Even before there was electricity, there were robots.
Want proof? On Wikipedia.org, you can learn about a famous robot made by Leonardo da Vinci.
Here are some more links and videos about these amazing inventions.
1. Does the army use robots? If so, how?
It sure does! Take for example the Warrior, a tiny tank-like robot used in Japan during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. About the size of a large dog, the small tank could go inside areas that could kill a person. See iRobot.com.
2. T/F Could a robot weed your garden?
At a company called Yanko Design, they think so. They imagine, and try to design robots for everyday jobs. For example, the Botan could pull weeds, trim the grass, and vacuum up your leaves. If they only could make one to do your homework!
A lot, at least at University of California/Berkeley, where they watch reptiles jump in slow motion to figure how robots can move.
4. Can a Robot Play Basketball?
You bet. At the year’s First Robotics Competition (www.http://www.usfirst.org/) teams will compete to see who can build a robot that can make the most baskets. Watch the YouTube video below to learn the rules of competition.
At Honda Worldwide you can learn the story of Masato Hirose, Executive Chief Engineer at Honda Research & Development, who was given the job of his dreams — to design a robot based on Astro Boy. Did he succeed? Perhaps. You can find out by taking the controls of an Asimo. Click on the picture at right.
You want a robot, but can’t afford one. Why not make a cool robot creation made from old electrical parts? If you have an old computer laying around, turn the keyboard into a mouth, like they did at River Net Computers in Frenchtown NJ (right). Mix in some nuts and bolts and some parts from your hardware store, and you have a life-like robot. It is easy to find ideas. See, for example MachinesLikeUs.com. For extra credit, leave some room in your robot’s head for a walkie talkie, cell phone or baby monitor, so you can supply the voice from a distance.
7. Want to see more?
Visit Children’s Technology Review’s playlist (below), to view select YouTube videos based on topics in this month’s column.
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