Posts tagged robots

Videos Of The Week – Robots, Time Travel and More


#1. Humans Need Not Apply

Created by the analytical and political master of Youtube, CGP Grey, Humans Need Not Apply is an admittedly terrifying and incredibly interesting video on how humans are doomed to be one day pushed out of the way by robots. We don’t recognize it now, as the best robots we have currently rely on heavily depend on human control and monitoring. But as AI advances, there may become a point in time where robots are just more useful that humans in every field. And as CGP Grey explains, with an analogy of horses, that’s not necessarily a good thing. There may become a time, in the far off future, where we become something resembling…

The Borg. *shudder*

(just a joke for all you Star Trek fans out there)

But seriously, as CGP Grey points out, we have to prepare for what’s to come. And with technology increasing in quality and power so rapidly, that time may be something we don’t have. Forty years ago, computers didn’t even exist in any useful consumer form; forty years from now, who knows where humans and computers will stand?

#2. Three Time Travel

Have you ever wanted to time travel? To unwind some previous mistakes, or just out of curiosity? If you said yes, I know you’re not alone, and if you said no… stop lying.

But seriously, time travel is one of the most used science fiction cliches, and yet no matter how many blockbuster movies continue to use this trope, nobody can get enough of it. Unfortunately, there are many paradoxes that happen easily when one time travels, such as the Grandfather Paradox and more. In this Vsauce3 video, Jake (not from State Farm, but from Vsauce2) cleverly weaves many of these philosophical paradoxes about time travel into one video, all the while the video *spoiler alert* is a paradox itself. The main point that I drew from this video, although it has many, is: as much as you would like to go back in time to tell yourself to shave off that ridiculous mustache, or to give yourself the answer to a important test, or not to wear that shirt to the interview, it not only is not possible but also a really bad idea. Plus, Bill Nye has a cameo. That guarantees it’s good.

#3. Where’s Our Future Technology

Why don’t we have flying cars, moon colonies or hoverboards yet? No, seriously. For many decades, these future technologies have been promised, and the age old “In 20 years that technology will be common.” saying has been used over and over. Why haven’t these technologies actually become common, or at least possible? Well, there are multiple reasons, and it really depends on what tech you’re talking about. For instance, a moon colony may very well be possible sometime around 2030, but flying cars just don’t work in many different ways, including safety and logistics as two examples. But, there are many more technologies that we all have inside secretly been hoping for (like teleportation!) that Kevin from Vsauce2 explains in this great video. 

And hey, another Vsauce video with a cameo by Bill Nye! Awesome! (and hey, even though he’s only on camera for 10 seconds in this one, just his being there makes the video seem all the more reputable)


If you like these videos, and want more of videos of this quality, check out Video Shakedown! Run by the people behind FFtech, Video Shakedown features the best videos from around the internet every day. Click HERE to go to!

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Top 3 Videos Of The Week


Here are the top 3 videos of the week:*

#1. Look Up

This thought provoking video is a spoken word poem about the downsides of the global addiction to the internet, and how you can miss so many chances is you stay on your phone rather than going outside. Although everybody can relate to this on some level, the video fails to mention all the interesting, educational, amazing, fascinating and lifesaving videos and articles on the internet. Just like in real life, you can show and release you feelings, through whatever form you choose; writing/blogging, making videos, gaming, anything. I’m not the only one who thinks that the video has an extremist point of view, and there is even two parodies of the video, in the same poetic style, that says the exactly the opposite.

#2. A Future With Superhumans

Will we eventually become superhumans, looking along the line of a mix Captain America and the Hulk? It is an interesting question, answered in this video, which is basically a animated interview with the sci-fi theorist/robot expert Daniel H. Wilson. If you have the option to become artificially super smart, super fast, super everything, would you take it, even if it means putting a chip in your brain? What would this do to society? Would the standards of intelligence be raised? By the end of this video, with all the unanswered questions and daunting problems that come with this futuristic idea will make you almost want it to not happen.

