Self-Immolating Robots Win Prizes

Entertainment Editor
10.21.10 2 Comments

Lovely party.

So all we had to do to get the robots to destroy themselves was offer prizes?  Brilliant!  SparkFun’s Antimov Competition rewards engineers who can get robots to defy Isaac Asimov’s third law of robotics (that pesky one about robot’s protecting themselves from harm).  The robot has to successfully perform a task and, in doing so, also sacrifice itself.  Dennis Brunner’s “Teddy Bear Birthday Party” (second video below) won the video competition with a robot that cuts a birthday cake and then starts a fire which turns it into the best/worst teddy bear birthday ever. Brunner’s kids (Brian, 13, and Rebecca, 11) won the live competition:

Their Lego robot, dressed as a bank robber and balanced on a seesaw, cut through a rope attached to a bag of money, which fell on the seesaw, flinging the robot into the air and smashing it into smithereens. [PopSci, disappointing video here]

My personal favorite is the first clip below. In this video entry from a 27-year-old Belgian, Chefbot the furry creature (Bear? Oversized furby? Baby Yeti?) tries to cook Crème brûlée.  Yes, there’s a fire, and Chefbot’s mouth never stops moving.  That’s right, robot, silently scream for us and make desserts.  Know your place.

[Hat tip and one Jean Tinguely sculpture to PopSci and BotJunkie.]

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