Kill It With Fire: Robot Builds Other Robots Out Of Spray Foam

Entertainment Editor
10.21.11

This cake looks delicious.

Shai Revzen and his team at the University of Pennsylvania’s Modlab have built a remote-controlled robot that can build other robots using modular parts and insulating spray foam. The foam is used to connect modules and create appendages, with the added benefit that it’s much lighter and cheaper than building the entire robot out of electromechanical modules. Also, it’s super creepy, which is something we’ve come to expect out of all these soulless killing machines.

Robots tend to be designed with a specific task in mind, and their parts are built accordingly. However, there are many missions where this approach doesn’t work. In cases such as disaster recovery, intelligence gathering and space exploration, it isn’t always clear what task a robot might be assigned. [WIRED]

The Foambot builds task-specific robots like quadrupeds or snakebots, and it can also be used to pick up hazardous items or create an emergency doorstop for when you absolutely, positively have to keep the door at McDonalds open and you don’t care how long it takes the fry girl to peel off the insulation later. The team says they could eventually add collapsible molds to the robot so it can form specific pieces out of foam like wheels, oars or impellers for water travel, gliders, etc. I hope it can make me some new pants, ’cause I crapped ’em after watching the videos below. There’s also one video at the end of something that this Foambot reminds me of (and, no, it’s not the ending of Ghostbusters).
[Sources: WIRED, Gizmag, IEEE, NextBigFuture]


Not a single f–k was given by the ketchup robot that day.

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