team is working on developing [affordable] toys that will respond to a range of biosignals, like the movement of eyes or the slight tap of fingers, in collaboration with colleagues from France, Switzerland and Romania.
The ‘Intelligent Interfaces for Interacting with Toys’ (i3-Toys) project is composed of students from Electronics, Applied Psychology, Education, Computer Science and Medicine at UCC and include Fiona Edwards-Murphy, Alex Jaeger, Tadhg Lambe, Andrea Zagoneanu (Occupational Therapy) and Merissa Bradley.
Filmed by Stephen Bean