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Videos: 2nd KURATAS Interview and More

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been doing some site clean-up involving older posts with missing or broken videos, and we’ve still got a long way to go before everything is the way it should be.  Unfortunately quite a few earlier posts had videos hosted through Gametrailers, where I began blogging about robots before this site was created.  I didn’t mirror those videos onto YouTube, and they recently disappeared when Gametrailers revamped their entire website.  As I was looking through some of these older posts I also noticed some other videos have gone missing too.  That’s because I will often link directly to the original video rather than create a mirror, and if someone decides to take down the video the post gets broken.  This general maintenance should be out of the way later this month, so we should be back to posting more regularly soon.

In the mean time, we’ve got a decent selection of this week’s best robot-related videos for you to check out.  We begin with another interview segment about the KURATAS mecha: this time with Wataru Yoshizaki, the creator of its control system.  He’s the same man behind the V-SIDO software which can be used to control hobby-level kits.

Video:
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[source: Suidobashi Heavy Industries @ YouTube]

A new clip of Boston Dynamics’ Cheetah robot sprinting at 28.3 mph is by far the most popular robot video this week.  As the company is quick to point out, that makes it faster than the current human world record holder, Usain Bolt!  For the time being it is certainly an impressive and unprecedented feat for legged robotics, but I do feel it is a bit premature to make such claims before it is able to balance completely on its own.  We must remember that the Cheetah robot still relies on a boom for stability.

Video:

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Luckily we may not have to wait too long for a free-standing version, as the company plans to unveil a new version called WildCat sometime next year.  It will be very interesting to see how that one copes with variations in terrain height, small rocks and pebbles, and all the other factors that will get in its way.  One can easily see how this kind of robot would have a devastating psychological effect on enemy soldiers if it is ever introduced to the battlefield.

[source: BostonDynamics @ YouTube]

Finally, here’s a video showing Duane Flatmo’s El Pulpo Mecanico (a.k.a. Steampunk Octopus) from Burning Man 2012.

Video:

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[source: Mark Day Comedy @ YouTube]

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