Monday, January 31, 2011

I have detailed files on human anatomy...

Alright, now this is just begging for trouble -- giving robots knives and teaching them precisely how to pierce and cut flesh?

Of course they just show it slicing into some pork loins or whatever... and avoiding penetrating the human experimenter's arm.

But we know where this is going:

Terminator: "I have detailed files on human anatomy."
Sarah: "I bet... it makes you a more efficient killer, right?"
Terminator: "Correct."

Terminator-like hand can endure hammer blows, keeps coming

Ah, lovely -- now we're working on designing robot hands to be tough enough that they can't readily be destroyed.

The German Aerospace Center's Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics put out a robotic hand that can "endure collisions with hard objects and even strikes from a hammer without breaking into pieces."

It's "the shape and size of a human hand," but as you can see here, it looks more like the Terminator hand that Skynet is (paradoxically) originally designed from:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Put your head in these robot hands

Ah, a robot that can chart the delicate bone structure of the human head while it practices its "massage technique:"

"The technology is more refined than those in electric massage chairs because the facial bone structure is much more fragile than back or spine bones..."

Image source:  Yomiyuri via Pink Tentacle via Engadget

Thanks to Dad for playing along and sending this one in!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #28 - Robot Army

Mark your calendars, the robot war begins next August and ground zero will be Copehill Down, Wiltshire, UK.

"For two weeks during the summer of 2008, an army of autonomous robots will march across the Wiltshire countryside." Robots battle for military prize - BBC News

The UK Ministry of Defence will conduct it's 'Grand Challenge' with multiple teams competing to build the ultimate urban combat robot.

What makes this especially frightening is that, "a remote-controlled vehicle will lose points for needing input from a human operator". This 'contest' awards the most points to a robot that, "goes off, does its own thing and comes back and says unequivocally X, Y and Z are targets". That's right, these robots are designed to decide who they get to kill.

Here is what we know about the robot army so far:

Team Dragonfly: "The privately funded group has proposed a 2m-long, lightweight, hovering vehicle equipped with a zoom lens and with thermal or infrared imaging."

Barnard Microsystems: "Adapt an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV ) it has designed to survey oil pipelines in remote areas."

Team Stellar: "SATURN (Sensing and Autonomous Tactical Reconnaissance Network) proposal consists of two different UAVs and an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV)."

Swarm Systems: "Eight to 10 "dinner-plate sized" quad-rotor helicopters which would be able to fly in and out of buildings."

More on UK Ministry of Defence's Grand Challenge 2008

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #27 - Hand in a Box

"Squse, a Kyoto-based robot and factory automation manufacturer, said it has developed a 400-gramme (14 ounce) hand with five human-sized fingers with artificial fibres that can be controlled by air pressure. During a demonstration, the prototype hand grasped a pen and picked up a raw egg without breaking it." Japanese firm unveils artificial hand with 'air muscles' -

I admit that a robot hand that can't break a raw egg is less frightening that a robot hand that can crush a steel can. However, the sheer creepiness of opening up a suitcase to find a squirming disembodied hand inside is enough to get this one an Evil Alert.

Oh, and it gets better. Because having a disembodied hand in a suitcase isn't enough to scare the living crap out of you, Squse decided that they should attach it to a torso with no head.

Click on the photo below to watch the video of this headless horror.

More on Squse's Air Muscle Hand

Thursday, July 5, 2007

iRobot installs tasers on military/police robots

Well, we knew the day had to come someday. iRobot is arming its robots with TASER stun guns. I suppose no amount of irony or self-consciousness could have helped here.

I surrender to the robot police!

Press Release
iRobot and TASER Team to Deliver New Robot Capabilities for Military, Law Enforcement

BURLINGTON, Mass., June 28, 2007 – iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT) today announced a strategic alliance with TASER International, Inc. to develop new robots that can remotely engage, incapacitate and control dangerous suspects with integrated TASER electronic control devices. Built on iRobot's combat-proven PackBot® robot platforms, the new TASER-equipped robots will add a new ability to control dangerous suspects while keeping personnel, the suspect and bystanders out of harm's way.

iRobot and TASER together have developed a working proof-of-concept model – iRobot® PackBot Explorer™ with TASER X26 device – to showcase the first robot of its kind with an on-board, integrated TASER payload. The two companies will demonstrate the proof-of-concept model at the annual TASER Tactical Conference, July 9-10, at the Westin O'Hare in Chicago.

