Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Ten Favorite Robots

A few months ago someone asked me, “What are your top ten favorite robots?” I had not given this topic much thought and it was hard to give an impromptu answer to this question.

I have finally created the list of my ten favorite robots. This was a very difficult task. Choosing ten from hundreds of worthy candidates is never easy. I decided to restrict myself to robots that were developed in the last twenty years. I focused on robots that have been available for at least two years and have a significant track record of demonstrating outstanding performance. Here is my list in the alphabetical order of robot names.

1. Asimo from Honda:  This was the first humanoid robot capable of running and walking on uneven slopes and surfaces and climbing stairs.
Asimo from Honda
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2. Baxter from Rethink Robotics:  This was the first human-safe robot to offer bimanual capabilities at an affordable price and learning from demonstrations.
Baxter from Rethink Robotics
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3. Curiosity Mars Rover from NASA JPL: This was the first space robot that attracted wide attention from the public and inspired numerous K-12 students to get involved in science.
Curiosity Mars Rover from NASA JPL
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4. da Vinci Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical: This was the first widely used robot in minimally invasive surgeries. 
da Vinci Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical
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5. LBR IIWA from Kuka: This was the first human-safe lightweight robot suitable for industrial applications involving dexterity and force sensing.
LBR IIWA from Kuka
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6. LS3 from Boston Dynamics: This was the first quadruped robot capable of walking on rough terrains and stabilizing itself in the presence of large external disturbances.
LS3 from Boston Dynamics
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7. Nao from Aldebaran: This was the first widely used social robot in education related applications.
Nao from Aldebaran
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8. PackBot from iRobot: This was the first robot to be widely used in bomb disposal and surveillance and was responsible for saving many lives.
PackBot from iRobot
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9. Phantom from DJI: This was the first affordable quadrotor that has all the capabilities a user wants in a flying robot.
Phantom from DJI
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10. Roomba from iRobot: This was the first robot widely used in homes.
Roomba from iRobot
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This list was restricted to ten robots, so I had to leave out many worthy candidates. I would like to hear about your favorites.