Maybe “unbeatable” is a bit exaggerated and in fact it should not even be a goal when building robots, given that such a scenario reminds us of Skynet. However, when designed at a scale small enough to ensure the survival of the human species, fighting robots can really be entertaining.
Live Free or Die: Experience Does Not Matter
The name of this robot certainly brings the Bruce Willis Die Hard movies to our minds. However, Live Free or Die stands to show that experience does not matter when fighting. On a one-on-one battle against another robot called PUMP, Live Free or Die managed to win, even though the team who controlled its adversary was made of veterans.
If a robot gets to smash the enemy against the walls or if it manages to turn the adversary upside down, then victory is pretty much secured. Probably one of the things that determined the final result is the fact that the first move of Live Free or Die was more aggressive.
Kung Fu Robots
The 2011 edition of RoboGames (previously known as RobOlympics), also included a Kung-Fu event. Seeing robots getting into martial arts is certainly something worth writing home about. One of the robots, however, could have started singing “With a Little Help from My Friends” by The Beatles, as it needed assistance after slipping a bit. Despite being small, the two robots seen in the video above represent a new chapter for robotics. There is plenty of room for improvements and we are looking forward to see them, as long as they are not built at a larger scale and used in the army.
Giger v4 Custom Humanoid Robot: Exterminate!
I’m sorry about that, but the trademark phrase of the Daleks was the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw this robot. The good news is that you can build one of these, too, if you have $10,000. Giger v4 could intimidate its opponents only with its aspect. It features two guns, each adorned with a scope, a wireless webcam instead of eyes and antennas at its back. Somehow, it also reminded my of Briareos Hecatonchire from Appleseed. It is powered by a 2000 mAh battery, runs on a 400 mhz Verdex Pro Gumstix CPU and weighs 5500 grams. It does not guarantee the survival of its enemies, though.
BigDog: Impossible to Put Down
One of the keys to success in battle is to make the opponent go off balance. Big Dog, one of the projects of Boston Dynamics, is just that: a robot that cannot be put down. This feature would make it useful not only in combats. It can easily go up the hill, down the hill, and it can basically walk on any rough terrain, while also carrying heavy luggage on its back. You can see in the above video the impressive reflexes of this robot. Fortunately for us, humans, BigDog is powered by some batteries, but a weaponized version that runs on solar power would be something that causes a bit of worry.