"iRobot continually looks for new or proven technologies from best-of-industry companies to integrate on our battle-tested robots," said Vice Admiral Joe Dyer (U.S. Navy, Ret.), president of iRobot Government & Industrial Robots. "The addition of TASER technologies onto iRobot platforms will provide a critical tool for SWAT, law enforcement and military to handle a variety of dangerous scenarios."

The PackBot Explorer is a rugged and lightweight robot that can be hand-carried and deployed by a single operator. An unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), PackBot Explorer is designed to search hazardous areas, giving warfighters, law enforcement and first responders a safe first look so they know what to expect and how to respond. PackBot Explorer and the iRobot PackBot family of robots are designed with a digital, modular architecture which makes integration of payloads, including the TASER electronic control device, easy and cost effective.

To date, iRobot has delivered more than 1,000 PackBot robots to a broad range of military and civilian customers worldwide. The iRobot PackBot is used to detect and defuse road-side bombs, known as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), while keeping warfighters out of harm's way. The robots have performed tens of thousands of missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and are credited with saving soldiers' lives.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #26 - Robot Highchair

The geniuses who brought us Evil Robot Einstein have a new horror. Now instead of just putting a head on top of a creepy robot body they can fit a whole person. I'm sure this is perfectly safe... until the robot below decides it doesn't like being ridden and tosses you on the ground to stomp you to death with it's gigantic metal feet.

"Future applications include carrying old and disabled persons and moving heavy loads. Military is also one of its future applications maybe in a decade or so it will be running on fuel cells with a soldier mounted on firing rpg's and chain guns." Hubo FX1 chair bot -

Oh yeah, great idea.. nothing could possibly go wrong with that.

Watch this video of brave guy actually daring to sit on top of this death trap.

More on KAIST's HUBO FX-1

(Thanks to Rick H. for keeping us on our own feet!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #25 - Horrible Robot Baby

What the crap is this thing? This has got to be one of the most creepy looking robots I've seen in a while.

"It is designed to function as a 1- to 2-year-old child, gazing intently at its surroundings, squirming about on the floor and lighting up the room with child-like charm...This report also mentions that the research team hopes to eventually create a robot that children can play with." CB2 baby humanoid robot -

Are they serious? Is this some new definition of the word child-like charm? Would you want your children within 50 feet of this?

If these photos are not enough to send you hiding in the corner, here is a video of the thing that will haunt your dreams forever.

More on Japanese Science and Technology Agency's CB2

Friday, June 1, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #24 - Killer Lawnmower

Time to pack your bag and head to the hills, the robot uprising has begun.

"A 45-year old Danish municipal worker was tragically killed by an industrial robotic lawnmower this afternoon, after the unit tumbled off a slope and onto the poor fellow doing his job." Robot lawnmower kills Danish man -

Watch this marketing video of the killer robot doing it's evil chores!

More on Dvorak's Spider 01

(Thanks to Mike M. for keeping our limbs and our lawns safe!)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #23 - Vinegar Overlord

Meet your new dark overlord! This evil looking guy wants you to bow down, submit and... buy more vinegar! That's right, someone designed this robot to sell you vinegar. This has got to be the most malevolent looking vinegar selling robot ever. How long before it decides we are not consuming enough of his miracle liquid and are forced to chug gallons of the stuff or be exterminated.

Here is a persuasive video of him telling you to buy more of his vinegar!

More on Tamanoi Corporation's Vinegar Robot

(Thanks to Linda V. for saving us all from a vinegar bath!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #22 - Sickbot

I think I've found a new image to haunt my nightmares this week.

"A newfangled robotic dummy packs a potent artificial brain, as it can reportedly 'respond verbally to questions about how it feels and move its body in ways that exhibit the symptoms of its ailment.'" Robotic patient aurally, visually informs you of its ailments -

That's right, this robot can fake being weak and sick to elicit sympathy as it draws you in closer and closer. Then it rips the skin off it's arms and grabs you for a head crushing embrace. Oh, and it's going after our medical professionals first so we'll be forced to visit Deadly Robo-Surgeon when we're sick.