#3: Festo – BionicKangaroo

As you can probably tell, this video is of a very accurate robotic version of the complex movement of the Kangaroo. Kangaroo’s have an odd way of moving about, using their long legs with ridiculously big feet and tail to propel them along. You would think this would be impossible to replicate in a robot, as just making a humanoid walking robot is hard, but Festo did it. That’s why this robot is so awesome.

*Not all these videos were made this week. That just happens to be the time I’m featuring it.

TOTW: OutRunner Robot Easily Beat The Legged Land Speed Record


Robotics, especially humanoid, walking and speed robots has been advancing at a rapid pace in the last few years. For instance, the Boston Dynamics robot Cheetah recently broke the tethered robot land speed record, with around 16 miles per hour. This amazing robot even attracted Google’s attention, and keeping with the trend, Google went and quickly acquired the robotics company. Another example of a robot making headlines is Honda’s Asimo robot, claiming to be the most advanced humanoid robot ever. All these robots display new and innovative ideas, and these ideas, if executed correctly, is what makes robotics interesting and exciting.

Kickstarter has always been a harbor for innovative and new ideas, launching great companies such as Pebble, it is only logical that once in a while these to media would combine. And they did in OutRunner.

OutRunner is a completely new design of running robot, hoping to be the fastest in the world. The design consists of a center block, which contains all the mechanical and computing electronics. Branching out from that on both sides are 3 legs, all facing upward(and downwards) like a windmill. These legs alternate at a rapid rate while running, propelling the lightweight machine forward. The OutRunner team based this design off of a hum running, so that the alternate legs propel the robot at the correct time.


Currently, OutRunner has made 43,000 out of their needed and pledged 150,000. They really should have a problem though, because of the significance of the robot. Just during testing, not even with the finalized robot, the OutRunner beat both untethered and treadmill running robot land speed records, with  25 mph untethered and 45 mph on a treadmill. For $299, you will receive a OutRunner Core, the basic OutRunner unit. This version, unlike the older iterations, has three legs on each side, and can be easily controlled using a simple controller. In another video on their Kickstarter page, they show that it can navigate slight variations in terrains, such as gravel, slow inclines and rough grass and dirt.

This robot certainly shows something about the future of robotics: there is still things to reinvent and innovate, and there most likely will always be. After all, records are meant to be broken, and with so many creative people striving to break them, it is inevitable that sooner or later, they will be broken. This robot is a great example of that, and also how amazing products and ideas still need to be funded. Everything does. Props to the OutRunner team to making such as new a creative robot, and hopefully they will get all the funding they need.


Top 3 Videos Of The Week


Last week, I wrote an article about the top 3 videos of last week, featuring Chalk Warfare. Since there are still so many videos out there, I thought I would do it again. Here they are:

#1. How To Survive A Robot Uprising (Robopocalypse)

Another great Epipheo video comes in first this week, this time highlighting what would happen and how to fight back when the upcoming robot uprising (robopocalypse) finally gets here. Amusing and great graphics accompany Daniel H Wilson, who is the author of many robot based best-sellers, through a educational and potentially lifesaving video.

#2. A Lovely Sunny Day

This charming video starring Bert (yes, from Sesame Street) and Zachary Levi is basically a fun way of saying to the whole population, “YOU’RE ADDICTED TO TECHNOLOGY!”, which is probably true. Along with a catchy song, this video is sure to atleast get a couple people out and about. Unfortunately, unlike Zach and Bert, I probably would miss my little screen.

#3. Humans VS Robots: Table Tennis

We know that sooner or later, robots will be better than us a pretty much everything. Skills such as speed, hand-eye coordination and fast thinking (such as sneaking up on somebody and throwing a water balloon at them) all are motor controls that we used to think were only human. Now, we know that’s not true. But have we gotten to the point that robots are better than us? This video shows what happened when the world class table tennis player Tim Boll was matched up against the Kuka KR Agilus, the fastest robot on earth.

