Video Shows Beer-Fetching Lego Robot That Could Take on Boston Dynamics
Ever wanted a Boston Dynamics robot of your own? While the beer-fetching SpotMini may have inspired a Black Mirror episode thanks to its terrifying movements, there’s no denying the machines look awesome. Electronics developer BuWizz thinks it has the answer, releasing a video over the holidays of a smaller bot designed for collecting beverages and bringing them over to you.
The creation looks amazing, and it demonstrates some of the cool third-party additions available to tinkerers that design their machines out of Lego. The €129 ($145) BuWizz bricks are capable of bringing many brick-based creations to life, packing a remote control and battery into a brick three-quarters the size of Lego’s own Li-Po 8878 solution. The Slovenia-based firm was able to pack a Bluetooth receiver capable of communicating with a smartphone running the mobile app up to 65 yards away. In the video, a man uses this functionality to direct his bot to the fridge, pick up a bottle, and even use a supplied opener to take the lid off.
The BuWizz brick can also push Lego’s “Power Functions” motors to reach superfast speeds. The motors can reach up to 24 mph when placed in “Ludicrous” mode — although, despite the name, it can’t reach the high speeds of the Tesla Model S’s similar mode. The team was able to use this power to also tow a two-ton Porsche Macan with a miniature truck made of Lego:
It’s a welcome stopgap while SoftBank-owned Boston Dynamics continues work on its own robots. The SpotMini robo-dog and Atlas bipedal machine have captured the imagination of internet users, but the firm has announced no plans to offer its bots to consumers. In the meantime, it’s been releasing videos of the computer vision it’s using the master parkour and more advanced moves.
It may not be long though before similar beer-collecting bots make their way into more homes, as Boston Dynamics plans to produde 1,000 SpotMini machines by July 2019. With the popularity of other house bots like the Roomba vacuum-cleaning bot, BuWizz’s bot may one day be seen as something of a trailblazer.
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