MEGATechNews Robo Showcase! Dylan Duarte April 1, 2011 Extras It’s not uncommon for articles to be written over persons of valor. If someone does a good deed or meets a historic achievement, they will be praised, held up on the shoulders of the printed word for all the world to see. Extraordinary acts and those responsible are often showcased to set examples and instill hope in others. That isn’t what I’m doing here. This isn’t for showcasing weak humans and their paltry accomplishments. I’m here to talk about robots, our soon-to-be masters and overlords. Nao Pronounced “now,” Nao is an autonomous, programmable, medium-sized, and best of all, humanoid robot. Nao was developed by French company Aldebaran Robotics, which I already love because it makes me think of Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderaan. Nao can play soccer, dance, be hacked for control through Microsoft’s Kinect, and one was even programmed to do stand up comedy. If I could understand binary, I’d probably be splitting my sides right now. And it gets better. Inspired by the recent tsunami in Japan, Nao’s developers are working on some all-terrain models that will be helpful in disaster situations. REEM-H2 Despite looking like a Putty Patroller from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, REEM-H2 does a lot more than just hop around and mumble. Developed by Pal Robotics, REEM, pictured up top, is a humanoid service robot that speaks a variety of languages and helps guide wayward customers around shopping malls by actually escorting them to the store of their choosing. It plays videos, games, and will carry your bags. He’s also got stereoscopic vision, so if you stare at him, he’ll stare right back at you. The future is here, prepare to get REEM’d. Qinetiq Kit If you aren’t frightened yet, you will be soon. Qinetiq, a large company that dabbles in mutliple fields, are sending some Qinetiq Kits over to Japan to help with relief efforts, specifically involving the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that’s threatening workers with radiation. Several companies are helping out, such as Bobcat, which sent over T300 loaders that are strong enough to lift vehicles. This is where the Qinetiq Kits come in: in just fifteen minutes, they can convert the loaders into unmanned vehicles. While these robo-loaders may be a little more hands-on than Nao and REEM-H2, the sheer carnage they can wreak compels me to include them in my list. Constructicon, what? Share This With The World!