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Robotics Expert Builds Transforming, Dancing Beer Can

| 7 Jun 2011 19:19

What CanBot lacks in actual beer, it more than makes up for in ability to walk right off the side of your coffee table.

Constructed by Ron Tajima, a Japanese "expert on legged robots," CanBot is exactly what you'd expect from the above headline: A beer can with the ability to sprout legs and go for a stroll.

CanBot's standard beer-can-sized form factor doesn't allow for a vast amount of circuitry, but Tajima nevertheless equipped the 'bot with three legs each of which sport RC servos. Translation: each leg can move independently, offering a surprising amount of mobility for what is essentially an ambulatory aluminum tube.

Try as it might, CanBot's unassuming appearance earns it no respect, even its own home. Tajima drops it off the side of a table when demonstrating its striking capacity for rolling about, and then Tajima's son totally steals the machine's limelight by demonstrating an apparent love for booze.

Of course, once CanBot starts doing its metamorphic thing, the young boy is mesmerized, his face a mix of terror and glee over suddenly being introduced to the most awesome toy in the house.

Compounding CanBot's relevance to the website you're currently reading is the Wiimote Mr. Tajima is seen controlling the 'bot with at the 1:35 mark in the attached video. Between this and the Wiimote-controlled Roomba from a few years back, I'm beginning to wonder why robotics geeks are so attracted to repurposing Nintendo tech in lieu of, say, radio-controlled plane remotes.

No joke here, I'm actually curious. Anyone have a viable explanation for this phenomena?

Source: GetRobo, via io9

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