Top 3 Videos Of The Week


There are tons of videos out there on the web, utilizing pretty much every different aspect of technology: VFX, augmented reality, robotics, animation, smartphones, everything. Unfortunately, there is a enormous amount of technological videos out there, way too many to go through in one day, so I have brought together the top three videos for this week. And yes, there will be one next week. Here they are:

#1: Chalk Warfare 3.0

Chalk Warfare is a brilliantly made video about a group of people playing a war game, using only chalk to draw on their surroundings. Once they draw, their drawings come to life, creating weapons from bows and arrows to shotguns, and from the Halo energy sword to a full on Iron Man suit. Directed and edited by 17 year old Sam Wickert and Eric Leigh, the whole Chalk Warfare series (3 videos) is a great example of creative usage of VFX programs and Photoshop. 

#2 What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains

This great Epipheo video is about everything to do with the internet, and how our incredible dedication to our computers will affect our brains. The video goes way back to the dinosaur/caveman age to discuss why we like and are really internationally addicted to out computers, maybe even enough to in the future to give up our humanity. Along with the great content, the video is animated in a seamless way, creating a great watcher experience.

#3: Robot Band Squarepusher × Z-MACHINES

Squarepusher x Z-MACHINES is a video documenting what happened when Squarepusher (a digital music artist) teamed up with the robotic band Z-MACHINES. Z-Machines is a completely robotic band, consisting of a drummer playing 22 actual acoustic drums, and a 78-fingered guitarist, playing an actual electric guitar. Since these robots can move much faster than the average human, all the instruments (especially the drums) sounded amazing, and much more clean and consistant. (as you would expect from a robot) Add in great camera work, and you get a great video.

TOTW: Rubik’s Cube Machine Beat Record With 3.25 Seconds


Everyone knows what a Rubik’s Cube is. For around 40 years, this 3D puzzle toy had been available for purchase, whether you are in a gas station, a toy store, or a Rite Aid. After all, over 300 million cubes have been sold worldwide. If you find any random person, chances are that they have tried a Rubik’s Cube, but gave up after awhile and never actually finished one in their lives. Only about 5% of the people in the world actually solve a cube, let alone even spare the time to try to work on it.


Though you have to give these people some credit. There are a possible 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 combinations that a cube could be in. You could easily spend a week on a cube, and then your mind would get used to the patterns and you could probably figure it out, but not many people do that. If you are really good at doing Rubik’s Cubes, there’s a good chance you’re a speedcuber.

Speedcubers are basically exactly what the name says: they try to finish cubes in record times. So far, in the history of Rubik’s cubes, humans, and our pattern recognizing brains and all, only can get 5.55 seconds. This time was set by Mats Valk, another speedcuber. To finish a cube, you have to twist it and turn it until the sides are all one color. Everyone knows that. But to finish a cube in record time, you have to do it in less moves than usual. Speedcubers can sometimes do it in about 40-50 moves. But somewhere out there, for each 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible combinations, there is a way to finish the cube in only 54 moves, as there are 54 colored squares on a cube. 54 isn’t the minimum amount of moves, though, as many algorithms and computer simulations have shown that it’s possible to solve the cube in an optimal range of 20 – 26 moves. In fact, an equation known as God’s Algorithm proved that any cube can be solved in 20 moves or less, henceforth making 20 known as God’s Number.

So obviously, there are many ways to finish a cube. But, how fast would a robot, explicitly programmed by humans, finish a cube in comparison to the human makers. Well, when Mike Dobson and David Gilday teamed up to make the Cubestormer II, they showed machines expertise in this area. Powered by a Samsung Galaxy S2, the Cubestormer II sent instructions to a Lego Mindstorms from a custom app. They narrowly beat the record with the time of 5.27 seconds. Once they were done, all they could do was make it better.


And they did. Recently, Mike and David made the Cubestormer III, this time powered by a Galaxy S4, and an updated version of Mindstorms. As expected, the Cubestormer III again beat the record, and by a substantial margin too. In a video the creators made, it proves that the Cubestormer III got a astonishing time of 3.253 seconds. Here’s the video so you can see it for yourself:

These robots are amazing, and there is no doubt that sooner or later, most if not all record will be broken by them. As shown by the Cubestormers, robots are just physically and internally more capable of handling more than flesh and bone humans. Oh well.

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