More on Gifu Universities' Medical Robot

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #21 - Spine-snapping Robots

Not one, but two robots have been recently designed to lift humans up and inevitably snap them in half like a wet noodle! If that wasn't bad enough, RI-MAN can hunt you down by smell and hone in on the soft whimpering you make while trying to evade his grasping claws.

"It's equipped with sensors to keep track of a body's weight and position, can distinguish between eight different smells and the direction a voice is coming from, as well as track the movement of a face." RI-MAN Humanoid Robot -

Here is a chilling video of RI-MAN in action.

More on RIKEN's RI-MAN

More on University of Tokyo's Lifting Robot

Monday, April 30, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #20 - Robocrime

We're now teaching robots that's it's OK for them to break the law!

"Owners of adult entertainment clubs and information kiosks are now crafting robo-touts to solicit business from interested consumers, as it's illegal for a human to do the same." Robo-tout solicits business in Osaka prefecture -

How long until robots are breaking other laws? Robbing banks? Assassination maybe? Perhaps a bit of torture, as this cartoon chillingly predicts...

(Thanks to Mike M. for bravely fending off the metal apocalypse!)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #19 - Deadly Robo-Surgeon

"NASA will test the robot's suitability for a mission to space, where it could perform emergency surgery without requiring a surgeon to be onboard." Robotic surgeon to team up with doctors, astronauts on NASA mission -

How long until 'Raven' decides it's time to start ignoring it's remote operators and start performing some unnecessary medical experiments on it's own? I bet Raven can get the Robotnaut to hold down your flailing arms while it starts slowly slicing through your space suit to get the meat inside...

More on University of Washington's Raven Surgical Robot

(Thanks to Susannah P. for protecting our astronauts from harm!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #18 - Crushing Hand of Doom

Flesh eating robots of the future will soon be able to snap your bones with their cold metallic hands and crack open your skull to get to the sweet, sweet brains within.

"Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT) claim to have developed the world’s first electromechanical prosthetic hand with a grip strong enough to crush an empty beverage can." Bionic hand with can-crushing grip - Pink Tentacle

More on Tokyo Institute of Technology's Robot Hand

(Thanks to John C. for foiling the metal ones evil schemes!)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #17 - Humans = Bacon

This cute robot looks pretty harmless, right? It seems that this little 'wine connoisseur' loves the taste of flesh... human flesh. Sort of a small metal Hannibal Lecter.

"When a reporter's hand was placed against the robot's taste sensor, it was identified as prosciutto. A cameraman was mistaken for bacon." Japanese unveil robot wine steward - Associated Press

More on NEC System Technologies' Tasting Robot

(Thanks to Linda V. for alerting us to this menace!)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #16 - Cold Blooded Killer

I know, let's make a robot out of the most perfect underwater killing machine and teach it to chase humans.

"Indeed, tourists will be very glad of their bite-proof pods, because Roboshark is programmed to enjoy a spot of human hunting."

More on National Marine Aquarium's Roboshark

(Thanks to Allison C. for alerting us to this menace!)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #15 - Flesh Eating Robot

No, I am not making this up.

"[EcoBot II] is powered by Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs), containing a flora of microorganisms originating from sludge and fed with dead flies..."

We all know that it is a short leap from dead flies to the sweet, sweet brains of the living. Robot Zombie Apocalypse here we come!

More on IAS's EcoBot II

Monday, March 26, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #14 - Four-Legged Terror

Why did they give it no head and make it sound like a chainsaw!? Are they trying to make me cry myself to sleep?

Is it just me or does it get angry when the guy kicks it? Does he have a deathwish?

(Thanks to John B. for alerting us to this menace!)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Evil Robot Alert #13 - Einstein's Head on a Bot

Looks like they decapitated Einstein and attached his head to an Asimo robot. Undoubtedly a taste of the future when the robots give us the choice of our termination... or this!

More on KAIST's Albert HUBO