The World's Coolest Robots


Written by Charlie Cole
27 Sunday 27th May 2012

The Boston Dynamic PETMAN

PETMAN is an anthropomorphic robot with human-like size and stature, used for testing chemical protection clothing. This may sound like a less interesting version of a crash dummy, but PETMAN is unbelievably sophisticated. Along with walking, running, crawling and stretching to imitate precise human movement, the machine simulates human physiology, changing its temperature in accordance with the stress of the activity, and even sweating to accurately portray the whole spectrum of human chemical reactions. Paving the way for technological advancements in modern warfare, PETMAN is keeping our soldiers safe in even the most unexpected of conditions. 

The Honda Asimo

Known as the most useful and intelligent robot on the planet, the Honda Asimo has revolutionised the way we think of artificial intelligence. Asimo is lightweight and incredibly agile, with a range of motion that is almost identical to that of a human. It can run, climb stairs without ever losing balance, and can memorise obstacles in a set environment, creating a memory of its surroundings. Asimo’s motion detailing is so precise that the original robot has already been exhibited to the public, demonstrating its talents to the fullest, as the conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The most recent 2011 prototype is equipped with unique features such as voice, gesture and expression recognition software, meaning that Asimo is in the final stages of development for use as an office or home care assistant. Never before has a company been so close to perfecting a servile machine.

The Einstein Robot

It’s a pretty arrogant comparison for a robot, and it would be impossible to ever electronically replicate the man’s intelligence, but the Einstein robot appears to have all of the emotional sensitivity of an adult human being. The Einstein robot recognises and responds to human emotions, and uses 31 motors and a patented, oddly flesh-like substance called Frubber to create the corresponding facial expressions. Concerns have been raised over the possibility of this robot acting as the first step toward emotionally aware, self-teaching robots, eventually leading to a sci-fi film-like battle between man and machine. We have learnt however, that the Einstein robot can’t actually move at a pace much faster than an amble, so for now, the planet is safe.


This robot doesn’t do much, but I still want at least two. He occasionally answers commands with monotonous replies, and can turn your TV on, so essentially he is a low grade boyfriend, but the difference is he is just adorable. ApriPoko looks like a baby turtle/ penguin and flaps his fins/ wings when he is happy, why would you ever want it to do anything more?

The Real Transformer

Yes boys, there are real transformers. I’m afraid this one doesn’t quite live up to the stature of Optimus Prime, but it does move with surprising fluidity and speed. Other, more humanoid transformers have been created, their primary purpose being camouflage and concealment. Once again the U.S military has cottoned onto the technology, trialling it for use during stealth missions, although problems have arisen during test runs, as it would appear that a giant robotic car isn’t so well camouflaged in the middle of a desert.

Drunken Robots

There’s no real scientific purpose to these beauties. Artist Giles Walker decided to add a dash of humour to the Maker Faire this year with his drunken bum robots. Their entire purpose in life is to sit on the pavement and hurl abuse at passers-by. This could well be a glimpse into our dark, A.I-esque future, where homeless people have been replaced by aggressive, electronic alternatives.

Raytheon XOS 2

All Marvel comic lovers prepare to kablam! in your pants. An American engineering team has created what they have described as a real life Iron Man suit. The XOS 2 is the second generation exoskeleton developed by Raytheon, designed to augment the human condition. Described best as a robotic suit controlled by the human brain, the XOS makes the wearer stronger, faster and more agile. Enabling the user to lift over 200 lb and punch through three inches of wood, the U.S military is looking heavily into using these protective exoskeletons for complete military use, with the aim of supplying every single unit with them, creating a vastly superior armed force. Whilst an entire army of Tony Starks is a slightly terrifying thought, it would make a pretty good Avengers sequel.

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