My How Robbie the Robot Has Grown Up!

Many years ago there was Robbie the Robot under my Christmas tree, amazing how he’s grown!

Do You Love Me? - YouTube


I saw that one… not sure if I should be amazed or terrified!?!

I’m kinda both, they’re not mutually exclusive. :scream:

I think we’re already in the uncanny valley… and we arrived here much sooner than I thought!

I still want to know where the flying car in my garage and the jetpack on my back I was promised were the ‘future’ are!

Hope our future isn’t Skynet

That things like the video of robots dancing to good ol’ Rock 'n Roll are released so casually only makes me wonder what else is already out there covered by Top Secret status?

Paul, Over much of my 70 years I’ve read a fair amount of science fiction.
While there is a lot of happy, utopian stuff, there’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t turn out real well for us.

Or, I’m just getting more curmudgeonly in my dotage

I’m working on the premise that if I ignore dotage it’ll go away. :roll_eyes:


People originally thought that riding in a train would suck the air out of your lungs and kill you (and these were 25mph trains).

Not that there isn’t a potential for a lot of harm. There is.

But right now, these are so expensive (in terms of hardware, software, and even the engineers behind the scenes keeping them working).

IDK if you follow the news, but Boston Robotics just got sold again (not a good sign) and uber sold their autonomous car division. Uber has realized the fact that exploiting the gig economy is going to be cheaper than robots for a long time. BR has had a lot of trouble selling these robots to potential employers for the same reason. Most soldiers are also not paid very well.

Very cool video though. There is clearly a lot of potential.

Oh, I loved the video, but I also know the trip from initial demonstration to a viable commercial product can be a hellaciously long, expensive trip. After all, at one time many thought Orville & Wilbur’s little toy would never amount to anything or that the ICE powered automobile would never replace the horse. But the demonstration here does make me smile. :grinning:

I probably follow aviation and automotive news more than any other business areas because they interest me but always enjoy learning a little more about what’s going on in other fields, the ability of these robots really amazes me.

Dang, that is pretty nuts. When the software is easy enough to not know you are using it and the price comes down I wouldn’t mind having one around to help out. I would like a Rosie to clean up after me and carry heavy things.

I find myself keeping track of time and costs a lot more than I used to. First thing I thought of is how much energy does that dance routine take. As in you can easily cost robot tasks, maintenance and energy…cool.

Did that one near the end spring a leak or was it sweating to the oldies?


I assumed it was just wearing down that one spot from the 100 times they tried it before recording it.

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That’s what my wife and I call our Roomba🤖

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I’m still waiting for them to get smart enough to do things without a lot of programming… I betcha those dance moves didn’t come all that naturally… :slight_smile:

Years ago I saw a film of factory robots being programmed by having a human physically move them through their intended task. I’d guess the ‘human’ dance moves could be done in the same way as CGI, with sensors attached to a human doing the dance routine and recorded. Of course finding a dog to make those moves would seem a different issue. :roll_eyes:

I don’t think this is done that way. They probably have an “animation” that has a desired state at a desired time and the robots control lips are trying to achieve that state the best they can. The trick is in the desired state, which could be things like, get your feet as close to these spots as possible, or bend your hip this way at ten degrees. I don’t think it is some kind of motion capture to start with. The robot is then responsible for measuring itself and predicting gravity while trying to achieve these goals. They are way more dynamic than an industrial robot.

That’s what made me think of CGI, putting sensors on a human and mapping the motions they go through seemed a simple way of determining the coordinates of those ‘desired states’. Watching them dance is fascinating, if anyone ever finds a video of how they make them dance, please post. I think that’d be equally fascinating.

I probably shouldn’t have mentioned industrial robots, I was thinking more along the lines of with a human wearing sensors at all the required points, couldn’t that to be used to generate a map of the desired positions, which I thought similar to moving the industrial unit’s ‘limbs’ to the desired positions while mapping them?

Probably not. Just because the weight distribution is so different.

It is actually much more impressive. Being able to take a command like, “stand on one leg, right here” and managing all the different controls through the whole body is much harder than taking a bunch if prescribed motions to hold position. The problem is hard enough that you can’t preprogram the actuator positions. A very small error compounds too fast to be able to know where to put every joint.

So much in modern race cars is hydraulically controlled I’m curious what type of system would be used to activate these machines? That they can balance as they do must be quite challenging to make happen.