It’s not often we see a robot, even a concept, as cool as the BugJuggler.
Seemingly inspired by the robots from Pacific Rim or Real Steel, it’s a 70 foot-tall giant capable of picking up, tossing and catching cars with its hydraulic arms. A “pilot” climbs a ladder into the BugJuggler’s head and controls its arms through motion-sensing controls. Essentially, when the pilot moves, the robot tries to match his or her movements.
Sadly, BugJuggler’s Berkeley, California-based inventors are some way from making the full-size robot, but with the help of Kickstarter they’re hoping to build a human-sized prototype arm capable of juggling objects up to 114kg in mass. We’re talking cannonballs rather than Volkswagen Beetles – but that’s still pretty impressive.
If they hit the US$50,000 (£30,000) funding target they hope to construct the steel arm, controlled by high-speed servos and powered by hydraulics, by January 2015. The human operator will wear a sensor-packed sleeve and glove with haptic feedback, allowing him or her to feel a proportional force when the robot arm is lifting a weight.
If BugJuggler’s creators gain over US$70,000, they say they’ll build two robot arms – and that means they’ll be able to actually juggle with cannonballs. Now that we want to see.
You can pledge money towards BugJuggler’s campaign at its Kickstarter page.