Oi Robot!

Posted on 7 Mar ’12

Remember when you were a child and all you thought about doing was taking things apart trying to understand how they work. Whether they were your sisters toy dog that could bark, walk, and do somersaults, or it was your brothers favorite toy gadget. The funny thing was once you have been through the deconstruction, you either got bored, or you become inspired and built something completely new (and didn’t matter if it worked or if you tried to put the original gizmo back together again).

I continued that passion for understanding things and building things through to my college days as an engineer and computer scientist. It was in my Masters that my passion was really awoken where we learned everything from artificial intelligence to basics of creative design.

One of my most interesting projects I did was a concept design for an autonomous handheld “robot” ball. This ball could be thrown into any environment and instantly know everything about that environment – the space, the beings occupying it, the atmosphere etc. At its core it was a reconnaissance tool (and search and rescue was our motive) mounted with various sensors that could also navigate around a space by itself. We designed it as a ball, so that we could throw it into a space, however we did consider flight and rejected it due to the complex nature of it and lack of technology back in the day.

My creative juices have once again been awakened when I saw the amazing work of Dr. Vijay Kumar and his many robots on TED. He has realized my concept and given it flight. Just watch it for yourself and I guarantee it will lighten your heart and energize your mind into all things that can be made possible with technology and a creative mind.


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